Jesus told his disciples after his resurrection, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20
A missionary is someone who spreads the Gospel to a specific area to share their faith and serve the community through education, health, social justice, and economic development. They are following what Jesus commands us to do: make disciples of all nations. Missionaries are some of the most inspiring people in the world. Their dedication to loving God and people is admirable.
What are the facts about missionaries? Missionary facts show us how the mission is doing throughout the world. Statics show us how missions have done over a period of time and trends help us see what missions have done right and areas that need improvement.
Since Jesus told us to spread the Gospel into all the world, we should take time to look at facts about missions and missionaries to see where we can help fulfill the Great Commission.
18 Missions Facts
Facts about missions help us learn more about missions and see the history of missions around the world. Let us start with where missions began: the Bible.
8 Facts about Missions in the Bible
Below are 8 important facts surrounding missions in the Bible:
- Paul who wrote 13 books in the New Testament.
- Paul spread the Gospel to Asia Minor and Greece.
- He worked to spread the Gospel to the Jews & Gentiles
- He encouraged and pointed out flaws in the churches he had visited by writing them letters.
Paul is a true example of giving up your past and living out a life for Christ. 3 mission facts about the disciple named Peter.
- Peter’s first mission was to tell his friend Nathanael about Jesus.
- It is believed that after Jesus’ ascension he went to Modern-day Turkey as a missionary.
- He was a martyr for the Gospel in Modern Day Turkey.
10 Facts about Missionaries throughout History
These 10 facts all surround missionaries throughout history.
- The first missionary to India was William Carey
- Dr. David Livingstone mapped Africa and brought the Gospel in the 1800s
- One of the first missionaries to the Native American people was David Brainerd
- Brother Andrew smuggled Bible’s persecuted place around the globe in the 1900s.
- Jim and Elisabeth Elliot were missionaries in Ecuador.
- Jim Elliot was a martyred on January 8, 1956.
- His wife, Elisabeth continued to live and share the Gospel in the village that killed her husband.
- Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India who opened safe houses and rescued children from being trafficked.
- Mary Slessor was a missionary for over 40 years in Nigeria in the early 1900s.
- Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China for over 51 years.
Each one of these missionaries has incredible stories about how God used them to spread the Gospel.
29 Missions Statics
These 10 mission statics will help to open your eyes to the picture of missionary work across the globe.
- In 1985, there were over 35,000 career missionaries and in 2015, there were over 50,000 (sent from North America).
- Over 400,000 missionaries worldwide today
- Missionaries to the Reached: 309,315 today
- 81% of the world’s Hindu, Muslims, and Buddhists do not personally know a Christian.
- For every 30 missionaries, 1 will go to an unreached people group (rough estimate).
- Tribal religion: 1 missionary for every 60,000
- Hindus religion: 1 missionary for every 79,000
- Unreligious religion: 1 missionary for every 71,000
- Muslims: 1 missionary for every 405,500
- Buddhists: 1 missionary for every 260,000
(Some statics were taken from The Traveling Team).
8 Unreached People Statics
“Unreached people” means less than 2% Evangelical Christian in the people group.
- Over 6,700 unreached people groups (UPG) in the world.
- That’s over 3.19 Billion people who have not heard the Gospel.
- Missionaries to the Unreached: 13,315 (today).
- Muslim unreached people groups are most in need of missionaries.
- Over 40% of people groups in the world are not reached.
- 351 people groups in China do not have a Bible in their language.
- Indonesia has the most Muslim people in the world: 238,000,000.
- 25 people groups in Afghanistan do not have the Bible in their language.
(Some statics are from The Joshua Project).
11 Money & Missions Statics
- People give 45 billion dollars to missions.
- People also spend over 45 billion dollars on diet programs in America.
- Christian earn over $42 trillion dollars a year.
- Christians give over 700,000 billion a year causes (of any kind).
- $45 billion dollars is given missions a year
- 6.4% percent of money given to any cause is to missions
- $450 million of money given to missions goes towards unreached people groups
- $20.3 billion is given to Christian nations.
- Americans spend more on Halloween costumes for pets then missions.
- In 2001, 1% of the money given to missions went to unreached people groups.
- For every $100,000 that Christians make, they give $1 to the unreached.
(Some statics were taken from The Traveling Team).
Here are 8 missionary trends over the years:
- There is a rise in missionaries from Global South
- Missionaries are being sent from South Korea, Brazil and Nigeria are going to places in the South and North.
- A rise in people groups who were unreached now being sent out (for example Western and Korean Christians).
- It is believed that Christians from China will be a powerful mission force in the years to come (Like Western and Korean Christians).
- Missionaries are now focusing on both rural and inner0cities missions, it used to be mostly rural focused.
- Over 54% of the world lives in urban areas, it is predicted over 80% will live in urban areas by 2050.
- Many unreached countries are closing to missionaries, but are opening for business people.
- Audio and video resources are allowing missionaries to reach people who do not have a Bible in their language or cannot read in a way that was not possible years ago.
(Some statics were used from the 5 Trends in Christian Missions: Global Christianity Experts article).
Insight Into it All
The bottom line is that American Christians are not prioritizing missions. We are caught up in the things of this world: Halloween costumes, phones, cars, and more. Jesus called all who follow him to fulfill the Great Commission.
It is time for us to wake up and realize there are over 3 billion people in the world who have never heard the Gospel. Now is the time to focus our money and resources to spread the gospel to the unreached people. If Christians come together, we can help fund missionaries and spread the Gospel to all nations in the world!
We need more missionaries to go out into the unreached people groups. Without missionaries, these people groups have little to no chance of ever hearing the Gospel. Pray that people would be obedient to following Jesus and being a missionary to the unreached if God calls them to.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”Luke 10:2