International (MNN) — June 4th is Pentecost Sunday, marking the day the disciples received the Holy Spirit to empower them to fulfill the Great Commission. Yet 2,000 years later, over two billion people are still waiting to hear the Good News.
The world’s 2 billion people who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ are the focus of the second annual International Day for the Unreached, to be held on June 4th: Pentecost Sunday, which marks the birth of the early church. (Photo and caption courtesy of IDU)
One group dedicated to raising awareness for this great need is the Alliance for the Unreached. The Alliance is a partnership of Christian organizations and ministries dedicated to raising awareness for those who haven’t heard the Gospel, and motivating believers to respond. It consists of Bibles for the World, Missio Nexus, Operation Mobilization, World Mission, Global Mapping International, Partners International, and Reach Beyond.
“World Mission partners with [six] other amazing organizations as we collate together to focus on educating and communicating, and also doing the work of the ministry to those who have never heard,” Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission, says. “It’s amazing to think that 2,000 years after Jesus told us to go into all the nations of the world, that there still remain over 6,000 people groups without a Gospel witness.”
On Pentecost Sunday, June 4th, The Alliance is holding its second annual International Day for the Unreached. The purpose is to encourage pastors and Christian media outlets to advocate for the importance of bringing Christ to unreached people groups. It will also include a Facebook Live broadcast with a message by author and missions leader David Platt, as well as a concert by contemporary Christian recording artist Phil Stacey.
“Here we are a couple thousand years past when the Great Commission was given by Jesus, and we still are facing a situation in which about 40 percent of the world’s people groups do not have an adequate church within their midst to reach the rest of that people group,” Ted Esler, president of Missio Nexus, says.
“So when we’re talking about cultures, some are very large, numbering in the millions, [and] some are small. But they’re cultures with a distinct language and worldview, and for somebody in that culture to be acquainted with the Gospel, somebody has to cross a cultural barrier for them to be reached.”
Many residents in Central Asia are able to listen to Christian broadcasts on their radios. For some, it’s the only way they will hear the Gospel message. (Photo and caption courtesy of IDU)
Bibles for the World President John Pudaite is someone who understands just how much of an impact one’s willingness to cross a cultural barrier can make.
“My own people were an unreached people group just a little over 100 years ago,” Pudaite says. “But a single copy of the Gospel of John was sent to the chief of my grandfather’s tribe, and that has started a transformation that has continued through these generations.”
Despite the vast amounts of unreached people living in the world, according to IDU, only four percent of foreign missionaries are working among the unreached. World Mission’s Greg Kelley hopes that hearing about such a great need will inspire believers to take action.
“There still remain over 6,000 people groups without a Gospel witness. They’re considered unreached,” Kelley says. “And so our focus and our prayer for the Body of Christ is that every single follower of Jesus would have some kind of expression in their life of reaching and praying for those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
Interested in how you can play a part in bringing the Good News to the unreached? Click here for prayer points and resources to guide and equip you in your ministry.