Ten Mission Priorities and Nine Urgent Needs

Photo by GlynLowe
By anyone's estimation, the task before us in world missions is a daunting one.  Even when one narrows it down to a single nation or city or if you look only one dimension of the gospel task like church planting, evangelism, or world hunger -- even then, it is very difficult to know where to begin.

Personally, I have been wrestling with the idea of priorities for some time.  How do we establish missionary priorities?  How does a mission agency, denomination, or church decide where to engage in missions first?  In coming days, I hope to share some thoughts on this and how we've made some specific application in Chicagoland.  For today, however, I wish to commend to you the work of a couple great missiological thinkers and friends who have attempted to create their own global mission priority lists.  Here they are with some commentary:

1. Mission Top Ten - by Tim Schultz
Tim provides a list of 10 nations or regions of the world most in need of "apostolic missionary work".  His list is heavily inspired by Operation World and includes places like Japan, Bangladesh, and Russia.  Tim also includes the United States especially because of diaspora movement which is bringing in large numbers of unreached peoples into the country.

2. Nine Urgent Needs for Additional Missionaries - by Doug Nichols
Doug has provided us with a different kind of priority list which focuses on various types or categories of peoples rather than specific geographical regions.  Here we see his call for more missionaries among unreached peoples, orphans, trafficking victims, Bibleless peoples and more.  Doug also lists diasporas as one of his top nine urgent needs.

You can find other lists like these around the web, but I have a great appreciation for these two examples.  Whether we are looking at the entire globe or a local city, missionary leaders must be able to look at their fields and prayerfully analyze them in this way.  Consider the following:

Who are the people groups who currently have the least access to the gospel?  Who have the fewest churches or believers?  Whom no one is trying to reach?

What parts (geographical) of your mission field are least-engaged?

In which parts of society are sin and Satan causing the most destruction?  How are people hurting?  How are they being oppressed?

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