“Contemporaries of Columbus were convinced that the world was flat like a pancake. Of course, his historic voyage of 1492 disproved this idea. But—it has only been recently that those focused on missions began to abandon the pancake theory!! “What does that mean?” you say.
Mission-minded people have thought for a long time that the world was like a pancake, and the Gospel was like the syrup. As long as you poured on enough syrup, eventually the whole pancake would be covered with it. So, they thought that, as long as they kept sending missionaries and seeing people saved, the Gospel would one day fill the whole earth. Sounds good, right? Contrary to this theory, after hundreds of years of sending missionaries and mission money to, for example Africa, we are seeing that some of the continent is very Christian, while other parts are still very resistant to the Gospel.
Why? It's because the earth is not a pancake but a waffle! A waffle has pockets that the syrup can fill, but each pocket is surrounded by barriers. That's what's happening with the Gospel; it is filling certain areas of the world, but it is not crossing the barriers to reach all the pockets of people (people groups). The nature of these barriers may be ethnic, linguistic, religious, racial, social, or something else.
How many pockets or groups of people are there in the world? An estimated 17,000! How many people groups have not been reached? Around 7,000—quite a sizable bite. How can we reach these 7,000 yet to be impacted with the power of the Gospel? We must focus on how to overcome the barriers that separate these people from Christ. We need to insert the Gospel into each pocket, and that requires prayer, and strategy, and going to the very corners of the waffle—I mean—earth (Acts 1:8)! That's why we are involved with Joshua Project. We want to participate in this challenging, strategic task. We want every barrier crossed and every pocket filled with God's glory through the Gospel!”
Adapted from http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/the-worldwide...waffle
Dan Scribner, Joshua Project, July 2018 Newsletter
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