Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Reaching the Nations

Dawson Trotman said, “World vision is getting on your heart what has always been on God’s heart.”

Christ’s Great Commission commands us to make disciples of all the nations. By ‘nations’ we do not mean geo-political units on a map, but rather peoples. We see the world as the Lord does – peoples with common cultures, languages, and affinities. It is within these peoples that the gospel moves and spreads.

There are 78 unreached people groups within our own U.S. borders, requiring no visa to reach them and few government restrictions (see Joshua Project statistics for current U.S. and world opportunities).

Immigrants and refugees are pouring into our country at unheard of rates. And we know from history that when people are in transitions they are more open to the gospel.

International students are also coming to study on our campuses at unprecedented rates. They too are in times of change and thus are very receptive to new ideas and relationships. And when they return to their home of origin they become leaders and influencers for a lifetime. These too require no plane ride or language school experience to engage. But they do require a huge heart, sustained commitment, and great perseverance to see the gospel take root and bear fruit!

The world today still is 40% unreached (see Joshua Project data). There remains 6,600 unreached people groups totaling nearly 3 billion people. These peoples will be reached if someone leaves their home and intentionally crosses cultures to plant the gospel among them. The remaining groups are historically the most resistant to the gospel – those with Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist background. It will require long-term effort and much sacrifice for the gospel to go to these ‘nations.’

Our Lord said, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-20). Paul reminds us, “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). Are you praying for the nations to come to know Him?  Are you listening to how He would have of you to become the answer to your own prayer?

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2 thoughts on “Reaching the Nations

  1. Alright, Tom, when God’s heart is in developing disciples in all nations, then where does leadership development come into the picture? If everyone is called to reach out to people from all kinds of nations, should everyone just go out to get it done? Or should Christians rather become intentional in equipping and raising up leaders that have the integrity and passion to raise up people to follow them in serving those of the various nations? Or are both just as relevant? We would appreciate to hear your perspective. Rudolf

    • Rudolf,
      I believe that it’s a both/and rather than an either/or answer. Some will be more designed and gifted in the direct ministry of making disciples. But some others will be better designed for indirect ministry as they lead and supervise others. We will want and need the contributions of both to accomplish the goal of making disciples of all the nations.
      Tom

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