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.
An unreached people group is 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.
The thing that distinguishes them as unreached is the fact that there is no evangelical gospel witness established among them. To reiterate the importance of that statement: Unreached means much more than merely being unevangelized. Unreached means there is no access to the gospel among that people group. There is no witness for Jesus among them!
Nearly three billion people (27.9 % of the world’s population) live in these unreached segments of society (people groups). These peoples are cut off from any access to the gospel and are largely ignored or unknown by the Christian world. Sadly, nearly 90% of the missionary work force and finances are targeting already reached regions with the gospel.
“American Christians spend 95% of their offerings on home-based ministry, 4.5% on cross-cultural efforts in already-reached people groups, and only 0.5% to reach the unreached.” Source: Bibles for All World Prayer Map quoted by The Traveling Team (thetravelingteam.org)
To Every Tribe’s Commitment to Unreached Peoples
There are almost 7,000 unreached, and presently unengaged, 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.