The Generation Who Can: Reaching the Unreached with News They Can’t Live Without

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generation who can

I’m writing today with a question. A possibility. As in, no, I haven’t researched the tar out of this. No, I have a very limited number of acronyms behind my name. (Like, one.) I’m just a global worker with a vision that’s bigger than me and wasn’t really mine to start with.

Follow my logic for a moment.

We know that some generation in the future will at last succeed

in reaching every nation, tribe, and tongue with news they can’t live without (and trust me on this: no truer words are spoken).

We know that 40% of the world, to the tune of 3.15 billion people,

live in people groups where they have zero access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I found this video staggering:

Millennials are a generation who love to cast off presuppositions; who don’t like to be told they can’t do something.

They’ve found a way to skirt cable TV; to be one person who reaches thousands or more through social media.

Could you be the generation who can?

I’m talking the generation who can cast aside what’s stopping you and go.

The Caveat

Here’s the deal. What I want to do right now is give you a generational pep talk. You can do this and all that. But at the heart of that is a great temptation of our collective younger generations: the greatness of self. I can do this because at my core, I’m great. 

So as much as I want to ride that emotional wave–whatever it takes to get this word out; to make Jesus known among the nations; to work out God’s passionate, driving heart in throbbing, living color–I cannot lift up a generation. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32).

We need a generation who is great not because of their inherent fabulousness, but because the name of Jesus is lifted up where it has never gone before.

We need a generation who is great not because of their inherent fabulousness, but because the name of Jesus is lifted up where it has never gone before. Click To Tweet

A Snapshot

This morning I peeked at the Joshua Project’s list of the 100 largest unreached people groups. (If you’re tempted to look, prepare your heart to be broken.) Did you know group #1, the Tajik people of Afghanistan, number over 9 million?

That’s 9 million souls, I’m thinking. Nine million to whom the words of Jesus have not yet come in their own language. Nine million moms and dads and kids who, as God says of an ancient city not far from there at all, don’t know their right hand from their left (Jonah 4:11).

They’ve never heard in their core, God fully accepts you through Jesus. Forgiveness is real. You are intensely loved and brought near. There are elderly there who have not heard once in their life of the unshakable, unsinkable hope that we have. The Joshua Project estimates they need an estimated 190 workers.


Nine million can seem overwhelming. But 190?

I bet we’ll get more people than that just to read this post.

Each one represents one person. Just one who says, Yes. Send me. 

They too are expending their lives

The words of missionary and martyr Nate Saint still ring in my ears from a couple of weeks ago: People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives.

I remember placing that quote in its little meme box, but leaving off the last portion, consideraby less social media-friendly: When the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.

It’s all too easy for us to expend ourselves upon our Apple products and Starbucks and Slate. Here I quote C.S. Lewis:

Could yours be the generation who finishes the work, who casts off what is easy for what is both exceedingly difficult and eternal?

Please, millennials and others reading: Let us be the generation who can.

let us be the generation who can

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11 thoughts on “The Generation Who Can: Reaching the Unreached with News They Can’t Live Without

  1. Rebecca says:

    This is hard truth to hear and yet a wonderful reminder of the invitation that is extended to each of us as followers of Jesus to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. When I took the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course last year the number one thing that I walked away with was the realization that the great commission can be completed in MY life time! We have the resources, we have the people but will we be obedient and willing to step out and allow God to use us the way he desires to? I know I am determined to get on board that train and be apart of what God is doing in the world. I want to be able to share in the joy of the harvest and know that I was a part of it!

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