The Editor’s Desk by Shawn McMullen
At this year’s North American Christian Convention (NACC), a group of 50 volunteers working with the international mission organization Team Expansion created a buzz with the launching of an initiative known as Unleashed for the Unreached. The volunteers displayed a scroll (270 feet long in two columns) containing the names of approximately 6,700 unreached people groups around the world.
Doug Lucas, founder and president of Team Expansion, explained the campaign like this: “Unleashed for the Unreached is a special initiative in partnership with Restoration Revolution, the NACC, and the National Missionary Convention (NMC) aimed at changing forever the spiritual destinies of people groups and cities that have remained ‘hidden’ from the gospel. It connects local churches with unreached peoples and cities, facilitated by trained project fulfillment specialists, peer mentoring, and abundant prayer.”
One volunteer at the convention, an elder at Okolona Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, remarked, “Our church has done a lot for missions throughout the years, but I never imagined we could start from scratch researching and helping launch a new outreach in an Islamic land.” Brian Jones, minister with Christ’s Church of the Valley in Royersford, Pennsylvania, added, “What I like about this project is that our church of 1,700 is truly involved in envisioning, designing, and implementing at every level.” Dick Alexander, minister with LifeSpring Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, spoke about the unreached people group his congregation adopted several years ago. He believes commitments like these help American churches as much as they help unreached people. He explained, “Whatever might have been accomplished there, the investment did as much here—it changed our church. We learned great lessons of faith, prayer, and commitment.” That’s saying a lot, seeing as how through the combined efforts of the entire project network, more than 60 churches have been started in the Kherson, Ukraine area to date.
One of the interesting facets of the campaign is that representatives and volunteers can gather once a month for a free 90-minute webinar to cast vision, share lessons learned, hear case studies, and pick up practical tips for moving their unreached people projects forward.
Much has happened in this arena since the NMC and the NACC convened.
Two hundred thirty people and more than 50 volunteers have agreed to pray for specific unreached people groups.
Sixty of the 230 are advocating among their congregations as catalysts for change, helping their churches partner in the initiative to send workers to share the good news with specific unreached people groups.
Many churches are already moving forward with projects among unreached people groups.
The National Missionary Convention will feature the next big push for involvement in Unleashed for the Unreached when it convenes in Atlanta, Georgia November 17-20. No one knows how many will sign up to become intercessors and/or catalysts, but if the NACC is an indicator, interest will be high.
Please pray for this effort, and for all those who are trying to live and act according to its principles. It’s clear that God is on the move among our churches—and we have to believe that unreached peoples stand the most to gain when it comes to eternity. To learn more about the initiative, visit the campaign’s Web site, www.UnleashedForTheUnreached.com.