I recently heard that the United States is currently the fifth largest mission field in the world (third in the English speaking world), which is discussed in this article at umc.org.
That’s an incredible statement! People in the U.S. have as much (or more) access to the gospel of Jesus Christ than in other nations and yet there are so many people who are not following Christ.
As I noted last January , the UMC has named starting new churches as a goal in response to this current reality. This effort aims to “equip 1,000 church planters to start 650 new congregations” by 2012. These churches, in turn, would commit to beginning new churches within their first ten years of existence.
I think this is a great goal. Starting new churches is a necessary move. But it’s also important, of course, that established churches get involved in the mission of reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Both strategies are challenging, but both are needed in helping us make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!