Michael Oh on Connecting Influencers and Ideas for Global Mission
I’m live blogging at the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) Outcomes Conference in Dallas, TX. The theme of the Outcomes Conference is “Perspectives.” Perspectives are about where we as Christian leaders and organizations have journeyed together these past 40 years, where we are today, and God’s plan for the future.
Michael “Young-Suk” Oh is Executive Director/CEO of the Lausanne Movement. Michael is of Korean descent, born in America. Michael received his BA, MS, and PhD degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as well as an MA in Regional Studies, East Asia, at Harvard University.
There are 7.4 billion people today. We want to see have these 7.4 billion people learn more about Jesus Christ at Lausanne Movement.
1970, 44% of the world is not evangelized. Today, the percentage has shrunk to 22%. However, we have grown tremendously in population. 2.2 billion people have not responded to the gospel. If Christians share to three people who don’t know Christ, the Great Commission will be done. New Christians more naturally share their faith. Those who have been a Christian for a longer time share less. However, they share more intentionally.
The most important starting point of the evangelism is to intentionally pray and obey to the very convictions of the heart God has given us. Most people who have not heard the gospel. 86% of Buddhists and Hindus do not personally know a Christian. The goal is not only to share as many people on earth. It’s not a matter of lots of individuals.
According to the Joshua project, there are more than 16,000 unreached people groups. Even though 9 out of 10 in apartments aren’t Christians that doesn’t they are not unreached people groups. Unreached becomes reached when anywhere where the Christian population becomes 2%. Jesus is commanding us to ethno-lingual cultural people in the world.
What does the future hold? Two things. 1. Faithful obedience and the end of all time. Like Mark 16, there is going out in the world and proclaiming to the whole world. But note also, unlike Mark 16, Matthew 24 is not a command. It is a fact. It is our destiny, our future.
The task remaining is huge, challenging, and intimidating – but, God wins, God wins. But the gospel will be proclaimed to the whole world.
Our primary purpose should be reaching the unreached people in the world. The mission of Lausanne Movement is to connect influencers and ideas for global mission. The Japanese are the second most unreached people group in the world. We should target the countries with the least Christians. Somalia is 0.01% Christian population.
We should target the country with the largest number of unreached people groups which includes India. 44 of the top 50 countries that persecute Christians are in the 10/40 window. Today, in the nation of 3 million people in Mongolia, there are more than 50,000 people who are believers in Jesus Christ.
1800 of the unengaged, unreached, people groups were engaged today. They have indigenous churches. There are more than 9000 full-time missionaries. God is at work.
We celebrate what is God is doing and we give God the glory at what He is doing. Besides sending missionaries, what are domestic and local opportunities for the unreached? Focus on the students.
More than 3000 students in Bangladish study in the US. More than 8000 students from Japan are in US. More than 100,000 students in India study here in America. Many of these students stay more time to work in America. How then should we respond?
There is a need for ministry and churches to specifically research and organize the particular opportunities God has given you. There are demographic studies. Specifically look at the international students in US. There are likely to be large population of students from China, Japan, Bangladesh, Maldize. Does your organization have a strategy for reaching student immigrants? If not, you might be missing out a huge opportunity for the missions.
Saudi Arabia is a very difficult place to be a missionary. However, we should reach out to 42,000 Saudi students who are in America.