3 Reasons to Care About Unreached People Groups

The church needs to prioritize the places where no else is going with the gospel.

From Message magazine issue "One Body"

Throughout history, Christianity has experienced periods of setback and advance, darkness and revival, death and resurrection.

At times, it may be tempting to believe that Christ’s kingdom is “losing” when Christian cultures recede. But as G.K. Chesterton noted, “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”

Today, even while we see previously “Christian” nations declining, we also see the gospel spreading like wildfire across the Global South. As missionaries pursue people groups who have never heard the gospel, we know that the kingdom of God will ultimately prevail across the globe.

This is why we care about prioritizing reaching those who have no gospel access:

1. Christ Commanded It

Jesus commanded his apostles to disciple all the nations (Matthew 28:19). We are commissioned not just to evangelize every individual but to labor for the day when all the nations of the earth will know Christ.

“Nations” does not simply mean “countries.” Biblically, the word “nation” can describe ethnicity, language, culture, and more. Understanding this, some researchers count as many as 7,414 current unreached peoples—totaling more than 3 billion individuals. Until this number drops, our mission is incomplete.

2. Paul Modeled It

Paul was particularly burdened for the unreached: “[I] preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Romans 15:20, emphasis added). The apostle knew that those without access to the gospel were top priority.

Paul also asks, “[H]ow are [the lost] to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10:14b). The answer is, they cannot. We must send more workers like Paul to reach those without any Christian witness.

3. We Need It

David Livingstone remarked, “The best cure for a sick church is a missionary diet.” Our churches and families are spiritually anemic today because we neglect the work of the gospel.

We pray for revival in our nation, but what if revival is tarrying until we embrace our missionary call to the world?

We should never give up on the cause of the gospel at home. But we cannot forget God’s heart for those who have never heard. One day, the knowledge of Christ will fill the earth “as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).