Back to main magazine page now!!

The Metropolitan Mission Fields of the United States
By Bob Larson
investment by the churches in our movement
I have found that metropolitan church planters
to assist men who are willing to start and
do not seem to be focused on sin, crime,
pastor churches in metro America. I realize all
violence, and expense issues associated with
church planters are not called to the city, but I
reaching a city for Jesus. Rather, they seem to
am convinced that we must prayerfully pursue
focus more on the multitudes of people from
this unique and constantly expanding mission
many cultures who need to be reached in a
field. large city. Ask any one of them why they went
to a major metro area in America to plant a
Motivation for Reaching the Multitudes
church and they will immediately tell you it
In Acts 17, Paul, on his second missionary
was because they had an opportunity to reach
journey, arrives in Athens. He is struck spiritually
a vast cross section of humanity.

by this city that is wholly given to idolatry. Satan
Presently, in the United States we have a
population of 328 million people (July 2017
estimate). We are growing at a rate of 2.8
million people per year. There are now 273
metropolitan cities across America. These large,
sprawling urban areas are home to 82% of our
nation’s population. This means the majority
of America’s unchurched and unreached live
in our large cities. To effectively reach the
metro multitudes, it will take thousands of new
church plants and thousands of God-called
metro church planters with a vision to reach
the untapped metropolitan mission fields
of the United States. It will also take a major
Number 1, 2018
is using massive amounts of idolatry to blind the
eyes and minds of the citizens of Athens to the
Gospel. As I travel through our major cities and
observe the great spiritual needs there, I wonder
who will reach those who have been blinded by
Satan on the metro mission fields of the United
States? Who will pray for the prosperous who
live in the suburbs of these overcrowded cities?
Who will surrender to preach the Gospel and
start a New Testament Baptist church? I wonder
who is willing to reach the many ethnic groups
who come to America for a better life and
migrate to the metro mission fields? Who will
love the multitudes in the inner cities and be

willing to go to reach the lost on this overlooked
mission field?
When we observe the present spiritual
condition and populations of our major cities,
it ought to motivate us to do all we can to see
thousands of new churches started that will
reach the metro multitudes. Metropolitan
cities in the Sun Belt now set the pace for the
fastest rate of growth nationwide. Atlanta,
Charlotte, and Orlando top the list for rapid
rate of population growth in the Southeast, and
yet, today less than 30 percent in this region
go to any type of church. Meanwhile, the
Northeast still has the greatest concentration
of population in the country and the least
number of independent Baptist churches.

Think of the impact the Gospel could have on
this entire nation if we could plant hundreds
of new churches in the Northeast corridor.

Political and economic decisions made there
daily affect our entire nation.

Major metro cities like Washington, D.C.,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and
Boston should be targeted for hundreds of new
church plants. An exciting side benefit to planting
churches in the Northeast is the opportunity to
reach many English-speaking ethnic groups as
well as “main stream” Americans.

In the upper Midwest, the cities of Chicago,
Detroit, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee have a
combined population of over 18 million people.

Many Midwest cities have been overlooked by
independent Baptist church planters. In the
Pacific Northwest, the city of Seattle offers an
opportunity to reach over three million people.

Meanwhile in the Southwest United States,
18 million people now live in the metro Los
Angeles area and over four million people live
in the Phoenix Valley in Arizona. May God give
us the compassion of our Lord Jesus for the
multitudes on the metro mission fields of the
United States! But when he saw the multitudes,
he was moved with compassion on them, because
they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep
having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

Mobilization to Reach the Multitudes
In Acts 11, when the church at Jerusalem
received word that there was a great need to
minister to the many who had been saved at
Antioch, the Jerusalem church mobilized
to meet the need. Then tidings of these things