The previous two posts have presented two reasons for stressing the need to "embrace" unengaged unreached people groups even though there are many other lost people who could be evangelized. First, I urged us to consider that although other peoples may be just as lost as those in UUPGs, those groups at least had some access to the gospel and had someone already working to get the gospel to them. Second, I reminded us that the Great Commission commands us to make disciples of all people groups not to make all people disciples. There will always be more lost people that we could evangelize, but someone has to stay focused on those peoples who have not yet heard.
That leads us to a third reason for making the effort to reach UUPGs our highest priority. Such a focus is the most strategic way to assure that as many as possible have the chance to hear the gospel and be saved. Any other definition of missions' ultimate goal will lessen the likelihood that the lost will be found.
One of the ways that the concept of people groups has been explained is that a people group is the largest social unit through which the gospel will spread without encountering significant barriers. Since the gospel spreads fastest within homogeneous units, establishing a witness within each unit is essential to seeing the greatest number of people saved in the shortest amount of time. Cultural insiders face less resistance than cultural outsiders. Establishing a group of multiplying disciples within every people group is the best way to see as many come to Christ as possible.
The sower scatters the seed. He does not pour the seed into a limited area and wait for the developing plants to reproduce and cover the field. He has an optimal plan for broadcasting the seed over the whole field so that the harvest will be as bountiful as possible within the growing season.
I once attended a church that served the Lord's Supper to more than 15,000 worshipers every weekend. Each person took the juice representing the blood from a small plastic cup that was passed by ushers to congregants on trays. I couldn't imagine how long it would take to fill that many cups one by one. Then I discovered that they had a machine that filled an entire tray of cups at a time. In a way, I am saying that the fastest way to fill the world with the gospel is to change our thinking from the goal of discipling every individual (fill each cup) to the goal of discipling each people group (fill each tray).
In His wisdom, the Lord instructed His followers to get the gospel to all nations, the socio-ethno-linguistic cultural units that make up the world. Once each unit is "infected" with the Word, it will spread to each individual more quickly. His strategy for saving as many individuals as possible is to plant indigenous churches within each people group of the world. Let's make that our prayer today.
The Purpose of This Blog
In response to the challenge by the Southern Baptist Convention that churches take on the task to share the gospel with unengaged unreached people groups, the missions team of Harmony Pittsburg Baptist Association felt the need for a way to focus prayer on the task. This blog is intended to facilitate prayer for those contemplating their role in fulfilling the Great Commission. This on-line prayer guide may prove useful to those exploring a call to missions involvement as well as to those who have sensed a call to pray for those who will go to the front lines.