Making it our aim to plant healthy reproducing churches in unengaged unreached people groups is the only way to assure the completion of the Great Commission. Any other aim will always come up short of full completion.
In one way this fact is obviously true because the mandate is to save some from every people group, not just to save as many as possible (see the post "A Matter of Obedience"). Preaching to the Southern Baptist Convention, David Platt illustrated this point by asking the audience to imagine a company of rescue teams sent out to help victims of several towns hit by tornadoes. When the whole company reaches the first town, they find more devastation and victims than they could ever help. He asked, would it make sense for the company to send teams on to other towns, knowing that doing so might mean that some victims at the present location would not be reached in time? He pointed out that getting to other towns would require travel time, time that could have been used in rescuing people. He added that some of the other towns were even known to resist help from others even to the point of attacking and killing outsiders. So would it be logical for the company to send teams to those other towns instead of focusing on the first one? His answer was NO, unless the commander had ordered them to save some from all the towns, not just save as many people as possible. That is precisely what our Commander has ordered us to do.
Think of a large farm with various fields, some with grains, some with berries, and some with trees bearing different fruits and nuts. In a particular year, the harvest is so plentiful that the workers cannot get the whole of any one field harvested. So the owner sends the laborers into the various fields to get as many from each field as possible because he wants at least some of each variety. Such a situation is comparable to what the Lord has ordered us to do. (Of course, another solution is more laborers--the subject of a different post.)
There is another point to make. Practically, we don't know for sure that sending workers to UUPGs will lessen the number saved. One of those groups might turn out to be particularly responsive. One of those groups might prove to be the key to reaching many other groups. We can't know for sure how the Lord of the harvest has planned it all out, so it is best if we do it His way, not the way that seems best to us.
Another comparison for our task would be to the taking of a long, multiple-choice test (one like students take for getting into a university or graduate school). A strategy recommended for the best results is to avoid taking too much time with any one question. It is better to go completely through the test answering the questions that one knows the answer to and then go back to the ones that require figuring out. In that way, the student answers as many questions as possible with the added bonus that sometimes the answer to a later question might help answer an earlier one.
Unless we get the gospel to all the people groups as the Lord has commanded us, we will not know how He has provided for things to work out. There may be another Billy Graham or Hudson Taylor in that next people group to be reached. The way to reach the most people is to do what He has commanded--make disciples of all nations, i.e., people groups.
Let's continue to pray for all those who are embracing unengaged unreached people groups. Let's pray that many more will join them.
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.