In the coming months, we want to consider frontiers—places of unparalleled opportunity for the church’s mission endeavors. We’ll look close up at regions around the globe. To get us started, BMM President Patrick Odle casts the vision of a new century of BMM strategic teamwork.
When I think of frontiers, cheesy bylines from days gone by come to mind, lines like, “Space—the Final Frontier,” and “Alaska—America’s Last Frontier.” I also think of places of unknown opportunity. It is this latter idea that really should come to mind when we think about future frontiers for missions. Baptist Mid-Missions was founded over 100 years ago with a pioneer spirit to reach places and people groups in what was then the frontiers of our planet—places where the Gospel had never been taken.
As we venture into the next century as a mission organization, our frontiers may not be the center of continents as it was a century ago, but our frontiers are still places where the Gospel is virtually unknown. Two of those frontiers are represented by the massive metropolises of our day and by Creative Access Nations, which some refer to as Restricted Access Nations. Most of the two billion people on earth that are completely unreached with the Gospel (no access to a Bible, a church, or a Christian) live in these frontiers.
The world’s largest cities are growing at an astronomical rate as people migrate to urban areas for jobs and better opportunities. As a result, the world’s five largest metropolitan areas average over 27 million souls. And not one of these five largest cities is in the United States! These cities present a great Gospel opportunity to reach souls in need of a Savior. But who will go? Who will take the Gospel to those in need of Christ?
The Creative Access Nations of the world also represent a great frontier. These nations are all but impossible for “traditional” missionaries to enter because false religions and anti-Christian ideologies dominate the rule of law. But through creative means like business, medicine, teaching English, and more, missionaries are still able to enter and stay in many of these nations that are virtually untouched by the Gospel.
However, as Jesus put it so many years ago, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37). Is God burdening your heart for the billions of souls in the world’s cities or in Creative Access Nations? Baptist Mid-Missions would love to help turn that burden into the reality of reaching people with the Gospel, opening new frontiers for missions ministry in our second century.
President | Baptist Mid-Missions
In July 2020, Dr. Patrick Odle became Baptist Mid-Missions’ ninth president. He came to his position with 26 years of pastoral experience and eight years as a BMM Council member, along with service as a vice president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary.