USA (MNN) — As portrayed here by the Joshua Project, the highest concentrations of unreached people groups are scattered throughout Asia. Approximately three million people worldwide fall into the “unreached” category, according to this chart.
Those data sets may seem to imply that the mission field is “overseas only,” but Jamie Wagner of Jesus Film Project says it’s closer than many U.S. believers realize. That’s why the organization created a U.S. Strategy Team.
“It’s been a fun dynamic over the last two years, and really the first time that we’ve had a domestic focus.”
What does the U.S. mission field look like?
The JESUS film first premiered in U.S. theaters in 1979. A few years later, Jesus Film Project became involved in making Christ known to the nations. See a full history here.
“In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, that really innovated missions globally because we could visually bring the Gospel in people’s heart language,” Wagner says.
Jesus Film Project exists to engage the watching world with Jesus. With translations of the JESUS film in over 1,500 languages, a library of original narratives, and a digital app to distribute them all, the organization provides Jesus-centric media to meet any ministry need.
The creation of a U.S. Strategy Team doesn’t mean Jesus Film Project is stopping its work among the nations. It is simply expanding its focus.
Today, the U.S. mission field is broadening because more people are coming from “there” to “here”. A record-high 43.7 million immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2016, and 84,989 refugees were admitted into the country. At the same time, non-belief is reportedly growing among U.S. residents, providing a variety of Gospel opportunities.
The U.S. Strategy Team serves two primary purposes, Wagner explains. Its first goal is to help U.S. Christians engage in the Great Commission using digital media.
“Whether you, as an American believer, are going on a mission trip overseas, or you’re reaching the whole world that’s living here in the United States, we would call that being a ‘mobile missionary’.”
Secondly, the team wants to help U.S. churches reach four critical people groups living in their midst. “There are a lot of ‘under-resourced’ groups in the United States where there still really is no church,” Wagner explains.
She describes “under-resourced groups” as four demographics living in our midst:
- The R.I.I. community (refugees, immigrants, and internationals)
- Urban and inner-city communities
“We want to help create digital pathways for churches that want to engage with any of these demographics.”
Got questions? Fill out the form here to connect with Jesus Film Project and learn more about their U.S. Strategy Team.
Header image by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.