World mission mobilizers are confronted by a bewildering array of opinions, facts, and new realities. Among them: The MARC Mission Handbook reports a leveling off in long-term missionaries. Patrick Johnstone of Operation World reports that 10,000 of the world’s 12,000 ethnolinguistic people groups have church-planting teams.
Field missionaries describe extra work generated by short-term teams and fear the consequences of some inappropriate conduct by “prayer walk” teams.
The AD2000 and Beyond Movement reports progress toward church-planting movements among the unreached, while missiologists track increasing resistance among Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.
Such trends, among others, point to a significant division among mission mobilizers and strategists, perhaps one of the most important shifts since the end of World War II. The increased emphasis on the challenge of unreached peoples has highlighted two major streams of action.