I am burdened for those people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus one time. They are gathered around the globe in their own language/cultural groups, what we call tribes or peoples.
An unreached people group is different than an unevangelized people group in that:
- an unreached people group does not have a sufficient number of churches and believers to evangelize the remainder of their own people group; they lack the strength of numbers or resources to be able to share Jesus with all the other members of their people group. often it is because of persecution, fear, lack of discipleship and terrain (mountains or jungles or deserts separate them from others of their group).
- an enevangelized PG is one where no one among the people group who speaks their language has heard the gospel. a least evangelized PG means very few individual people have heard the gospel in that people group, usually less than 1%.
In light of the above, imagine this: more than 90% of the churches resources world-wide goes to work with the already reached and already evangelized people groups of the world. That means we are pouring huge amounts of money and effort and people into helping those who have already heard the gospel. We are giving time and energy to help people learn about such good things as inner healing, how to do inductive bible study, good parenting skills, Sunday school, men's ministries, etc., etc., while over one third of the global family, approximately 3.3 billion people, have never heard the name of Jesus one time in their life, and never will unless someone learns their language, and then braces extreme weather and living conditions to go to them with the good news of Jesus.
On top of that, those who are unreached and unevangelized are the poorest of the poor. They die because of lack of water or water borne diseases. In some people groups over 65% of the children die before the age of 5.
So, in my mind their is a place for local churches and ministries and organizations and networks to declare that we must all work energetically to change that 90% to 50% of how our resources are spent. It will take a massive mind-set change, and a new level of courage and suffering. There there are reasons why the unreached are unreached and the poorest of the poor are poor: they are in the hard places. All the easy places have been taken.
There are about 5875 distinct unreached and totally unevangelized tribes and peoples in the world. We know where they are, who they are and what languages they speak; so it is a matter of focus and dedication, not ignorance, to reach them. It will mean tremendous focus, shall I say, passionate focus, or, extreme focus. While local churches continue to be preoccupied with self-preservation and church growth where they are, running bigger and better programs to attract more and more already evangelized people, we will never reach the unreached and respond to the poor of the earth.
Some people want to argue about the best way to do church, the right form of church government, how to run the programs of the church, etc. I have no interest in such discussions. Maybe I did when I was young and argumentative. No more. I want to see one thing while I still have breath: people who have never heard His name hear their is a God who made them and has not forgotten them.
it will take extreme intense severe radical relentless unyielding fierce FOCUS to share the love of Jesus with people who have never heard his name. My plea is for those people.
With gratitude to Jesus,