Thanks to Mercy Hill team member Mark Bowles for putting this together.
This is one of our core beliefs at Mercy Hill Church. The love of Christ compels us to share his love with the rest of the world. Not only does this idea represent the actual ‘sending’ of others, but it encompasses an outward focus, which includes prayer. As a church, we urge you to join us in prayer as we are currently looking to adopt an unengaged, unreached people group (UUPG).
In the Great Commission, Jesus makes it clear that the church is God’s plan A to bring salvation to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We believe God deserves worship of people from every tribe, language, and nation because He alone is worthy of praise (Revelation 5:9). So we want to start to think about what we can do to fulfill Jesus’s command, and a way we hope to do that is by prayerfully committing to focus on starting a church planting movement among a group of people that has never heard the name Jesus and has no access to the gospel.
One of the ways we hope to plant a church among these people is through an initiative created by the International Mission Board (IMB) called Embrace. The strategy calls for local churches to act as long term missionaries to UUPGs scattered across the globe. Specifically, local churches will frequently travel to a target region, build relationships with the people there, share the gospel, and eventually start an indigenous church planting movement among the UUPG. Mercy Hill Church is in the process of participating in Embrace and starting a long-term commitment to a specific group.
Here are a few statistics about people groups around the world via IMB research:
6,871,216,315 – Population of the world
4,124,597,469 – Population of unreached people groups (UPGs) where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population.
244,677,540 – Population of unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPGs) where no Evangelical Church is present.
It’s easy to glance over these numbers without thinking about the implications. Billions of people are born into a world where they will live and die without ever hearing the good news of Christ. BILLIONS. To grasp this tragedy, we need to begin to put faces and personal stories to these sobering numbers.
This is why we should be intentional about choosing a specific people group. As we make this decision, please pray that God will give us a burden to reach a specific group and a desire to give abundantly to make His name famous among them.
This is how you can begin to pray:
1) Region – We’ve narrowed our target region to Central and South America. Specifically, we’re looking at UUPGs in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.
Praise God for spreading the gospel to the UUPGs in Central and South America.
Pray that God would reveal a people group in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru for us to adopt.
2) Partnership – God has blessed Mercy Hill Church with a strong network of gospel-centered churches already planning to work with the IMB. Now, we are in the process of deciding how our partnerships will play out internationally.
Praise God for the established partnerships we have with other churches.
Pray that God would grant us clear direction in choosing which partnership to pursue.
3) Involvement – As a new church plant, there is only so much our resources and manpower will allow us to do. We need God’s wisdom as we determine our involvement with this strategy.
Praise God that he is sending Mercy Hill Church to the ends of the earth.
Pray that our limited size and resources would not deter us from obeying the Great Commision.
Though I was a Christian for years, I did not realize why the Great Commission was so important until I realized God’s passion to make his name known among all peoples. As my understanding of the gospel grew, I began to see that God blesses people to make his name great. This is evident throughout Scripture. From God’s initial blessing to Abraham in Genesis to the final picture of all people praising him in Revelation, God’s blessings work to spread his fame. I think the prayer in Psalm 67:1-2 puts it best:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.”
For this reason, I urge to you to remember these requests as we pray through this important decision as a church. We have all been called to reach the lost in Greensboro, but we must not forget that we are also called to reach all peoples around the world.