I love maps. And I especially love old maps. I don't really know why, I've just always thought it was neat to look at old maps and see how the world has changed- borders move or whole countries disappear, old maps guessing what the western hemisphere looks like, and so on. When I became a Christian, these maps began to mean something more. I could look at a globe and see where the Gospel of Jesus needed to be spread. It wasn't long before I would use maps to help me pray for the global Church.
When my wife and I were first dating I shared this with her. She then took the time to make me a desktop map, listing out all of the countries in which my fellowship of churches either had church plants or missions work. Now that was a prayer aid! I still have that map on my desk at work. I often wonder what someone thinks when they look at China and see "Red Dragon 1" since the church there is underground.
This past Sunday, my church and a sister church we help support raised over $150,000 for missions work. (full disclosure: the entire sum, regrettably, does not go directly towards missions. I'm on our church's board and we're working on that) While I was encouraged to see us exceed our goal ($130k) I'm still left wanting to do more. I've talked about this before, but there is no denying the need to spread the Gospel to every people group on the globe. Even as borders change, the people are still there. Thinking "every nation" is too limited.
An interesting thing I recently learned: the only verb in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is not "go" but rather "make disciples". The tense in Greek literally translates "make disciples as you go" which is where we get our translation of "Go..." Keep that in mind as you listen to this lesson from David Platt from the Southern Baptist Convention two weeks ago. It is pretty much a rehash of Chapter 5 from his book Radical Together, but it's worth seeing with your own eyes and hearing in his own voice the passion he has for this subject. (he starts at the 8 minute mark)