4 Reasons to Evangelize the 10/40 Window Before Anywhere Else

Today, 3 billion people have never heard of Jesus Christ. 97% of these of these live in a region called the 10/40 Window. Yet the church sends only 0.5% of its offerings and 3.3% of its missionaries to reach these unreached masses. This must change now. We must prioritize the 10/40 Window in our missions strategy. In this article, I offer four reasons why. 

#1: The 10/40 Window is the most unreached region of the world

First, we must prioritize the 10/40 Window because it’s the most unreached region in the world. 

Jesus called us to disciple all nations (Matthew 28:19). Some nations remain undiscipled. Therefore, we must prioritize the undiscipled until we’ve completed Jesus’ command. Who can question this scriptural logic? Can we bear to re-reach the reached while the unreached have never heard?

Perhaps the statistics seem far-fetched. “You’re telling me to believe that billions have never heard the gospel?” I understand if you’re surprised, and I’m certainly not judging the unaware. We live in such a gospel-saturated culture. We have no radar for the idea of “unreached people groups.” The gospel is everywhere, right? 

Not quite. Actually, almost half of the world’s population has never clearly heard the gospel. Approximately 3.14 billion people alive today (41.6% of all) live in what we call unreached people groups (UPGs). UPGS are ethnic groups with very few evangelical Christians (2% or less). Many living in UPGs have never even heard Jesus’ name. Most have never clearly heard the gospel. 97% of them—3.10 billion people—live in the 10/40 Window. What are the ramifications? If Jesus returned today, 41.6% of the world’s population would likely go to hell unwarned.

Does this concern you? It ought to. Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus gave us one final command: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). Two thousand years later, this vital mission remains uncompleted. In this crucial hour of history, we must begin to question our obedience. If Jesus said, “Go into all the world,” why have we excluded half of it? If Jesus commanded that we disciple all people groups, why have we focused on 9,929 and excluded 7,165 (41.6% of the world’s population)? 

We must remember—Jesus didn’t say, “Go into some of the world,” but “all the world.” Therefore, we must shift our focus from the reached world to the unreached world. Souls hang in the balance. As William Carey pleaded, “Can we not do more than we are doing?” Each of us can help the cause of the unreached by praying, giving, or going. What’s your role? What’s mine? 

#2: The 10/40 Window is the least funded and manned mission field

Second, we must prioritize the 10/40 Window because it’s the least funded and manned mission field in the world. Where better to place fresh focus?

Many modern ministries have a backward spending philosophy. First, most offerings don’t leave the four walls of the church. 85% fund internal operations like salaries, rent, electric, water, air conditioning, and technological upgrades. 4.5% fund “local missions” in Christian nations. And how much goes to the unreached, where we ought to focus our finances? A tragic 0.5%

How did we get here? Two thousand years ago, God called us to go into all the world. About 300 years ago, we started this mission afresh. We worked hard. Men and women sacrificed their lives as martyrs for the cause of world evangelism. We preached the gospel, made disciples, planted churches, and transformed cultures. We looked into the regions beyond where Christ had still not been named, seeking to win the world to Jesus. 

Then at some point, we looked back. 

Rather than reach the unreached, we decided to re-reach the already reached. As a result, only 3.3% of modern missionaries work in the 10/40 Window. Yes, the unreached world has only 1 Christian missionary for every 216,300 people. We’re feeding the full while half the world starves. 

I don’t write this to make you feel guilty, but to impart the burden and vision for unreached people groups. Paul said, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known” (Romans 15:20 NIV). It’s high time for each of us to share that ambition. Don’t you think?

#3: The 10/40 Window is the poorest region in the world

Third, we must prioritize the 10/40 Window because it’s the most impoverished region in the world. 

God calls us to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). Over 80% of the poorest of the poor live in the 10/40 Window, surviving on less than $1 a day. Yet only 3.3% of Christian missionaries work among them. 80% of the world’s poor receive only 3.3% of the world’s Christian missionaries? How hard to believe! Something’s clearly wrong. We’ve failed to offer aid to those who need it most! 

Maybe it’s easy to stomach the numbers, but not the stories. In the 10/40 Window, billions live without simple needs like clean water, secure homes, and medical care. Children grow up in garbage dumps, running around barefoot and naked in puddles of contaminated water (I witnessed this in Cambodia’s Steung Meanchey slum). Desperate for income, parents sell their own children into the sex trade for financial gain. Poverty leads to desperation, which leads to unbelievable immorality. 

But we must not let that moral darkness dissuade us from offering Jesus’ light. The poor should matter to us because they matter to Him. Don’t forget, Jesus came “to proclaim good news to the poor” (Luke 4:17-19 NIV). He instructed His disciples: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Luke 12:33 NIV). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “when you give to the needy,” not if (Matthew 6:2 NIV). 

The New Testament authors saw the poor as a vital part of their mission, too. Before the apostles officially commissioned Paul, they gave clear instructions—“that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along” (Galatians 2:10 NIV). Do we share the same eagerness as Paul—to remember the poor? To “defend the cause of the poor and needy…what it means to know [God]” (Jeremiah 22:16 NIV)? 

Any mission that neglects the poor is incomplete. And we’ve neglected 80% of the world’s poorest. Therefore, we’ve radically missed God’s missions standard. Jesus commands that we care. It’s high time we start. If 80% of the poorest of the poor live in the 10/40 Window, where better to place fresh focus?

#4: The 10/40 Window is a world-capital of demonic oppression

Finally, we must prioritize the 10/40 Window because it’s a world-capital of demonic oppression. Jesus is anointed “to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18 NIV). He has given us “authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19 NIV). No region needs Jesus’ liberating power more than the 10/40 Window. Can we hold back the help they need?

In the 10/40 Window, most people live in deep fear of evil spirits (a few atheistic nations excepted). They offer daily sacrifices to appease their ancestors, avoiding retribution, and seeking blessing. Statues of demons and spirits adorn almost every street. Reports of ghost encounters abound. Many cultures regularly seek out witch doctors, psychics, spiritists, blessings, spells, and potions, and fear curses and omens. 

The 10/40 Window’s demonic fears aren’t baseless. Inhabitants of the 10/40 Window fear evil spirits because they’ve lived under evil’s vicious taunt. Demonic forces work out in the open there, spreading torment, confusion, rage, and addiction. Our partners regularly tell us stories of the most shocking demonic attacks. 

I’ll only give one example. 

A 19-year old Burmese man lived under severe demonization since age 15. Demonic illness, madness, and rage constantly plagued him and often drove him running into the jungle. He soon became so violent that his teachers had to remove him from school, and his own parents locked him in his room and chained him to his bed. They sought every cure possible, but neither medicine nor monks nor mysticism could turn the tide. Soon, the parents met our partner, Pastor J, and asked him to pray for their son. 

What happened next should blow us away. Our partner prayed for the young man in the name of Jesus, and the tormenting spirit left immediately. In a matter of seconds, Jesus had delivered the young man from insanity which four years of Asia’s best cures could not heal! Can you imagine the joy and relief His family experienced? He soon received Christ, and today he would rather die than reject Jesus. Who could blame him?

Our partners tell us similar testimonies regularly. Jesus is setting the 10/40 Window free, person by person, soul by soul. He longs to liberate every unreached captive, for He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV). What keeps this great deliverance from the pages of history? “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2 NKJV). 

Look at the Fields

In John 4:35, Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (NKJV). I want to echo His call. 

Lift up your eyes and see 3 billion souls that have never heard of Jesus Christ. 

Lift up your eyes and see billions ensnared in poverty.

Lift up your eyes and see a generation taunted by demons. 

Yes, look into those dark fields, and realize how few workers are laboring there to shine Jesus’ light. 

But don’t just look. Do something. Begin to pray. Advocate for the unreached to your friends, family, spiritual leaders, and mentees. Support missionaries to the 10/40 Window. If you’re a pastor, radically reshape your missions program. If God calls, go. As Keith Green said, “This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth.” We each have only one life to offer in obedience to Jesus’ Great Commission. Let’s not miss our chance. 

 
 
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JJ Weller is a writer, researcher, editor, and creator for Message Ministries and Missions. He has served in evangelism through Message Ministries for 6 yearsthrilled to preach Jesus’ salvation to thousands and teach biblical evangelism to hundreds. He has a passion for God’s glory, the true gospel, biblical evangelism, biblical and historical revival, and the salvation of the unreached. He lives with his beautiful wife, Cynthia, in Lima, Peru. 

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