The Great Commission has a long way to go

By February 12, 2020
Unreached praying to Buddha

International (MNN) — The International Day for the Unreached is May 31, and billions around the world still fall into that category.

“Not even close,” says Marv Newell, Senior Vice President of Missio Nexus, the largest Evangelical mission network in North America.

Of the thousands of culturally linked people groups around the world, the Gospel has not spread to all of them, and really is not even close to doing so.

World map distorted to highlight areas with most unreached people groups. (courtesy of Missio Nexus on Facebook)

Especially since, as Newell says, the Great Commission is not about people just hearing the Gospel, but being discipled in it as well. “And that’s far from what where we see that we are with so many people groups. Jesus was the one that said, go and make disciples of the nations. And how do you make [them]? By going, by teaching, and by baptizing. Those three things need to go hand in hand for us to consider that they have actually been made disciples.”

But the drive to disciple every people group in Christ is often lacking from the North American church, says Newell. Only 3% of church funding goes towards reaching these kinds of people groups. Newell believes the Gospel message has lost much of its shine.

Photo Courtesy International Day for the Unreached

That is the reason for the International Day for the Unreached, which this year takes place on May 31. To get involved with the Alliance for the Unreached (of which Missio Nexus is a founding member) visit

Getting Involved

Newell says, “Even the rank and file in the pew is [not exempt] from being engaged in the Great Commission. Now we’re not saying everyone needs to go. But there’s different ways that they can be engaged in it.” To check out the Gateway to the Unreached Podcast, click here.

In North America, as people from these unreached groups migrate in, this involvement becomes even easier. Newell says, “Many times, these people that we have classified as unreached have migrated to our areas and they’ve become reachable even here, the North American context.”

“For instance, when you see people that are dressed up like a Muslim in your airports, and they walk by you in the donut shop or at the gas station, wherever you are, instead of thinking, ‘I wish these people would not have come to my community’ . . . we should [think], God has placed these people here, and I know the Gospel, I should use this as an opportunity for even me locally to be engaging these people.” 

Newell says Christians should pray for the Holy Spirit to burn the Great Commission into their hearts. Pray also that families, small groups, and churches would enthusiastically embrace the building of Christ’s kingdom. Most of all, pray that all nations and people would not just be reached, but blessed through the Church.


Man praying to Buddha (Courtesy of IDU)

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