Run the Numbers: How Many Have Never Heard?

Stars in the Milky Way Galaxy: 200,000,000,0001
Gallons of Fresh Water in the Great Lakes: 6,000,000,000,000,0002
Number of Grains of Sand on the Earth’s Beaches: 7,500,000,000,000,000,0003

Brilliant minds have spent countless hours carefully calculating estimates of these earth facts; it’s such interesting trivia, yet useless and irrelevant to most of us.

How about the relevance of these numbers?
Earth’s Population (2009): 6.8 billion4
Unreached People Groups: 6,829 people groups, representing 2.74 billion people5
(An Unreached People Group is a people group that is less than 2% evangelical Christian.)
Last Frontier People Groups: 6,072 people groups, representing 1.7 billion people4
(Last Frontier is a term used to describe a people group who has not experienced an evangelical church plant in the last 2 years.)

Wrapping your mind around this level of lostness is a challenge. Try to visualize the vast sea of faces representing the lost souls among the tribes and nations of the world, drowning in the undertow of sin and guilt.  

The time is short, the need is desperate, and describing the task as overwhelming seems like a gross understatement. To realize that millions upon millions of people have never even been introduced to Jesus Christ, have never been given the opportunity to respond to His gift of salvation, is to comprehend a tragedy. But it’s a remediable tragedy.

What if you decided to tell someone about Jesus? Immediately your mind may be revisiting that very familiar list of top 10 reasons why you can’t go on a missions trip, but suspend those thoughts for just a moment; what would happen if you answered the Great Commission call and decided that you would indeed do that very thing Jesus commanded—going into all the world to share the gospel? 

The domino effect
Suppose you spent one week of your life telling a handful of women about Jesus in the mountains of Bolivia. Suppose 3 of those souls gave their lives to Jesus Christ. Imagine that those 3 new believers, in obedience to God’s Word, told a handful of people in their village about Christ, and 6 more people were saved.   

Imagine that those 6 people started praying for their families and village, along with the 3 women you led to the Lord, and these 9 new Christians were able to lead 10 more people to the Lord in the course of another year.

In 2 years, the number of new believers grows to 25, then 75, then 250, and then . . . Have you caught the vision? Keep running the numbers.

Sound foolish? It would indeed be a worthless use of a week of your life and the resources to get there if it were not for the unstoppable power of the Holy Spirit. With God, nothing is impossible.

What if you and 11 other Christians reading this article decided to take the gospel to people who have never heard? It’s hard to imagine, really, that 12 people could make that big of a difference in the world’s lostness. But then again, Jesus started with 12 men, and you and I are bound for heaven because that small faithful band of disciples were obedient to the call of Jesus Christ to go and tell.

Catch the vision. One person can make a difference. Are you willing to be that one?


Reflection Points:

* Pray as Jesus instructed the disciples to pray in Matthew 9:36–38. Who are the people whom God would use to fulfill this prayer request?

* Does your missions lifestyle reflect the truth of Jeremiah 32:17?

* Read Isaiah 6:1–8. What did God do in Isaiah’s life that made him become available to God for missions?


Kimberly Sowell challenges women to live a missions lifestyle in sweet surrender to Christ. Visit



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Adult Team Blog

As a believer, I know that I ought to be telling others about Jesus. Yet I find myself thinking of it as a complex endeavor for which special training is needed.

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