Defining The Unreached
An unreached people group, or UPG, is a society among which there is no established local community of believers. This small to nonexistent church often also lacks the resources and is relatively insufficient to evangelize their people group and make Christ known in the broader population without outside help.
According to the Joshua Project, a people group is considered unreached based on the following criteria:
Unreached people group
Unengaged people group
<p>This map identifies the countries with the most urgent physical and spiritual needs according to the Stratus Index.</p>
Unreached for a Reason
Unreached and unengaged people groups still do not have access to the Good News because there are formidable barriers. The greatest numbers of these people groups (approximately) reside within a region of the world called the 10/40 Window – a portion of the world between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude, covering areas across Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Asia. Political, spiritual, developmental, social, and economic barriers to the Gospel are common in these areas and oftentimes, if a church does exist, persecution and geographic isolation are harsh realities.
The biblical focus of unreached
Reaching the unreached is not just a mission strategy, its roots are found in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the ultimate desire of God is revealed for His name to be known and His glory enjoyed among all the nations of the world.
- The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! (Ps. 97:1)
- Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations I will be exalted in the earth. (Ps. 46:10)
- Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! (Ps. 67:5)
- Declare His glory among the nations his marvelous works among all the peoples. (Ps. 96:3)
- Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! (Ps. 117:1)
- For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Hab. 2:14)
- Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. (Isa. 26:8)
- I am the Lord; that is my name, my glory I give to no other. (Isa. 42:8)
- Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isa. 43:7)
- Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. (1 Chron. 16:28-29)
- Behold, a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes, peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10)
God’s desire is for all people to be reconciled to Him (1 Timothy 2:4). The Great Commission, Jesus’s mandate for all His disciples in Matthew 28:19, continues this worldwide scope: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Nations, the Greek word ethne, means all people groups of the world. God’s heart is that the Gospel would be proclaimed in every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group.
The Great Imbalance
Despite Christ’s call to “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature,” less than 2% of missional resources and approximately 3% of cross-cultural workers go to serve among unreached people groups. This is what missiologists refer to as The Great Imbalance. This disparity of missional resources results in the Gospel rich getting richer at the expense of the Gospel poor.
Building upon over two decades of experience in some of the harshest locations on planet earth, TRIAD’s leadership provided the expertise and vision for the development of Stratus. This ground-breaking tool approaches the Great Commission with wisdom, humility, and understanding. Stratus synthesizes reliable data from multiple, published sources to clearly display the world’s most urgent spiritual and physical needs. TRIAD focuses its energy on engaging high Stratus Index countries.
Followers of Christ have been entrusted with the Gospel message (2 Corin. 5:18-20) and have been commissioned with the task to go and make disciples of all people groups. The reality that 42% of the world’s population is unreached with the Gospel, signals that this task is unfinished (Matt. 24:14).
Our call is to go where they have not heard (Rom. 10:14-15, 15:20). At TRIAD, we are spurred on by our worship and love of the King, by the reality of the unfinished task, and the ultimate vision of every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group coming together to praise our God (Rev. 7:9-12).