King's Business - 1970-02


by Phill Butler

R ecently a study was complet­ ed which probed a t t i t u d e s among college s t u d e n t s to­ ward missions and missionaries. It indicated that 84% of the stu­ dents responding felt that theU.S. Government’s Peace Corps pro­ gram was more relevant to the needs of the people where it served than was the work of evan­ gelical missions in those same countries. This study was taken on the campuses of Christian colleges. The students’ background was ex­ posure to Sunday school, church- related missions emphasis, and the repeated opportunity to get to know missionaries personally. Our c ommu n i c a t i o n in the church with the current genera­ tion often leaves much to be de­ sired. This study made by Inter­ national Christian Organization points up the misunderstanding of

centage are involved in direct evangelism. This total number of 45-46.000 people includes doctors, linguists, pilots, educators, radio and television technicians, admin­ istrators, etc. The thing which must bring us to face the stark reality of our Sunday school responsibility is that this situation simply need not be. There is increasing evi­ dence that young people are most affected in their total development and life direction during their early years. This makes critical the role which teachers, superin­ tendents and assistants must take. Here are two examples of the basic issue which lies at the root of the problem: On every hand there is a prevalent attitude of pessimism within the ranks of our churches. Few really believe that the world can be reached for Christ in our generation. This at-

missions by college students. It is felt by many that more Christian young people are sign­ ing up for secular occupations than are signing their names “on the line” in service for Christ. There are approximately 45- 46.000 Protestant missionaries in the world today. Of these some 28- 29.000 are from North America. Now if you divide these mission­ aries into the world population, excluding North America, you come up with an assignment for each missionary of over three- quarters of a million people! The sad reality is that this number of missionaries is declin­ ing. While the world population is increasing at a staggering rate, the actual count of missionaries on the field is going down. More important is the fact that of those who are now serving Christ in­ ternationally, only a small per­



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