Our hearts are freshly burdened
for hundreds of unengaged people groups who have no gospel witness. Bethlehem is unusually well-positioned and resourced for both goers and senders.
These marks represent the list of 1,221 unengaged people groups in the world today. Might Bethlehem humbly aspire to be God’s eraser in removing even 25 names from the list?
Definition of “Unengaged People Groups”
People groups living in places where, as far as is known to researchers at present, there are no full-time Christian workers attempting to do evangelism and church planting.
While I was preparing my Global Focus sermon last year, a dreadful sense of darkness came over me like I haven’t experienced elsewhere except in places where the lostness is so great that it feels like a tangible weight of darkness. But this sense did not land on me while visiting any unreached people groups. It came over me in my study while I was pondering the problem of the unreached and unengaged. I was touched to the core–so broken for them.
These peoples are the neediest of the needy–the most severe level of lostness imaginable
–those that should lay claim to our greatest depth of compassion.
They are the most hidden, out of sight and out of mind. Here is what is heart-breaking to me: Christ is unknown, untranslated, unheralded, unadored! And there are no discernible plans on the part of God’s people to do anything about it.
Bethlehem is a place where God has often laid God-sized burdens upon us for the sake of the nations. Often these burdens are given a numerical target like “90 by 90” or “2000 by 2000.” We believe that the Lord of the Harvest is at it again. The Lord has birthed in us a new passion and energy and drive to say: “What about 25 by 25?” What if this big-time burden brings about the big-time blessing of serving as God’s eraser! What if by the time 2025 rolls around there are 25 less peoples in the world who are unengaged because we have sent someone from Bethlehem to engage them with the gospel, to advance the gospel? We are asking the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into his harvest field so that 25 unengaged peoples will be engaged for the glory of King Jesus.
Our Global Outreach department has worked hard to obtain a more accurate, fuller understanding of the number of the unengaged peoples. The best estimate we can ascertain is that there are 1,221 unengaged peoples. We will be sharing more information about them so that they will be less out of sight and out of mind among us.
—Excerpted from “The 25 x ’25 Story,” a sermon by Pastor Jason Meyer, delivered September 10/11, 2016