I am always looking for different tools that showcase the tectonic shift occurring in global missions. For more on that, check out our Peoples Next Door posts. Yesterday I ran across a neat illustration that does just that.
The good people over at Global Mapping International put together what they call a missiographic concerning the international makeup of Wheaton, Ill. Now, you may be wondering why in the world that is helpful on a national scale, but the reasoning is sound. Wheaton is home to one of America’s premier evangelical colleges, and there are several evangelical publishing houses located in the area. In short, it is a go-to spot for historic, primarily caucasian, middle class evangelicalism.
And yet, this graphic demonstrates that peoples from the least reached places are settling in to communities all across the United States, even middle class Christian suburbs like Wheaton.
Notice in particular the “Why care?” and effective outreach sections. There are some good talking points in there. I would also add the need for local church driven outreach that leads to bible studies and church plants, but this is a pretty good start!
Keelan leads the Peoples Next Door project and is a Senior Church Consultant with the Union Baptist Association in Houston, TX. He is working on a PhD in Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In previous years, he spent time as a church planter in West Africa with the IMB and doing ethno-graphic research in Washington, DC with NAMB.