Engaging the unreached

“I have met people in the Philippines or in China who don’t know Jesus’ name at all. They’ll ask me, ‘Is this some person living in your village?’”
— Warren Janzen, SEND’s International Director

Making Disciples among Unreached People Groups

SEND International missionaries are part of a global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached.

“The unreached are people who have little or no access to the gospel,” explains SEND’s International Director, Warren Janzen. “They don’t know where a local church is. They don’t trust a local Christian because there are no local Christians that they know of in their setting.”

As SEND prayerfully discerns where to focus our disciple-making efforts among the unreached, we primarily rely on the Joshua Project definition: “An unreached or least-reached people group is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.” 

Mathematically, SEND considers a people group unreached if it’s less than 2 percent evangelical Christian. Add all the people in all the unreached groups up, and you have 3.11 billion people alive today with little or no access to the gospel.

A people group is not a country
There are 195 countries in the world; there are about 16,600 people groups. More than 6,700 of these groups remain unsaved. God’s Kingdom still has plenty of room for growth.

A people group is not a religion 
Fifteen percent of the Islamic people groups today are considered reached. Praise God! But Islam is a religion, not a people group. There are thousands of Muslim people groups that still have little to no chance to hear the Good News.

The unreached are not the unsaved
Many of the world’s unreached will never meet a Christian. Worldwide, there are 300,000 Muslims for every one Christian worker; only 13.3 percent of Muslims personally know a Christian. By all means, reach out to your unsaved neighbors — Jesus loves them, too! — but as you consider how you will use your resources and direct your prayers, don’t forget the 3.11 billion unreached around the world.

Would you like to learn more about how SEND engages the unreached around the globe? Click here to contact us.  

Resources for engaging the unreached
Podcast episodes
  • Unreached People Groups: The Facts — Duane Frasier from the Joshua Project helps us understand who we mean when we talk about unreached people groups, where they're located and how we can use the “Unreached of the Day” to lift them up in prayer each day. 
  • Unreached People Groups: The Faces — David Joannes, founder of Within Reach Global, helps put flesh and faces on the many statistics we hear about unreached people groups. He helps us to see them not just as statistics but as individuals made in the image of God.