Unreached peoples

MNN (International) – There are over 16,000 unreached peoples around the world, more than two billion individuals who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet only one percent of money given to foreign missions goes to bring the Word of God to these unreached people groups. In fact, Christians seem to be largely unaware of this massive need.

However, a small group of ministries has banded together to help Christians hear about these unreached peoples and fulfill Jesus’ command to make disciples in all the world. Their combined ministry is the Alliance for the Unreached and together they champion the International Day for the Unreached.

The theology of “and”

The International Day for the Unreached, or IDU, seeks to put practical feet on the theology of “and”. Larry Andrews, from Partners International and the Alliance for the Unreached explains that the theology of “and” really centers around Jesus’ commands given in Matthew 28 and again in Acts 1.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Jesus does not ask his disciples to choose one of the places to go, Jerusalem, or Judea or Samaria, or to the ends of the earth. He expects them to preach his good news in every part of the world, even to the remotest unreached peoples.

Andrews put it this way, “He intentionally uses the word ‘and’, which again is reflective of the same command that we see in the book of Matthew when he leaves us the Great Commission. So Jesus’ heart is to be witnesses in Jerusalem for sure, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the remotest parts of the world. The theology of ‘and’ is really around this encompassing nature of Jesus’ heart to reach the uttermost parts of the world.”

Working out the command

The Alliance for the Unreached helps bring this command to life through the International Day for the Unreached. It is a concrete day where people can turn their attention to the spread of the Gospel. Fittingly, it is always on Pentecost Sunday. This year that is on May 20, 2018.

Unreached praying to Buddha

(Courtesy of IDU)

To help churches and individuals double down on their efforts, the Alliance for the Unreached has put materials on the IDU website which you can find here. There, Christians learn of the great need of the Gospel around the world and how they can obey Jesus by bringing the Gospel to all people groups.

Andrews explains, “We’ve explicitly put together a ‘how do I get involved’ hand-out. How do I talk to my pastor? How do I approach my missions committee to get more advocacy within your own heart, within your own church to be part of putting hands to feet and fulfilling what God’s asked us to do in obeying this command?”

Start today

According to Andrews, understanding God’s grace is the starting place for all of this. Seeing Jesus’ great love is the only way Christians will feel passion for the unreached peoples of the Earth. When that passion is cultivated, Andrews encourages individuals and groups to learn more about unreached peoples and get involved.

He listed off several ways to begin extending the Gospel wherever you are now.

  1. Pray that God will show you how to use your unique gifts and passions to spread the Good News of Christ.
  2. Consider supporting the members of the Alliance for the Unreached: Reach Beyond, Bibles for the World, Operation Mobilization, Missio Nexus, World Mission, Partners International, Mission Network News, and ZimZam Global.
  3. Pray that God would open your eyes and your heart to be moved by the Great Commission.
  4. Encourage your church and your pastor to teach about missions on the International Day of the Unreached on May 20.

Go to dayfortheunreached.org today to get resources about unreached peoples and take practical action steps to champion God’s heart for people on the International Day of the Unreached.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *