I saw a Barnett Shale exploration map on a friend’s office wall. Each red dot represents a successful drill site for natural gas. Notice that the red dots are superimposed on the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas. As the map clearly shows, there is little to no natural gas in Dallas. Fort Worth is surrounded by the Barnett Shale, one of the largest U.S. gas discoveries of the 21st century.
I asked my petroleum/geologist friend, “Dennis, where would you drill if you were looking for gas?” He replied he would drill “in the middle of those red dots.” When I asked why, he said, “because that’s where the gas is! You always go to density.” In fact, he said if you drill in those fields, you are guaranteed to hit gas—you just don’t know exactly how much!
My mind went immediately to another map I saw recently which is another field of sorts. This map, published by the International Mission Board, plots the populations, density, and spiritual condition of the world. Where the map is grey, there is little to no population. The colors range from dark green (meaning at least 10% Christian) to red. Those red dots represent unreached peoples (those who have never heard the Gospel).
There are lots of needs throughout the world — needs that are so heartbreaking and so numerous they almost numb us into inaction. If we asked God what His #1 pursuit is, surely reaching those who have not yet had the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to be pretty high on His list!
If red represents those who have never heard, may I ask, “Where would you drill?”