UPG’s or Unreached People Groups have a big problem- They have never heard the Gospel. I want to challenge you to help these needy people solve their problem.
I’ve been addressing this problem in past articles asking ,
Why aren’t we doing more to meet this UPG need?
In my last 2 articles I asked “Why Aren’t We More Concerned?” and addressed the problem Some People Get to Hear the Gospel While Others Don’t… It’s Just Plain Wrong!
Possible reasons we’re not more concerned about the lost are our own self centeredness or complacency or maybe we don’t believe hell is for real or people will actually die and go to hell if they don’t follow Christ .
Globe’s Unreached People Groups Initiative (UPG’s)
I want to share some easy to read information on our vision to reach UPG’s. Much of this information was delivered by Doug Gehman at our recent candidate school and Globe summit in Pensacola, Florida. I hope it helps you see the magnitude of this problem and inspires you to get involved.
What is an UPG?
An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize that people group.
Unreached groups lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people.
Find more information at https://joshuaproject.net/
The UPG Challenge
The Joshua project has higher estimates:
People Groups: 17,009
% Unreached Groups:41.6%
The World’s Population: 7.47 Billion
Popl in Unreached: 3.14 Billion
% Popl in Unreached: 42.0%
(This info updated May, 2018)
Simply stated, of the 71/2 billion people in the World, over 3.1 billion people have never had the opportunity to follow Christ
A lot of time people think they have a vision for UPGs but they really don’t. Watch this video and to see if it helps you with your vision:
Go to the ripe harvest fields first.
Doug Gehman, the President & Executive Director of Globe International wrote a book called Go to the Ripe Fields First!: Focusing Outreach on Receptive People (Get it through my Amazon Link)
Doug Gehman asks these questions,
Would not stewardship (of time, people and finances) compel us to first go to the harvest fields?
By guiding people into an initiative could we get to fruitfulness more quickly?
Globe’s Strategy to Reach UPG’s
Globe has a 3 step strategy to reach UPG’s:
1. The first step is to research and identify UPG’s based on the following criteria:
- Population of greater than 50,000
- Have less than 2% Evangelicals
- Have scripture in their language
- Demonstrate high receptivity
- Accessible to Globe Network People (Accessible to Witness)
- (prefer) Proximity to Globe Network (Globe Network neighbor)
By using the first 3 criteria we reduce the number of UPGs from 6734 people groups to 1388 (588 are in India).
2. The second step is a 5 year plan to recruit and train missionaries
Globe prepares missionaries, individuals, couples, and teams to live and work in a UPG. Find out how to become a Globe International missionary to an UPG
3. The third step is to partner with sending churches (and other network agencies)
We resource the goers through senders.
If we don’t, who will?
Concentrating on harvestable or highly receptive unreached people groups.
Doug Gehman admonishes us,
Receptive peoples can be identified!
Donald McGavern encourages us to “Have a harvest theology because God wants lost people found” He says,
“hold unreceptive fields lightly”
Jesus Christ talks about the harvest in the Bible:
- John 4 – “Lift up your eyes, the fields are white already to harvest”
- Matthew 9 – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”
- Mark 4 – “The sower went forth to sow his seed”
Jesus intimation is,
We must have “harvest eyes” to see the harvest!
Our job is not done until the lost sheep is found.
Who are receptive people?
- These people are underdogs
- these people are not expected to win
- people who suffer
- Glad to know Jesus loves them.
The big WHY?
Why do people become receptive?
Here are reasons people become receptive:
- Natural disasters
- political openness
- economic heritage
- religious tolerance
- racial oppression
- spiritual warfare (prayer) breakthrough
What you and I can do to reach harvestable UPG’s
Are you ready to make a difference and help people who have never heard the Gospel? Here’s some easy action steps:
- Become more familiar with this idea of harvest
- Research and identify UPG’s in areas that interest you using resources like Joshua project
- look for macro events through media (newspapers)
- Educate and advocate
Go, Send or Disobey- John Piper
- Become or direct goers “Say “Here am I, send me”
- Become a sender- “How can they go unless they are sent”
A personal note about reaching UPG’s
I’ve been burdened by these unreached people groups for the last few years. As such, the Lord has directed our family and the missions organizations we are involved in to try to reach them.
It takes finances to reach harvestable UPG’s. We deeply appreciate your prayers and financial partnership.
Do you think Globe’s initiative to reach UPG’s is of value?
I appreciate your comments below