It is true the the churches in the United States send missionaries all over the world. But there is an incredible mission field right here in the US. In fact, recent Barna research shows that North America is the third largest English speaking mission field in the world. The report shows….
According to George Barna: “With its 195 million unchurched people, America has become the new mission field. America has more unchurched people than the entire populations of all but 11 of the world’s 194 nations.”*
According to Lost in America, by Tom Clegg and Warren Bird, 2001: “The unchurched population in the United States is so extensive that, were it a nation, it would be the fifth-largest on the planet. . . . Researchers and analysts describe North America as the world’s third-largest mission field.”
According to Os Guiness, in World Evangelization, Vol. 18, No 65, 1993: “The three strongest national challenges to the Gospel in the modern world are Japan, Western Europe, and the United States.”
According to George Gallup in 1997, only ten years ago: “More than 44% of American adults 18 and over are unchurched; 120 million Americans have no substantial Christian memory.”
Barna affirms Gallup. Consider: “America’s secularization has gone from only 15% in the 1950s up to 40% in 2001; and headed for 60% percent by 2010!” (Secularization means basing the decisions of one’s life on a secular humanist, relativist moral world view. Judeo-Christian values and the Bible are no longer the moral foundation of decision making in life for the vast majority of Americans.)
According to America: An Emerging Mission Field in World Christian Encyclopedia, Second Edition p.27: “In 2000, the United States sent out 118,200 missionaries, but it also received 33,200. Ironically, the world’s largest missionary-sending country has now become the world’s largest missionary-receiving country.” Not to mention:
- The world’s largest Buddhist temple is located in Boulder, CO, USA!
- The world’s largest Muslim training center is in New York City, USA!
- The world’s largest training center for transcendental meditation is in Fairfield, Iowa, USA!
According to Leighthon Ford, evangelist and Christian leader, “North America is now the largest mission field in the English-speaking world” (Cities’ and surrounding areas’ concentrated populations make them obvious targets for sharing the Gospel).
The number of churches in Chicago has decreased by 900 in the last 10 years! In many cases what were once churches are now condominiums.
England, the once great Christian missionary-sending nation for centuries, before America, now has more mosques than churches, and must itself be reached all over again with the Gospel! We are on this same path.
Even within the churches are many false converts, who have never been “born again”, but have “accepted Christ” or “prayed a prayer” or “raised a hand”. These unregenerate people will follow the biblical example of those who fall away, and leave the entertainment focused churches in the US (and especially here in Colorado Springs). We talk to folks like this all the time, who say they are Christians, but think they are heaven bound because they are “good people”.
Another article expresses this appeal for missionaries to come to the United States. A hope for all of evangelicalism is a “rescue mission” from the world Christian community. If all of evangelicalism could see the kind of renewal that has happened in conservative Anglicanism through the Anglican Mission in America and other mission efforts, much good would be done. It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come? Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity? I do not know, but I hope and pray that such an effort happens and succeeds.