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Category Archives: Missions / Evangelism

What is the Threshold for Considering a Group Reached?

For decades, missionaries did not consider a people group “reached” until 20 percent of the population was considered “evangelical.” Today, the statistical benchmark is 2 percent.

What brought about this change of definition? And how has it impacted missions strategies?

A Course-Correction

Dr. Robin Hadaway, professor of missions at Midwestern Seminary recently wrote an essay for the Southwestern Journal of Theology, in which he recommends a “course-correction” away from the two-percent threshold and back to something like 10 or 20 percent. Hadaway relies on extensive missionary experience as he considers this question; he has been involved in a variety of mission efforts on three continents, and he is a fluent speaker of Arabic, Swahili, and Portuguese.

Hadaway shows how, for decades, missionaries went to geographic countries in order to assess the needs and then plan a course of action. They built clinics and orphanages, staffed hospitals and started schools alongside their church planting efforts.

In the 1950’s, Donald MacGavran’s work led to the rise of “individualized strategies for particular ethnic groups.” C. Peter Wagner and Edward Dayton applied MacGavran’s ethnic focus differently, with a shift away from the most receptive groups (the “Harvest” mentality) toward church planting among the “hidden” and resistant groups.

Over time, the threshold of considering a people group “reached” dropped from 20% evangelical to 2% (this is the statistic of the Joshua Project and Operation World). But Hadaway considers the 2% threshold to be too low, and he cites sociologist Boeslaw Szymanski to make this point:

“When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible …

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3 Ways to Figure Out What To Do, In Light of Who You Are

Knowing “what time it is” personally is essential for making wise decisions.

Also posted in Christianity, Church Issues | | 1 Comment

Overcoming Evangelistic Paralysis with an Unbelievably Good Gospel

You have every resource, every truth, and every power available to you in Christ.

Also posted in Interviews, Personal Evangelism | | 2 Comments

How To Implement a Communist Revolution in 3 Easy Steps

In Romania, the socialist ideologues focused on three spheres of influence. Here’s who they targeted and how they took over.

Also posted in Christian Living, Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church, Reaching Romania | | 2 Comments

Mission in a Secular Age: A Conversation with James K. A. Smith

We are the heirs of societal shifts that are 500 years old. It might look like you’re witnessing a revolution, but it turns out it’s been percolating for centuries.

Also posted in Book Reviews, Christianity, Interviews | | 3 Comments

Discipleship in the “Age of Authenticity”

How should the church witness to the gospel in an age of self-expression and resisting conformity to anything outside yourself?

Also posted in Christian Living, Christianity, Church Issues, Discipleship, Future of the Church | | 9 Comments

Is The Era of Mass Evangelism Over? Why We Shouldn’t Rule Out Another Billy Graham

Greg Laurie and Luis Palau are exceptions to the rule, but evangelistic meetings and revival services are in the past. Right? Jake Hanson says, “Not so fast.”

Also posted in Christianity, Interviews, Personal Evangelism | | 4 Comments

Rugged Rationalism and the Church’s Alternative Story

What if the subconscious reason for abandoning faith is the rugged appeal of rationalism – the fierce facing of reality, however stark the picture may be?

Also posted in Christian Living, Christianity, Church Issues, Life & Culture | | 4 Comments

A Glimpse of Oradea, Romania’s Architecture

Here’s 1-minute video of Oradea, Romania’s most beautiful buildings.

Also posted in Reaching Romania | | 1 Comment

The Mirage of “Golden Age” Christianity

Church history is a treasure box, not a map. We don’t honor our forbearers by seeking to return to their times; we honor them by receiving their wisdom and learning from their victories and failures.

Also posted in Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church, Theology | | 5 Comments