Did you ever stop to think how many of the billions of people in the world have never trusted in Jesus, possibly have never even heard His name? There are 6,933 people groups worldwide (over two billion people) with little or no Christian witness among them.
This number comes from the Joshua Project. That number is too big for most of us to wrap our minds around. After reading “People Groups Around the World—Not Just Lines on a Map” you may have wondered, “What can I really do?”
Go to the Joshua Project Web site and limit your search to people groups in the United States. There are 365 people groups living in America. Of those people groups, 63 qualify as unreached. Some believers are called to travel to other areas of the world to spread the gospel, but God may be calling you to witness to people from an unreached people group living in your own backyard!
How can you get to know people from other people groups, celebrate their cultures, and share with them your faith in Christ?
- Learn about local unreached people groups. You can discover which people groups are in your area and learn about these groups. Go to GlobalFrontierMissions.org and select “Welcome the Unreached” from the “Get Involved” drop down menu. This article explains that people groups from around the world are right in your community, in your backyard. Follow the link to PeopleGroups.info, register a username, and search by zip code to see what people groups live where you live. You can gain more information about each of these people groups from the Joshua Project Web site.
- Pray for unreached people groups. On the Joshua Project home page, you can select “Prayer Cards” on the pull down menu for “Discover.” You can select prayer cards just for the unreached people groups in the U.S. From that multi-page listing, you can find the prayer cards for the unreached people groups in your area. Use these prayer cards to pray for these people groups; give other Christian friends copies of the prayer cards so they can be praying, too.
- Get involved. Talk to your pastor, to your Women on Mission® leaders, and to other church leaders about reaching out to these unreached people groups. Do they need clothes, food, or other assistance? Mobilize an effort to meet their needs, such as a clothing drive or a community block party. Do they need classes in English as a second language (ESL)? Look into providing your church building as the site of ESL classes. Stuck for a good idea? Check out the “Serve” pull down menu on the Joshua Project Web site. Whatever you do, prepare to share your faith in a very simple, relational way.
Learning, praying, and doing all look good on paper, but require you to step out and take action! The unreached people groups of the world are in your backyard. Ask God to guide you to discover ways to connect with them.
Suzanne Krein is a freelance writer from Stafford, Virginia, whose young adult daughters are following God’s calling into full-time ministry.