Do you know who the unreached are?

By December 12, 2018

International (MNN) – Bibles For The World has a mission to see God’s Word accessible globally. Part of fulfilling this mission means reaching unreached people groups with the Gospel. That’s why Bibles For The World is part of The Alliance for the Unreached. This alliance is a group of various mission organizations raising awareness and activating the Church to fulfill the Great Commission. The movement focuses around one Sunday each year, Pentecost Sunday, or as they call it, the International Day for the Unreached (June 9, 2019).

Unreached and the Great Commission

“It was Jesus’ great commission, His great commandment to make disciples of all nations. The fact that so little of the Church really even recognizes that as a challenge today is of great concern to us,” Bibles For The World’s Jeff McLinden says.


(Photo courtesy of Suzy Hazelwood.)

International Day for the Unreached is a prayer movement, but it is also an opportunity to educate the Church on who the unreached are, where they can be found, why they are unreached, and what we can do to reach them.

McLinden says part of the challenge of International Day for the Unreached is raising awareness. Earlier this year, the Barna research group released a study showing that only 37 percent of church-goers know what the Great Commission is, or at least recognize the term. Raising awareness starts with pointing the Church back to Jesus and His command to share the Gospel.

“We want to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are still 2 billion plus people in the world who have never had exposure to the Gospel. [They] don’t have exposure to the Gospel through any local churches, or any presence of Bibles in their language, or Bibles in their communities. They don’t have access in other words,” McLinden explains.

“A lot of people think ‘unreached people’ might be the person down the street that lives a terrible lifestyle. So, they must be unreached with the Gospel. We’re really trying to draw attention to those people internationally who have no access”

What is Unreached?

To be unreached means to have zero access to God’s Word. The person down the street who does have access to the Bible may just be unengaged. However, there are still people groups who do not have God’s Word in their language. The Alliance for the Unreached, is helping people recognize who is unreached while also providing tools to change it.

Through the Alliance for the Unreached, resources for Bible study groups, Sunday school groups, pastors, missions boards, and more to give people a starting point to reach the unreached. These resources are primarily for the North American Church, but McLinden says it’s a movement that’s resonating overseas too. Because of this, requests have been made for these materials to be translated and made available for people across the globe, too. You can find the tools here.

Be Prayerful, Be Active

So, how do we get involved?

“Well I think Mission Network News is a wonderful partner in this effort and of course, they’re one of the members of The Alliance for the Unreached. We believe that [MNN’s] audience is probably more informed than a lot of believers, just generally, in the United States. But one of the things they can certainly do is pray,” McLinden states.

McLinden says at The Alliance for the Unreached, they believe that prayer is at the core of the movement for reaching the unreached. Pray not just for the unreached people groups, but for the efforts to reach them. Pray for more resources from the Church to go to reaching the unreached. Currently, statistics show that only about one percent of Church resources go to reaching the unreached. Ask God to put the need of reaching people without access to the Gospel on the heart of His Church.

Another way to get involved is to intentionally pray by using the summaries of unreached people groups published by Joshua Project (another member of the alliance). These summaries include information and religious influence, if any, on the group and more. Pick a group and specifically pray for that group. Then share the information with your friends and family!

Find advocacy resources here!


Note: This article previously mistakenly said Bibles For The World provides resources like Bible study materials. However, it is actually the Alliance for the Unreached who provides these materials.

Header photo courtesy of Bibles For The World.

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