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December Activate Post: What “finishing the task” will require


Jesus said, “And the Good News about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14, NLT)

I was privileged to join hundreds of leaders from around the world at Saddleback Community Church, in California on December 4-6, 2018 for the Finishing the Task Conference. This was by far the best conference I have ever attended. We were inspired and better equipped to join Jesus in sharing this Good News with all nations.

This event is part of an ongoing movement launched almost two decades ago to reach all unengaged and unreached people groups (UUPGs) with the gospel. You can learn more about the history of Table 71 here.

A brief primer on UUPGs: mission strategists have identified more than 3000 people groups (what the Bible means when it speaks of “nations” in Matthew 24:14) that are considered unengaged and unreached. What this means practically is that these groups have no Bible in their language, no identified believers, and no church body in their culture. Sadly, approximately three percent of the world’s missionary sending force is being sent to UUPGs, and about one percent of our financial support goes to workers and ministries among UUPGs. Consider unengaged and unreached deaf communities around the world. Of the 350 different sign languages around the world, not one has a Bible translated into their language.

The goal of movements like Finishing the Task is to reduce this number to zero. I am excited to report that this goal was reached—all remaining UUPGs were adopted for gospel engagement in the coming two years. At the conclusion of the event, many attendees raised their hands and some fell to their knees before God in humble praise for what is being accomplished through the global church. In many cases, multiple groups or agencies came together to adopt one or more UUPGs, demonstrating the importance and value of partnerships in accomplishing the Great Commission.

But we know the work is not done. Please continue praying and believing for God to raise up workers (church planters, Bible translators, and others) with a vision to plant a self-sustaining, church-planting movement in many of these creative-access locations.

TMS Global exists to make disciples among UUPGs. More than 30 percent of our cross-cultural workers serve among UUPGs. For nearly two decades our church culture department has been helping churches develop Acts 1:8 strategies and partnerships that focus on reaching UUPGs. Learn more about how we can help your church with its strategy here.

How is God calling you to serve His causes among UUPGs? We would love to help you find your place. Please reach out to us for help and more information.

Dr. Duane E. Brown serves as the senior director of church culture for TMS Global.