Expansion of International Day for the Unreached alliance announced at NRB, underscores ‘growing importance’ of Great Commission campaign
NASHVILLE — A movement to accelerate missions efforts among peoples who have yet to hear about Jesus continues to gain momentum, with two new additions to the International Day for the Unreached organizing group.
Frontier Ventures and William Carey International University (WCIU), two long-time leaders in the frontier missions movement who share a campus in Pasadena, Calif., have joined the Alliance for the Unreached, which is promoting the need for more focus on the 2 billion people around the world with no easy access to the gospel.
The expansion of the alliance was announced today at “Proclaim 18,” The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) International Christian Media Convention, in Nashville. The now 11-strong alliance is seeking to inspire churches and individuals by reports of what is being done among unreached groups, and involve them in further efforts through prayer, giving, and action. Centerpiece of the drive is the International Day for the Unreached, on May 20.
Held on Pentecost Sunday—the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the early church, empowering members to take the good news to the ends of the earth—this year’s concert, celebration and challenge, will be held at the headquarters of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. The event will be live-streamed on the internet, with artists and speakers to be announced next month.
Founded as the U.S. Center for World Mission in 1976 by the late missionary statesman Dr. Ralph Winter and renamed in 2016, Frontier Ventures promotes mission among the world’s unreached people groups through research, education, and mobilization. Its subsidiary ministries include the acclaimed Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.
Named after William Carey, a pioneer British missionary to India in the late 1700s and early 1800s, WCIU was established in 1977 at the former U.S. Center for World Mission to equip international cross-cultural workers for overseas service. The distance-learning school has equipped students in 20 countries.
“We’re delighted to welcome Frontier Ventures and WCIU to the alliance,” said chairman Jon Fugler. “Both are widely respected and appreciated for their many years of advocacy and action on behalf of those who have not yet heard the gospel. Their participation in the International Day for the Unreached further demonstrates the growing importance of its message.”
While sharing a common goal—fulfilling Jesus’”Great Commission” command to spread the good news to the ends of the earth—alliance members work toward it in diverse ways, demonstrating the wide range of opportunities and needs.
As part of its focus on unreached people groups in South and Southeast Asia, Bibles For The World last year distributed more than 300,000 copies of John’s Gospel in key regions of 12 Chinese provinces. “With more than a billion people in China, it’s easy to think we’re barely scratching the surface,” says BFTW President John Pudaite. “But our focus is to reach those much smaller segments of the population that have had no exposure at all to the gospel.”
Media and medical ministry Reach Beyond is focused on the unreached and those with limited access to the gospel, building more than 500 local FM and AM radio stations in more than 100 countries, and partnering with indigenous believers to run them. It also conducts medical caravans and clinics in places where the gospel has little presence, opening the door for its proclamation.
InChrist Communications is a full-service Christian communications agency serving missions group as well as faith-based organizations, churches, businesses and individuals. Founder and President Palmer Holt served as world missions correspondent with the Communications Team for Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.
The Alliance for the Unreached is urging a reclamation of the real meaning of the word “unreached,” which it says has been diluted and so lost its impact. Unreached peoples are not just all non-Christians, but rather those who have yet had no access to the gospel because of political or religious barriers, geographical location, or simple neglect.
“The unreached are those who have yet to have the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. They are not our friends, family, neighbors or co-workers who may not be Christians. These people are not unreached, because they have us. The truly unreached live in places where no one is there to tell them about Jesus.”
More than 6 million people learned about the International Day for the Unreached on Facebook last year. The IDU alliance is composed of Bibles For The World, Frontier Ventures, Missio Nexus, OM-USA (Operation Mobilization), Mission Network News, Partners International, Reach Beyond, William Carey International University, World Mission, ZimZam Global and InChrist Communications.
The International Day for the Unreached is an initiative of the Alliance for the Unreached, a group of evangelistic ministries and other organizations, including Bibles For The World, Frontier Ventures, InChrist Communications, Mission Network News, Missio Nexus, Operation Mobilization, Partners International, Reach Beyond, William Carey International University, World Mission and ZimZam Global.