Why Unreached People Groups?
Matthew 28:19 and Luke 24:47 are key Great Commission passages. When coupled with Revelation 5:9 and 7:9, God’s intent for the extent of the gospel becomes clear. In both the Matthew and Luke texts Jesus uses the Greek word “ethne” to explain what a biblical “nation” is. The gospel is not intended only for every geographical/political nation, but for each ethnicity within every country.
The Revelation 5 and 7 passages give a glorious glimpse into the end-time reality of worship in heaven. The worldwide worshippers of Jesus will come from every “nation,” which is more fully defined as “all tribes and peoples and languages.” The unmistakable conclusion is that the elect from every ethnicity on the planet is the expressed intent of the death of Christ, and thus, every people group must be the target of the gospel.
Missiologists typically define a people great as an ethno-linguistic group that shares a self-identity among themselves as a distinct culture, language, social class along with their own collection of customs, and shared history that sets them apart from other people groups. Typically, a people group is called “unreached” if less than 2% of the population claims to be evangelical. That 2% figure is a bit of an arbitrary number, but it’s aimed at identifying whether there is a sufficient Christian presence within the culture to carry on a sustainable, indigenous church-planting movement.
Nearly three billion people (about 40% of the world’s population) live in these unreached segments of society (people groups). For some of these people groups, there is a deep set hardness of heart toward the gospel message. For others, there is a true lack of access, such that some have never even heard the name of Jesus.
To Every Tribe’s Commitment to Unreached Peoples
There are about 7,000 unreached people groups around the world. It is the passion of To Every Tribe to target, engage, and reach some of these people groups with Jesus and the gospel.
Targeting means to identify and research these unreached peoples.
Engaging means to get church planting teams on site among them.
Reaching means no less than establishing nationally-led, nationally-supported, and self-reproducing churches that will complete the job of evangelization among their own people and initiate missionary outreach to other unreached peoples beyond their own people group.