In Luke 10:2-4, Jesus gave this instruction to missionary teams as he sent them out: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”
This instruction applies to us who follow Christ today just as much as to his first followers. The harvest is still plentiful. Over 7,000 of the world’s 17,000 people groups remain unreached with the gospel. This equates to 42% of the world’s population living in a context with very limited, if any, access to the gospel.
And the workers are still few. Of all the world’s cross-cultural missionaries, only 8% serve among these unreached peoples where there is no Church. We believe that faith comes through hearing the message of Christ (Romans 10:17), yet 44,000 people are dying each day without even having heard the message of Christ! This is perhaps why Jesus instructs those he sends not to greet people on the road. There is a sense of urgency here, a sense that we should not be sitting idly by just watching the fields, but should rather engage, join in, and pray for more laborers.
And yes, Jesus still sends us out like lambs among wolves. Jesus did not promise that this mission would be easy or comfortable or even “safe”—as the world defines safeness.
Yet Jesus still calls and sends us. And Lutheran Brethren International Mission (LBIM) is taking this call seriously. We are committed to proclaim the gospel message in places and among peoples that are unreached. As Jesus sent out his missionaries in teams, LBIM is now endeavoring to send teams of missionaries to proclaim the gospel to unreached peoples. And we praise God for how he is raising up new laborers for this mission. Who’s Next?
Contact: [email protected]
DAN VENBERG serves the Church of the Lutheran Brethren as Mission Mobilizer and Recruiter for Lutheran Brethren International Mission.