Christian Living
Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation
Jan 2, 2017
heaven awaits


Defining the Great Global Task of the Church Today

There are billions of people who have never heard the saving message of the Gospel. For the multitudes living in the least evangelized areas of the world, it is possible to live one’s entire life without ever meeting a follower of Jesus.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, or ethnē—not the current geopolitical nations that exist today, but rather groups of people who possess a distinct culture, ethnicity, and language. The term “people group” has been coined to describe the Biblical concept of the nation. Thinking in these terms has allowed the church to be more aware of the vast Great Commission task that remains ahead of us.

Arabs riding camels through the desert

Can you sense the heartbreak of God for the multitudes of lost people who have yet to know of His grace?

The reality is that thousands of people groups have yet to be disciples. According to the Joshua Project, there are 16,300 people groups in the world today—and more than 6,900 are still considered unreached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The word “unreached” describes the alarming reality that 2 percent or less of the souls within each of these groups are born-again Christians.  

The vast majority of today’s unreached people groups live within the 10/40 Window—the area of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia between 10 and 40 degrees latitude. Examples of these distinct groups include the nearly 16 million Saudi-Najdi Arabs and the more than 11 million Northern Yemenis, which contain little to no known believers. The Saudis are currently 0.1% Christian, and the Yemenis have a reported 0.0% Christian population.

Can you sense the heartbreak of God for the multitudes of lost people who have yet to know of His grace? Can you feel the urgency when God says in His Word, “The harvest is ready! The day of salvation is here! Lift up your voice!”

Receive a free six-month subscription to our My Journal magazine.

Christ’s love compels us to ask ourselves, “How can I help reach the lost with the Good News of Jesus?” For every Christian, this journey must always begin with prayer. And whether God calls us to send out missionaries, go ourselves, or support ‘sending’ ministries like Leading The Way—we can rest in the fact that He alone will bring the fruit. 

There will come a day when God’s great global task will be accomplished. In fact, the Lord has revealed its completion in Revelation 7:9: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every ethnous, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

In the meantime, Jesus Christ has left us, His disciples, with specific marching orders—to make disciples of all nations. The real question is how we as Christ-followers will be faithful to the task He has set before us. Each of us must ponder in our own hearts how God is calling us to be global Christians—God’s faithful messengers to those who are still waiting to hear the Gospel.

Looking for ways to make an impact?

  1. PRAY. Jesus said, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). Your prayers are precious to God! See how He leads you to pray, and consider joining others in a time of prayer for the nations.
  2. GIVE. Find creative ways to support those who are serving in the mission field, whether through prayer, financial support, or personal encouragement.
  3. GO. Ask the Lord to reveal what mission field He has placed before you—whether across the world or in your own community.