A false balance is an abomination to the Lord…
Unreached people groups are peoples among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians or where that community is too small or has inadequate resources to spread the Good News within that people group.
Unengaged people groups are peoples among which there is no active evangelization work underway. These groups may have heard about Jesus and may have Christian believers as members, however, there is no one able or willing to visibly or vocally witness to the gospel.
When it comes to missions and world evangelization, balance is lacking in the evangelical community. Only 2.4% of all missionaries go to the unreached. This is not balance. There is only one missionary for every 278,431 unreached peoples. This is not balance. Out of every dollar Christians give to missions, a little more than a penny goes to the unreached. This is not balance.
The solution is clear. More of the “reached” must go and take the gospel to unreached and unengaged peoples. There is a desperate need for people to offer up their careers, families, American comforts and own plans for their lives for the sake of making Christ’s name known. More Christians must make it their ambition to preach the gospel in places where Christ has not been named, as it says in Romans 15:20.
No Small Thing
This is not a small thing. Going and living in many of the countries where unreached people groups are found is often a monumental task. A short, two-week trip to the 10/40 window isn’t going to cut it. To make it your ambition to preach the gospel where it has not been preached, it must become your life—your passion—to tell of the wonderful works of Christ to these peoples who have never heard His name.
Do we still need to work among the “reached” and places that have access to the gospel? The answer is a resounding yes. We need those people and churches to be healthy to send, and preach the gospel everywhere. It is a both/and scenario. 2.4% is too small a number; it needs to increase.
Mission agencies have hundreds of positions available to do Romans 15:20 missions work. They do all they can to persuade people to adopt this glorious ambition, but sadly the workers are too few. Alternatively, when a position for a ministry position opens in the Western World, there are sometimes hundreds of applicants. As E.M. Bounds says in Power Through Prayer, “we need not better methods, but better men.”
Why not be unbalanced in our effort to force the pendulum to swing to the middle? Imagine how glorifying it would be to Christ’s name if 25% of missionaries went to the unreached. Will you go? If you can’t go, then will you give your resources and recruit others to go? Will you choose to obey the Lord’s Great Commission?
Justin Raby is a Recruitment and Mobilization Specialist with Avant Ministries, an organization which focuses on church planting among unreached peoples of the world. Justin and his wife Amy are the proud parents of 2 children, Evelyn and Silas.