Adopt an unreached people group (UPG) or even better, an unengaged unreached people group (UUPG).
This is something EVERY church in the world can do.
The point is that NO people group in the world should be without the good news of Jesus, and we, the church, can do something about this. Frankly, it is OUR responsibility and no one else’s.
Go to this website to learn more. Adopt-a-people.org
Read below to learn the basics about “adoption”.
The 7 Aspects of Adoption of an Unreached People Group:
Original piece by Jerome Hannaman, Mobilization Division Frontier Ventures, 1605 Elizabeth St. Pasadena, CA 91104 626-398-2204. Edited and adapted by Kevin Matthews, ReachGlobal Asia Advocate
- People Group (or people): A significantly large ethnic or sociological grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity with one another. Unreached People: A people group which has no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to finish evangelizing their own community without further outside/cross-cultural assistance.
- The Goal: to see the establishment of a strong and growing gospel movement among a people group. The adopting group agrees to support this work with prayer and finances, plus further involvement as the Lord may lead. The mission agency, field workers, national partners. etc, they partner with must have the needed resources and team to begin to carry forward the church planting process
- Adoption: An adoption takes place when a church makes a long-term commitment to help evangelize and disciple a specific people group. The Holy Spirit must guide the adoption. The adoption continues until both the church (and those they are working with such as a mission agency) see a growing, evangelizing church movement established within that group, in whatever time this may take.
1. Get informed
- Pray for God’s direction as to how He wants you and your church to be involved in adopting a people.
- The church needs to gain an understanding of missions in general and of frontier missions in particular.
- From the very beginning, the church leadership must be fully involved and supportive.
2. Involve the Church Leadership: Because the catalyst for this work of adopting a people may start outside the leadership of your church, as a church you must answer this question: Is the leadership willing to consider the possibility of the church taking on a people group? Will they give their approval for the interested parties to continue learning about the project and gathering information?
3. Select the People Group: People profiles describing these people groups are available from your mission agency or other resources being used. They should include descriptions of people groups—including their customs, current spiritual condition, an estimate on the number of people in the group, the area where they live, and their economic, ethnological, and political situation.
- Consider the Need
- Degree of need. Is your church familiar with the concept of the “10/40 Window”?.
- If your church desires to adopt a people where no Christian work is as yet in progress or which no other group has adopted, very extensive research must be done.
- Look for the natural bridges that exist in your congregation to a particular people.
- Opportunity Bridge: What seems to be a good opportunity that is simply present for your church?
- The Missionary Bridge: Missionaries that the church is already supporting who are working among an unreached people group and who may want to strategize together with the church
- The Pastoral Vision Bridge, The Church Member’s Vision Bridge, Denominational Bridge
- Seek Counsel
4. Make the decision on which group God wants you to focus.
- After you have gathered a significant amount of information (and at this stage, you should continue to gather), compile a list of people groups which your church might be interested in adopting.
- Select the group for your church to adopt. There needs to exist a real unity in the church with the resulting feeling that, “Yes, this is the group that God wants us to adopt.” Don’t rush this.
5. Strategy – Once the people group is chosen, what then?
- What Are the Opportunities among the adopted people group?
- How will the church go about engaging the people?
- How much are we willing to do? How much are we already gifted to do?
- What Are the Strengths of the Church?
- What avenues of engagement is God asking us to take:
- Going: individuals or teams, short term trips, and Sending: from our midst, long/ short term, Sending: by sending finances, long or short term, Partnering with workers already there
- Welcoming people from people group outside their home , in our own area or in our country
- Continuing to learn
- Mobilizing others to go with us or in avenues God gives to them
- Recruiting other churches to get involved and adopt this group as your church has done.
- Who is God raising up among us to accomplish what He is asking of us?
- Long-term, Short term, Through business as mission
- Through educational or other channels
- In our location? How can every member engage?
- To do list when adopting: more considerations
- Designate a people group advocate.
- Establish a regular prayer fellowship for the people group, and the approach/people God has led your church to work through.
- Regularly inform and involve the congregation in what is happening in their people group.
- Continue to be creative, provide many entry points into involvement in the people.
- Continue becoming informed about the adopted people group.
- How and through Whom Are You Going to Get Help? What kind of partnerships are we going to need?
- What Are the Threats to This Program?
- Recommitment service possibly needed
6. Adoption Results: This is a full and extended process of faithful service by the adopting church. As with adopting children and seeing them grow, there are great joys and fulfillment; and in the process there are struggles, sorrows, pains, disappointments, and sometimes the pain of separation by death. So with a people group adoption: Years are involved, and there are both great joys and great sorrows.
- A group is considered reached when a strong, indigenous church-planting movement has been established which is of sufficient size and strength to evangelize the rest of the group with no (or very little) cross-cultural assistance.
7. Go do it
Original piece by Jerome Hannaman Mobilization Division Frontier Ventures 1605 Elizabeth St.
Pasadena, CA 91104 626-398-2204. Edited and adapted by Kevin Matthews, ReachGlobal Asia Advocate