International (MNN) — At last year’s Finishing the Task conference, a historical moment took place when the remainder of the unreached people groups were adopted by missions groups committed to seeing them recieve the Gospel within the next 2 years. Fast-forward to today, and the question ‘what next’ still hangs in the air?
Jon Fugler, the chief content officer of Trans World Radio (TWR) and a chairman for the Alliance for the Unreached, offers an answer. Hint: it hinges on the difference between adopted, reached, and engaged.
“We have a huge job ahead of us. When you think about the Great Commission, it goes beyond just engaging people with the Gospel. It goes beyond with reaching them with the Gospel. What we’re talking about [is] evangelism and discipleship. We’re just at the starting line, really, for many of those people groups,” Fugler explained.
This is why Alliance for the Unreached encourages the body of Christ to unite in prayer each year on Pentecost Sunday in what is known as the International Day for the Unreached. Learn more about the event here.
Reached vs. Engaged
Traditionally, a people group is considered reached when the evangelical Christian population reaches two percent. But reaching this mark does not immunize the people group from dropping below the two percent mark and becoming unreached again. What it does mean is that the Christians within the people group can begin reaching their own people for Christ.
Still, reached is not the same as engaged. Fugler notes that one of the main aspects of an engaged peopled group is whether there are full-time Christian workers within the people group. Other factors include Christian radio, access to the Jesus Film, churches, and the ratio of Christian workers to the people group’s overall population.
Reaching the Unreached
The very first step of reaching the remaining unreached people groups will take innovation. After all, many of these unreached people groups have remained unreached because they are so ideologically difficult to impact with the Gospel message. The discipleship and evangelism of the unreached groups will likely rest on the shoulders of national believers, especially in areas where foreigners are barred, such as Yemen or North Korea.
However, reaching these unreached people groups in the first place is going to take innovation. Fugler notes TWR is reaching people across the globe through radio. Radio is often able to enter countries where people cannot, including where the internet is heavily regulated. But in reaching people with the Gospel message, TWR is also equipping and discipling believers through sermons and other resources.
“We’ve got to be creative. We’ve got to look at ways that we can get the Gospel to that people group, and not just look at one size fits all. We need to be strategic about it,” Fugler says.
Pray for the Great Commission
Pray for wisdom in reaching unreached people groups through culturally relevant methods. And please, pray for unity within the Church. Also, pray for partnerships between the Church body to accomplish this great task. Finally, ask God to give those involved with reaching unreached people groups creative and specific ways to extend Christ’s love and grace.
“Not everybody has the answer. But together, we have a piece of that answer, and we have a piece of that solution. Let’s work on that together as the body of Christ,” Fugler says.
To learn more about the Alliance for the Unreached and how to get involved through its International Day for the Unreached, CLICK HERE.
Header photo courtesy of Alliance for the Unreached via Facebook.