I spent two years as a missionary to one of the most unreached people groups in the world. The natives are extremely skeptical […]
I spent two years as a missionary to one of the most unreached people groups in the world. The natives are extremely skeptical about all things related to God and faith; most don’t believe God exists; and they speak a different language. They are some of the most healthy, athletic, and intelligent people on the planet. Most of their earthly needs are satisfied, and as the Bible tells us in Proverbs, satisfied souls have little interest in the things of God.
To make it even more challenging, the numbers were not in my favor. I was the only Adventist Christian in a population of about 2,000. That ratio is worse than the ratio of Adventists to nonmembers in the 10/40 window. This mission field was the Harvard Business School.
Serving the Three W’s
Think about a prestigious secular university as an untapped mission field. There are no Bible workers or pastors; most of the natives are atheist. And God is rarely, if ever, a topic of conversation.
My experience represents a much larger mission field made up of a people group the Nicodemus Society refers to as the wealthy, worldly, and well-educated (W3s). The Nicodemus Society is dedicated to sharing the gospel with the W3s of society. We believe W3s need Jesus, but they have been evangelistically neglected and require different approaches. We provide training about how to naturally and authentically live our faith in all aspects of our lives, and how to proactively and intentionally have spiritual conversations that lead to Bible studies.
The challenge is that W3s are difficult to access; and one must have both intellectual and personal credibility to be a witness. In short, heart-converted Adventist W3s are the best means of reaching other W3s with the message of God’s love.
We need more Adventists in business, law, science, engineering, academia, government, the arts, and health care reaching their fellow W3 coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This means equipping Adventist professionals, as well as encouraging Adventist young people to pursue careers in these fields. This means expanding the definition of a mission field beyond a place you need a passport to reach, or where donations and relief efforts are the norm. Ellen White wrote extensively about the importance of the W3 mission field. For example:
“It requires a strong spiritual nerve to bring religion into the workshop and the business office, sanctifying the details of everyday life, and ordering every transaction according to the standard of God’s Word. But this is what the Lord requires.”*
We may be the only Adventist Christians our W3 friends will ever meet, or the only ones with whom our W3 friends would be willing to discuss matters of God and faith. Will we accept the call to this mission field?
* Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1913), p. 279.
Cynthia Heidi is a management consultant and co-founder of the Nicodemus Society (www.nicodemussociety.org).