According to estimates from the US Center for World Missions, 90% of nearly 300 thousand Protestant missionaries currently labor outside of the regions where 90% of unreached people groups live. What could account for such a grossly disproportionate focus? Why such a great imbalance? The answer is not mysterious. Those regions are often dangerous and uncomfortable, and the people often hostile and unresponsive. According to the Bible this is to be expected; according to the church this is to be avoided. During centuries of relative affluence and ease in the Western church, a false theological scaffolding has been erected that assures us we can secure an existence far above the harsh resistance that was both experienced and promised by the Lamb and His apostles. God, we imagine, will surely protect us from such peril and would surely never ask us to choose such risks.
The glory of Jesus will never be the joyful anthem of every tribe and tongue if this fantasy persists. This great imbalance will be corrected and the Great Comission advanced only when a generation of prospective missionaries beholds the splendor of Jesus and concludes that such risks are right and wise in light of His surpassing worth. The scaffolding that has kept missionaries perched out of harm's way, at a safe distance from the tumultuous frey of suffering, has kept them out of the nations most desperately in need of a witness. ACTS Research is committed to relentlessly establishing the biblical veractiy of God's design for sacrifice in accomplishing His mission.