We are living in a historical moment. In terms of international health, never has a pandemic had the physical, economic, and social impact of COVID-19. But, we are also seeing an unprecedented moment in the history of the church.
“In missions today, there is a convergence of five major events that have never happened before,” says Stephanie, a member of the One Challenge Global Research Team. Right now, five major mission milestones are coming together:
- Every known distinct people group in the world has been “adopted” by at least one body of Christians to take the gospel to them.
- By 2025, a translation of the gospel should be started in every known language in the world.
- Churches, denominations, and mission agencies of all kinds agree – they are working together like never before.
- The technology exists to deliver the gospel to every person on earth.
- The nations and people of the world are being prayed for through a vast number of prayer networks of millions of people.
What an encouragement! Through technology and the prayers of the millions, even in the face of a pandemic, people are working and worshiping, and many are coming to Christ. Families are learning and growing together. Christians are reaching out to their communities. God is at work.
The Role of Research
Research is one of the ways One Challenge mission workers discover how God is at work. “Researchers” or “information workers” are major players in each of these five milestones in missions. For example, many serve behind the scenes by helping their leaders track engagement with people groups and Bible translation projects. Others actively seek out innovative resources and breakthroughs in technologies that can be utilized for kingdom efforts.
Research also fuels prayer. “The OC Global Research Team’s ‘MENA Prayer Project’ helped shine a light on how mission agencies focused on North Africa and the Middle East were mobilizing and sustaining prayer for their on-the-ground efforts. The sharing of mission data has never been as collegial nor as widespread as it is right now,” Stephanie says.
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for more effective partnerships to address needs that have physical, social, economic, and spiritual roots.
- Pray for government officials, church leaders, and medical professionals to continue to work together to bring our present crises under control and enhance healing in our societies and in our own bodies.
- Pray for the joining together of people, resources, vision, and goodwill to reflect the coming of His kingdom in our midst.
Jesus told his disciples that many prophets and good people were eager to see what they were seeing and to hear what they were hearing (Matt. 13:17). What we are witnessing is also unprecedented. May our eyes be opened to see how God is at work, because he always is.
Research One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We assist the body of Christ to gather and understand information needed to share the love of Jesus with all people in their communities and beyond in efficient and effective ways.