According to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, there are 3,501 unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPG). An unreached people group means there is less than 2% evangelical witness. An unengaged people group means there is no known evangelical witness and no church planting strategy to engage them. How can God’s people better participate in His mission to reach the nations with the gospel of Christ? We must personalize for ourselves and our churches what it will take to engage the unengaged and then engage them.
The following information is taken from the International Mission Board’s website:
CONNECT WITH A PEOPLE GROUP
What is a people group? It is a group of people who have the same language, culture, history, customs and family/clan identities. For strategic purposes, a people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow without encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance.
There are still many people groups today with little or no access to the Gospel and who are considered unreached, meaning they are less than 2% evangelical Christian. To connect with an unreached people group, a UPG, we encourage you to explore a website we’ve developed to help you learn about UPGs throughout the world. As you continue to research, you can begin to:
- study their culture
- identify their language
- identify their religion(s)
- discover cultural landmines that need to be avoided for long-term effectiveness
- identify barriers to their understanding the Gospel
- discover where they live worldwide (locally and globally)
- register your commitment
Adopt to Pray
There are many who are untouched by the Gospel and have little opportunity to hear about Jesus. Your church can adopt a specific people group for whom you can begin to pray intentionally and passionately. As we are partnering together to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, we are engaged in spiritual warfare so prayer is key! If you lead your church to adopt a people group for ongoing prayer, you can pray for:
- Barriers to the Gospel to be broken down
- God to send more laborers to the field to reach them
- God to prepare hearts of the peoples to receive Him
- Any missionaries that may be working among that people group
Partner to Reach
God has called each of us and our local churches to be a part of proclaiming His Gospel to all peoples. As God awakens your heart to global missions, He may lead you to partner with the work of one of your IMB missionaries. A church desiring to partner will come alongside and join the missionary on the field to work hand in hand to see sustainable, effective churches planted among a people group.
Seven Steps to Connect:
1. Pray for God’s guidance
2. Discover your church’s natural affinity (DNA)
3. Determine the church’s expectations
4. Work with church leaders and identify a mission “champion”
5. Investigate opportunities
6. When God directs you to a specific unreached people group, pray and celebrate God’s direction.
7. Communicate, follow through and keep your commitments
Embrace to Engage God’s mission is clear – proclaim His Name among all peoples. Yet today there are still approximately 3,800 people groups not being engaged with the Gospel. There is no one working intentionally among them to see churches planted. Your church can take the Gospel to a people who have not heard. If God is leading you to Embrace an unengaged, unreached people group, begin your journey at http://www.call2embrace.org.