You’ve probably heard someone say, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.”
This cliché was popularized in the 1965 film, The Sound of Music. It’s meant to bring comfort and remind us of God’s sovereignty, even when things don’t go as we expect.
But the phrase makes no sense to me. Why would God do that? What could possibly lead the Lord of the universe to open a window when His people are looking to enter a door? When you seek to enter a door, you seek presence. We know God longs for communion with His people. Wouldn’t He rather throw open a greater door?
Wouldn’t it be better to say: When God closes one door, He often opens a greater door.
We see this happening in world missions.
For decades, we have referred to the “unreached” region of the world as the 10/40 Window.* Many involved in global missions describe it as closed, or mostly closed, to the Gospel. At great sacrifice, we’ve sent missionaries to this region, yet years later it’s still defined by many as closed or unreached.
The headlines from many mission agencies are discouraging or daunting. They rightly lament that 2 billion of our earth’s population live within that window, and many have never heard the Gospel. The 10/40 window seems closed to the Church and to Christ’s commission to make disciples.
All the while, a greater door of God’s work has been opening. The gentle wind of the Spirit moving through it subtly draws our attention in that direction. What direction? Toward the Church already established in or near these least-reached regions.
Look through the greater door and you see the small-in-number-but-great-in-Spirit local church in least-reached areas laboring for the harvest. They don’t need to travel far or learn new languages. Church leaders who call this region “home” are training disciple-makers who may spend 2 days on a bus, then hike the mountains for 3 more days to share the Gospel in a village where no one has ever heard of Jesus.
The local Church in those regions is equipping small business owners to use their business as mission. One such business man, after discipleship training and business training, understood that his barbershop could be a place where he literally laid his hands on the heads of dozens of people each day and prayed for them to know Jesus!
The 10/40 Window is a great open door for near-culture discipleship and church multiplication. God is already at work in His Church there and through His Church there.
Our focus is to help them reach their neighbors who share the same or a similar culture. For more on how it works, meet Raj.
There is a greater door opened in the 10/40 Window. And what God has opened, no man can shut.
*This describes the latitude and longitude of the region where the last push of world evangelism will take place.
Written by Jerry Meadows, Global Disciples Church Relations, originally posted on Globaldisciples.org