There are 52 unreached people groups in New York City. While in New York training to become a missionary, we are being taught different methodologies to reach them. In the Great Commission, Jesus told His closest disciples to, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…”
How Do We Reach the Unreached People Groups?
Obedience to the Great Commission is at the core of every believer who loves Jesus. Jesus once said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” It is both a privilege and a responsibility of all who follow Christ to share the Good News of God’s rescue mission for the world and forgiveness of sins through His Son Jesus.
In the Book of Acts, we see incredible examples of how the Lord has grown the church, the body of people who follow Jesus, as this gospel message has been shared. This rapid expanse and reproducibility of the early church is captivating in the world of cross-cultural missions.
Reproducibility Among Unreached People Groups
This is especially true among those who desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with unreached people groups. The question becomes, how is reproducibility accomplished? This is a question I have been wrestling with for the past few months in New York City while being trained at International Project’s Equip missionary training program.
I think that it is safe to say that since God has a plan to reach every nation with the gospel message of Jesus, it is acceptable to imitate Him by having a plan ourselves. This can be said so long as our plan is submitted to the will of God the Father who is implementing His mission through the church.
His will is above and beyond our own and His heart is bigger than ours will ever be for those who don’t know Him. With many different cultures and languages around the world, approaching different people groups with the gospel message can look very different across the board.
The message never changes, but may be more effectively communicated via different methodologies. For example, some people groups around the world are oral learners. It would be unwise to drop off hundreds of Bibles to a people group that doesn’t read or potentially even have their own written language.
In this situation, sharing the gospel orally and in story form may be more effective. Some people groups are very communal and make decisions as a community instead of on a one to one basis like many people from western nations. In this situation, sharing the gospel in large naturally formed groups among the community where the Scriptures can be discussed may work best.
There are countless of numbers of approaches that can be used to share the gospel, depending on the context of the situation and community. I have been learning about some of these methodologies at Equip. The goal of each methodology is ultimately to see Jesus come to be loved by those who don’t know Him yet. Each methodology also hopes to be reproducible in order that the church expands to all nations. However, I have come to realize that it isn’t the methodology itself that accomplishes this. It’s the Holy Spirit.
It is important to remember that methodologies are not theologies. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that generates reproducibility. We are following His lead as those who love Jesus and partnering with Him in bringing the lost into saving faiths in Jesus Christ.
May the Lord guide our ministries towards the most contextualized and applicable methodology where the gospel of Jesus is accepted, responded to and reproducibility occurs as disciples or all nations are made.