Let’s look at a real example.
Do you know a state in India called Utter Pradesh? If you live in Western countries, you probably haven’t heard of it. But Utter Pradesh is almost a whole country in itself. About 230 million people live there. To compare, about 330 million people live in America.
Here’s the kicker: In Utter Pradesh, the majority of the population identify as Hindu and Muslim. Only about 0.1% people identify as Christians. Yes, that’s one tenth of one percent.
We can count in single digits the number of cross-cultural disciple-making movement workers who also live there, know the language fluently, and can communicate good news in a way Muslims and Hindus in Utter Pradesh can understand and receive it.
Okay, so how did this chart rock my world?
I looked around me, right in Arizona, and said to myself, I don’t even know any Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists.
I had surrounded myself with people who look like me, believe like me, and act like me.
Yes, I’m always going to offer Jesus to my neighbors, no matter who they are. But I realized there’s a lot of true Jesus followers living right around me that could and should keep doing that, as well as hundreds of wonderful churches they could go to if they wanted.
I decided to throw my lot, my time, my energy in with the VERY FEW that wanted to be more intentional with those groups of people who have, what I call, “least access”. They do not have access to the good news of the Kingdom of God.
So, I prayed, God, help me know and understand Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, so I can share your wonderful ways, your truth, your love with them, that will give them joy, peace, and healing in their life now, and in the life to come.
I told God, If it makes any difference at all for one, ordinary, regular person like me to be all in, if you’re with me, I’m willing to change that number on that chart from 2 to 3 people trying to invite a million Muslims, with love and respect, to follow Jesus.
If you haven’t read my book yet, you can get the First Chapter Free and read about the first Muslim I ever met when I was 38-years old. Ayisha launched me on a spiritual adventure I could never have imagined that sent our family into relationships with Iraqi refugees coming to our city, and eventually launched us overseas to live in an unreached and unengaged people group in India.