Excerpt from R. Bruce Carlton; Acts 29
By Bill Egan, Director of Church Planting
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9)
One of the greatest struggles that many people face in ministry is trying to answer this question: Where do I begin? Many people in ministry today have no destination. They have no true goals for their ministry. Too often people just jump right in without much forethought, planning, and preparation. They have no idea where they are going, and, consequently, they have no idea where to start or do not always start in the best place. They have no actual vision of what it will take to reach the entire people group with the gospel. I heard someone say once that if we do not know where we are going, any road will take us there. Someone else said that if we do not know where we are going, we will never get there!
In Revelation 7:9, we read the words of the apostle John. The Lord took John up into heaven, gave him a vision of the end, and then told him to write down what he had witnessed. The vision that God gave John was one of what it is going to look like when God's word is fulfilled. John saw that there will be people from every nation, tribe, people group, and language around the throne, all praising the One who sits on the throne! This record of John's visit to heaven shows us that God already knows what it will look like in the end. He knew before the creation of the world what everything would look like. All that has taken place in the world since the creation has been leading up to that time when multitudes will gather around the throne and worship God forever and ever.
As we begin to focus on our people groups, we must begin now to get a picture in our minds of what it will look like when each of our people groups is fully evangelized. What will it look like if every one among the people group has had an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ? God is not willing that anyone perish; therefore, we must begin our ministries by asking God to give us a glimpse of the "end," a picture of what it will look like when the task is complete. Without this picture, without knowing where we are going, we will never reach our destinations.