TO REACH ALL NATIONS
When Jesus told his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations,” he wasn’t commanding us to go to every nation-state. The word “nations” here is the Greek word “ethnos,” which refers to a group of people joined by similar culture or customs. The better translation would be people groups.
Across the world today, there are over 7,000 unreached people groups (UPGs). An unreached people group as defined by most missiologists today, is a people group that is less than 2% followers of Jesus. That is the percentage of people sociologists say is required to create and sustain a self-perpetuating move toward the Gospel. UPGs, by definition, need engagement from those outside of their people group.
Evangelism vs. Missions
This is where we draw a distinction between evangelism and missions. Evangelism is spreading the Gospel and pointing people to Jesus wherever you are. Missions is intentional, cross-cultural proclamation of the Gospel in places where Jesus is not yet known. Every Christian is called to both, but we cannot confuse the two.
There is a caveat. Global travel and immigration have exploded like never before in history, and it is likely that members of many different UPGs live and work in your own community. We should be very aware of this powerful opportunity for the gospel. Reaching UPGs that have come to us can ultimately lead to converted family members taking the gospel back to places that are incredibly difficult or even impossible for cross-cultural missionaries to access.
The Greatest Injustice
The Joshua Project estimates there are over 7,000 unreached people groups in the world today. Many of these groups have zero known followers of Jesus. These 7,000+ unreached people groups total 3.4 billion people and represent 42% of the global population.
And for many of these UPGs, we’re not just talking about a general disinterest in Christianity or only having a small number of churches of Christians around them. We are talking about no access to the Gospel.
If you are born into this 42% of the population, there’s a good chance you will live and die without ever as much as meeting a Christian, let alone hearing the life-giving message of the Gospel. We believe this is the greatest injustice in the world today.
Jesus told every believer to move out and make followers of every ethnos, of every people group!
Here’s another layer. Look at Matthew 24:14:
Matthew 24:14: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
If you love justice, if you want to see the world made right again, if you long to see the end of suffering, wars, discrimination, racism, poverty, and death itself, then pray that the Lord gives you a passion for the unreached. While those who are in Christ are the “first taste” of the coming Kingdom in this sin-broken world, true wholeness and restoration will not come until Jesus returns. And Scripture directly ties that to reaching UPGs with the Gospel.
If you belong to Jesus, the Great Commission belongs to you.
Not just to your pastor. Not just to the professional missionaries. Not just to some special forces subset of heroic super-Christians. It belongs to you, and it belongs to me. It belongs to everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus, including those of us who work in the business world.
But how will we go?
What Drives Us
THE GREAT COMMISSION
Jesus commanded his followers to go and make disciples of all nations
42% of the global population has little to no access to the Gospel
BUSINESS AS MISSION
The marketplace is uniquely designed to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed
FAITH & WORK
The Gospel redeems all things including the work of our hands