Nearly 90 years ago, a missionary wrote a song meant to galvanize the Western church and draw hundreds of missionaries to China. This Sunday, more than 4,100 churches around the world will sing “Facing a Task Unfinished” with a modern twist.
In 1920, Frank Houghton traveled east with China Inland Mission. Nearly a decade later, the missions agency issued a call for 200 “men and women who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ” to minister to the country then torn apart by civil war.
Aided by Houghton’s song, the ministry got its 200 missionaries. And by 2015, the number of Christians in China grew to somewhere between 67 million and 106 million.
China Inland Mission became OMF International, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year. As part of the commemoration, OMF asked Keith and Kristyn Getty to update the hymn.
This Sunday, congregations worldwide will sing it in order to “draw attention to the imperative need for Christian evangelism worldwide.” So far, 4,121 churches in 81 countries are participating [see map].
The Gettys, who have changed the way evangelicals worship, made a few tweaks to the old song.
“My wife and I always comment that when we sing the hymn, it clears our minds of things that are, by comparison, irrelevant,” Keith told TGC. By reintroducing the song, the Gettys and OMF hope that “Christians around the world will get more excited about both music and mission, but also about living the mission of God on our own doorsteps and in our own kitchens, as well as around the world.”
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra