10/40 Window and Glasgow

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In missionary circles, much is made of the “10/40” window, roughly described as the nations between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north ranging from Northern Africa to Asia. In this window we find the centers of the other main world religions such as Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim… For the record, I want to state that I am a huge fan of mission’s efforts to these desperately dark nations, they need more missionaries, they need Jesus. The other day, I became aware of more Churches choosing to exclusively focus their efforts on this region of the world, and although it seems to have good reasons behind it, It is a short-sighted and unbiblical mistake to ignore the rest of the Jesus needing planet.

I was thinking about the missions need in Glasgow, Scotland. Now I have lived here for 5 years and have interviewed Christian leaders as well as heard reports on the state of Christianity from the Church of Scotland and conclude that I am being generous in the following Glasgow statistic. It seems 1% or less of people under 40 years of age in Glasgow would claim to be a Christian.

  • Using the statistics from the most recent edition of “Operation World,” it seems that if you are in Saudi Arabia walking down the street you are 4 1/2 times more likely to be walking past someone who claims to be a Christian than someone within a decade of my age here in Glasgow.
  • You are almost 13 times more likely to be passing a Christian in Egypt…
  • You are 2 1/3 times more likely to be passing a Christian in Pakistan…
  • You are 2 2/5 times more likely to be passing a Christian in India…
  • You are 1 1/2 times more likely to be passing a Christian in Thailand…
  • And shocking to me, you are more than 1 1/2 times more likely to be passing a Christian in Iraq than someone within a decade of my age here in Glasgow

That said, ‘Never believe statistics.’ There are regions in those nations far, far more absent of the Gospel of Jesus Christ than my generation here in Glasgow. Everyone of those nations in the 10/40 window continues to need more ambassadors for the Kingdom of God. Yet the great commission refers to ‘The ends of the earth,’ Jesus talks about ‘All nations.’ In our zeal to see the gospel sent to the nations let us not run the strategic error of neglecting the rest of the planet, places like Sweden, Argentina, Uganda, Russia…

Let’s not over think missions. Let us get those men and women, called by God, who have been divinely given a heart for a people or a place, to the field God is calling them to. And may they be ready for either years of ploughing hard soil or the altar of ultimate sacrifice. And may those who stay also prepare for years of sacrifice on behalf of the gospel being sent to the ends of the earth.

2 Comments on “10/40 Window and Glasgow”

Mom, April 5th, 2008 at 5:42 am

Brian,
Culd you please update your prayer requests? Your last one was last year. Since we cannot call you, I would like an updated prayer request.

Lots of Love,Mom

Brian, April 7th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Whoa….very well said. I may have to use this when I speak with our church at the end of this month. Thank you for once again standing up for Glasgow and the lost that are there!

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