The “resistant belt” is a “window of opportunity”

10/40 Window

JP: A good read by Albert Mohler. Note his reference to the 10/40 window.

Christian Missions in the Third Millennium


Today, the Christian church faces new challenges. Without exaggeration, we can point to the twenty-first century as a new era in Christian missions, and recognize it as a vast new opportunity.

Looking at Christian missions today, we may be seeing the birth of a new missiological movement. This new era in missions will build upon the accomplishments of the last 200 years, but it must also be adapted to the new realities of our world context.

The most important dimension of any vision for world missions is a passion to glorify God. From beginning to end, the Bible declares that God is glorifying Himself in the salvation of sinners, and that He desires to be worshipped among all the peoples of the earth. The impulse of the missionary conviction is drawn from the assurance that God saves sinners, and that He is glorifying Himself by creating a new people through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have the glad opportunity to glorify God by declaring the Gospel to all the peoples of the earth.

As John Piper has stated, “The deepest reason why our passion for God should fuel missions is that God’s passion for God fuels missions. Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” In missions, we share God’s delight.

Much of this new vision is flowing out of reports from the 10/40 window–that portion of the world between latitudes 10 and 40 degrees, where most of the world’s unreached peoples live. This focus on the Great Commission has led to a mobilization mentality that holds great promise for the future of the Christian church.

One missionary leader has defined this mobilization as “all of God’s people reaching all the peoples of the earth.” That motto sets the issue clearly. This generation must be committed to see all of God’s people together reaching all the peoples of the earth without regard to race, culture, economic reality, or geographical or political obstacles.

[A] vision for world evangelization is an important barometer of spiritual and theological health. A vibrant commitment to Christ leads to a passion for the Gospel. A grand embrace of God’s truth produces an enthusiasm to see God glorified as His name is proclaimed to the nations. It is time for a new generation to lead–and to point the way.

More on the 10/40 Window here.

The 10/40 Window is a term coined by Christian missionary strategist Luis Bush in 1990 to refer those regions of the eastern hemisphere located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that in 1990 was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet.

This region of the world was previously known to Christians as the “resistant belt”. In 1990, Luis’ research led to a meeting with the developer of the first PC-based GIS software. They analyzed the region (image above) using a box between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude and called it the 10/40 Box. A few weeks later, Luis’ wife Doris recommended renaming it the 10/40 Window, stating that this region ought to be seen as a “window of opportunity.”

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