For eight years now, a growing network of mission leaders, agencies and churches have been drawing attention to those least-reached people groups who have no known churches, pastors or mission workers. The missiological title for these people groups are “unengaged”—meaning no one is engaging them for the sake of the Gospel. The Finishing the Task network has purposed to count down to ZERO people groups who have no workers engaging them.
Encompass World Partners has been participating over the years and contributing to taking people groups off the list as we send workers to engaging these “unengaged” people groups! The annual working meeting for Finishing The Task was attended this week by our own Ed Trenner and Mike Jentes at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA.
Last year, Encompass mobilized students at Momentum and Grace College to pray for these people groups through the 533 Challenge. It was exciting to see answered prayer this year as we were able to contribute one more people group taken off the list through the Encompass family! Over the course of the working meeting more than 70 people groups were taken off as we count down to zero!
Finishing The Task is coordinated by long time Cru and Jesus Film Project leader Paul Eshleman(pictured). We encourage you and your church to check out their website and resources as you seek to reach the least reached for the sake of the Gospel.
|533 Challenge #iam533
Whew…it’s been a busy summer lot of travel!
Kayla, Korey and I attended the Momentum Youth Conference with a theme of “I Am Second.” It was a powerful week with great moments of worship, spiritual challenge and making friends.
With Encompass World Partners we did a special project called the 533 Challenge.
We built a wall and filled it with the faces of the least-reached nations in our world – 533 people groups (approximately 70 million people) who have little or no opportunity to hear the gospel. In order to direct prayer toward these peoples, we asked students to take part in the “533 Challenge” – a challenge to pray daily for the least-reached over the next 30 days.
Students “adopted” a specific people group by removing one photo from the wall and signing a commitment card. Participating students are then photographed and replacement cards (with the students’ faces!) are quickly printed to replace the empty spaces on the wall. An Encompass staff member then prays for each student and gives him/her a prayer journal to take home along with their adopted people prayer card. For those who commit, we will be sending daily emails and text messages to equip and remind them to pray.
By Friday night, our wall was transformed from pictures of the least reached, to pictures of prayer warriors for the least reached! All of the 533 people groups were adopted!
And then the work of praying every day began. It is hard to believe that the 30 Day Prayer Challenge portion just concluded yesterday.
Below is an excellent video which gets at the heart of why we did the 533 Challenge.
See all of my August E-newsletter from @MikeJentes.
My E-newsletter Archive:
Read my June 2013 e-newsletter
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter
I had the privilege to interview Paul Eshleman, director of Finishing The Task last week. I got to ask him when God grabbed his heart about Unreached, Unengaged People Groups…you should listen int to what he says:
Podcast: This is Not Fair by PaulEshleman-Encompass (click link to open and play)
MP3: This is Not Fair by PaulEshleman-Encompass (click link to open and play)
(See also Paul’s Article on the Unreached)
Almost every time I speak about unreached people groups, I hear a comment like, “We’ve got plenty of unreached people right here where we live, without worrying about groups halfway across the world.” And that’s true. There are more individuals living within already “reached” people groups, than there are in all the unreached people groups of the world. However, there is one major difference. Most people in the West have great access to the message of Christ through media, local churches, and believers. For 300 million people in the unengaged, unreached people groups of the world, there is no way, outside of divine revelation, to hear the message of Christ. There is no church, no missionary, and not one verse of Scripture translated into their language. How much longer will we wait until we go to these groups, and put them on our priority list for funding and manpower?
By Paul Eshelman // Director of Finishing The Task)
Read the rest of Paul’s article in Mission Frontiers
Hear Paul tell the story of when God grabbed his heart for the unreached