Today I read an interesting article that should be important to missionaries and those interested in winning our world for the glory of God. The article deals with population trends around the world. It can be found here.
The long and short of the story is this: the world is moving into cities. Now that is not news for many; we knew that. What we may not have known is that many are moving to smaller cities of a half-million or so. The larger cities are not the ones growing; it's those smaller ones where we need to begin concentrating our forces.
Those interviewed have an apparent concern that, due to the lack of a good political/governmental infrastructure, these cities could be targets for religious extremists. That is good news for us. It means what we already knew. The people will be, in all likelihood, receptive to hearing the gospel. If they are targets for extremism, they are targets for Jesus!
What does this mean for mission strategists? It tells us where to send new personnel, where to deploy existing personnel. While we are committed to reaching all the world for Christ, we should be careful not to ignore the migration of over half the world. We should not wait until unrest develops; we must get our personnel in place now.
What does this mean for the local churches around the world? It tells us how to pray. It tells us how to plan. It tells us how to encourage those we send out.
Lord, send forth your laborers!