An estimated 269 million people in the United States and Canada don’t know Jesus Christ.
Maybe you see that number and lose hope. What good can one person do? What difference can you make in the face of such darkness? To keep from despair, it’s important to follow these steps.
1. Pray for harvest.
God alone saves souls. Keep asking the Lord to send workers and bring the harvest.
2. Place significance on people.
Every single person—every one in that 269 million—is important to God. Reaching just one person shapes the kingdom.
3. Partner well.
You are not alone. As a Southern Baptist, you partner with millions of other people in the mission of reaching North America and the world.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) has created an effective strategy for getting the gospel to people who haven’t decided to follow Jesus. That strategy is called Send Network, and through it NAMB helps plant churches in 32 major metropolitan areas (with more to come). These areas—dubbed Send Cities—are cities with huge population, diversity and great spiritual need. Cities that, when reached for Jesus Christ, could change cultural tides.
NAMB leaders explain, “If you reach the cities, you’ll reach the nations,” especially since 83% of the United States and Canada now lives in metropolitan areas.
4. Plan to expand.
You may think enough churches exist in North America, especially if you live in the South.
Why do we need more churches?
- On average in the United States and Canada, one Southern Baptist church is available for every 6,828 people. In Montreal, one Southern Baptist church exists for every 112,000 people. Just as chain restaurants aren’t afraid to locate close together to reach maximum numbers of customers, the church must be accessible to all who desire to learn more about Jesus Christ.
- New Southern Baptist churches report four times higher numbers of baptisms than established churches. While baptisms don’t save people, they indicate active life-change happening within a church.
- The gospel does not change, but the people groups living within North American borders have varied cultures and needs. What a blessing it is for refugees, immigrants, college students and others to have a pastor and congregation who understand their hearts and lives. Multiplication makes personalization possible.
These reasons, among many others, are behind Send Network and its goal of planting churches. Last year, Southern Baptists planted 926 churches in the United States and Canada.
How does this affect you? How can you get involved? You support the Send Network every time you pray for new congregations, join a church plant or become a church planter. One of the simplest ways to help reach 269 million people with the gospel is by giving to Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® (AAEO). Every penny of AAEO goes toward North American missions and church planting.
You may feel overwhelmed with 269 million lost people around you, but by praying and giving to AAEO, together we can push back lostness in North America.