December 6, 2018
December 2018 25 x ’25 Global Outreach Update: Engaged!
Now that we are in month 25 of our 10-year vision called Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25—the next decade of spreading at Bethlehem—how are we doing in the goal of engaging the unengaged with the gospel? Our Global Outreach team is eager to share this update with you.
Our first unengaged people group is now engaged! During this year’s Global Focus, we announced that the Tak people of SE Asia are the first in our goal of engaging 25 unengaged people groups with the gospel by 2025. Praise God!
There are 24 more to go. Wow. This goal is huge, even impossible for us. But not with God. Will we fail as a church if our list doesn’t include 24 more groups by 2025? No. God does not look at numbers in order to judge us. However, he does look at our hearts—do we love his Son, Jesus, and are we passionate about sharing the Good News with people who have not yet heard it? Yes! Goals like 25 x ’25 remind our hearts to dream big with faith and continue looking to Jesus together to bless the nations.
I want to encourage us to press on and persevere toward this difficult goal. Prayer is critical. Thus, beginning in 2019, each Sunday morning we will call our people to prayer for an unengaged people group. Looking over the most current list of 343 unengaged groups, we praise God that we have seen this number decrease greatly over the last few years. But we also see that some of them are geographically near to some of our current global partners serving outside the U.S, and we pray that God might allow us to play a role in engaging some of these. Each Sunday, we will show a slide to highlight one of these nearby unengaged groups for prayer. We will share their name and location. Consider doing an internet search on that people group, learn about them, and pray for them with friends and family.
Lord willing, those groups will be engaged with the gospel. To be engaged means that a person and a plan have come forward that could lead to a growing church planting effort to reach this people group with the gospel. Once a people group is engaged, we will communicate about that group with a new name that protects their identity. For example, the “Tak of SE Asia” is the new name we are using for this group. Now that one of our global partners is engaging them, we need to be sensitive to those in the world not supportive of Jesus-honoring ministry.
I want to encourage you that pathways and progress are underway, even though there is only one unengaged people group that has been engaged so far. Here are some progress numbers that are part of the story, too: About 30 people in our Nurture Program are praying that they may be global partners sent from us to engage an unengaged people group. Five mission agencies are partnering with us in this goal to make a pathway to help equip our people to engage the unengaged. Also, five current global partners are on our “watch list”—they have told us that they are working on a plan to engage a nearby unengaged people group.
Please pray! The Lord is at work among us, and this goal of 25 by ’25 is not too big for him!