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The Unreached

In missional terms, an unreached nation is an ethnic group of people (not a political country), who defines themselves by language and cultural boundaries, in which there is not a large enough population of Christian believers that can maintain an effective witness to the people within that group.  (Scholars like Ralph D. Winter have shown the percentage of active Christians that would be needed in a population to have an effective witness as being around 3% to 5%.)  Under this definition, almost 50% of the world’s people groups would be considered unreached.

Christ’s Challenge to us today is to go and make disciples of all nations (Mat 28:19).  If we consider ourselves “Christian” – i.e. “followers of Jesus Christ” - then we must be committed to this cause.  We must understand that without the preaching of the gospel, no one can be saved.  According to Scripture, everyone is headed to an eternal destruction in hell and Jesus is the only hope of salvation (Rev 20:12-15, Acts 4:12 & Rom 10:9-15).

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In many ways, the church has been forced to rethink what it means to be a Christian.  It is sad that in the history of Christian Missions there are so many instances where the motives of the church can hardly be considered Christian at all, and certainly not “Christ-like.”          Although we have many pages of dark history in this area, God has always been quietly at work bringing people to Himself, in spite of what has often been misrepresented as “Christian Missions.”  When we as the Church lose our ability to love people into the Kingdom and start to force people into the Kingdom, we are no longer acting in love, and we are not spreading the true Gospel of Christ, regardless of the number of our converts.

The Lord knows that the time is short and that every minute counts. He knows that the harvest is ripe, but the laborers are so few (Luke 10:2). He knows that thousands and even millions of lives hang in the balance of our decision as Christians to either heed His calling or disobey it.  One life lost to eternal destruction is of more value than the entire earth (Mt 16:26 & Mk 8:36).  In fact, the Bible makes it clear that the problem of unsaved men and women is the biggest dilemma that the world has ever faced.  Therefore, Christ implores us to go and preach His Good News to the nations, and especially those who have not been reached with the Gospel.

The question may be raised on how to define reached people vs. unreached people.  In missional terms, an unreached nation is an ethnic group of people (not a political country), who defines themselves by language and cultural boundaries, in which there is not a large enough population of Christian believers that can maintain an effective witness to the people within that group. 1  (Scholars like Ralph D. Winter have shown the percentage of active Christians that would be needed in a population to have an effective witness as being around 3% to 5%.)  Under this definition, almost 50% of the world’s people groups would be considered unreached. 2  That’s a lot of people who have never been given an adequate hearing of the Gospel.

Considering the fact that the harvest among the lost is so great, Christ not only commissions us to go, He also commissioned us to pray for more workers; i.e., that God would raise up more people to cover the areas we cannot cover ourselves (Mat 9:36-38).  Thus, Christ’s Great Commission involves Praying, Going, Preaching, Converting, Discipling and Multiplying the Church.  And when that is all being done, we must continue praying some more.

In light of such a Great Commission, and in light of those great saints that have proceeded us, we can do nothing less than join their ranks.  At New Life Christian Center, we are in total agreement with William Carey (an early missionary to India), who pointed out that the Eternal Gospel must be preached as a testimony to all the nations before Jesus will return in glory to save the world from destruction and set up His Eternal Kingdom (Mt 24:14ff). This was also the emphasis of A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  Every time the church reaches another unreached nation we are getting that much closer to Christ’s coming by opening up a new door through which many more people come flooding into the Kingdom.  By doing this, we are speeding the coming of the Lord’s Day and of His return, which is precisely what God’s Word commands us to do (2Pt 3:12).

Here at New Life Christian Center we are committed to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Mat 28:18-20).  This is what shapes our Vision and Values and we believe it to be our divine calling. Nevertheless, this cannot be done without a commitment to pray for the unreached people groups in our world and reach out to them.  Our invitation to you is to join us both in prayer and action in this most important objective.


1 Winter, R. D. and Koch, B.A.(1999). Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge. In R.D. Winter, & S. C. Hawthorne (Eds.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. (pp. 514).  Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

2 Winter, R. D. and Koch, B.A.(1999). Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge. In R.D. Winter, & S. C. Hawthorne (Eds.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. (pp. 519-521).  Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.