Have You Chosen Your People Group Yet?


Articles, Etnopedia Team Articles / Friday, July 13th, 2012

We have been trying for years to mobilize people toward unreached people groups. I have worked for over ten years in the Adopt-A-People campaign and thought many times that something is missing. I may have finally found what it is. It has to do with a personal encounter with the idea. We truly need to consider going ourselves to an unreached people. It doesn’t mean that we have to go, just that we seriously consider it. In the new Adopt A People movement in Latin America we call it the filter.

Everyone, mobilizers, old folks, pastors, youth leaders, soccer moms, kids, everyone needs to get into the filter.

Last year my wife and I were invited to a Wycliffe event in Orlando Florida. They paid all our expenses to go to a wonderful meeting to see what God is doing in the Bible translation effort. Several New Testaments were presented, live bands played and for three days they motivated and encouraged the assistants to concentrate all our energies on finishing the Bible translation by 2025. All the former presidents of Wycliffe Global Alliance were there. The oldest spoke for about 15 minutes and what he said impacted me. He and his wife began praying over 20 years ago for one of the Bibleless peoples. It is now called the Last Language Initiative. Back then, people just chose a language from the list and commited to do something. Less complicated. The former president of Wycliffe knew that they may not go personally as translators, but they chose a language group and began to pray. He announced during this meeting that after many years, the Bible was in finally in the process of translation. This is what EVERYONE must do,, something. This is a pretty common concept in many things but we can’t seem to do it as a Christian movement in respect to unreached peoples.

Everyone must get into the filter and choose a group.

Your group is yours and you will not cease until a missionary effort is there. It does not mean that you yourself will go, but I think that during the process of your filter, you need to at least consider that you might have to be the answer to your prayers. But you will pray, support, maybe take a short term trip, or give money toward the reaching of that people group.

So what is the filter?

1. Choose your religion.

This may take a while, you are going to research, pray, and get in your mind the religion. Then based on that you are going to

2. Choose your country. 

You will pray, research and wrestle in your heart and mind about the country that you are going to do something about.

3. Then choose your people group. 

Now you will choose the people group that will be your people group. You don’t ever need to tell anyone if you don’t want. This is the people group that you are going to fight for until they have the Gospel among them. Again it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go but that you will do something. You will be eating, sleeping and dreaming about this people group. You will become the expert on that group and will tell everyone you know about them. You will make entire powerpoint presentations about them. Most importantly you will not stop until Christ is made known among them, in their heart language and a church is established.

The process of going through the filter may take 3 months, it may take six months it may take a year. It doesn’t matter. You are in the filter is all that matters. Being in the filter is where God can speak to you. You may just be the key that opens the door to this unreahced people.

Choose the smallest population that you can find of a people group. This will insure that you are the only one or very few praying. Population means nothing. The people group will not ever hear or know about Jesus without your help. If the country that is on your heart has thousands of unreached people groups, don’t let yourself get confused just pick one.

Once you have your people group chosen you can look for other individuals, churches or organizations that are out there doing something about that group. Maybe you can help a missionary or the missionary candidate get trained. Maybe you can find a church in another country that is preparing missionaries and send finances. It doesn’t matter, you are doing something. The problem with the missionary movement is that we think that the missionary is the only one that is going to do something. EVERYONE needs to be doing something to help fulfill the great commission. If there is no one else doing anything, you have just become strategic. God has placed you in that niche where there is no one else.

The Amdo people in Tibet (China)

Tonight at the dinner table my wife and I were talking about the requirements for someone in the Adopt a People campaign. (a.) They need to be someone who eats sleeps and breathes unreached people groups. (b.) They need to have passed through the filter and (c.) they need to get others into the filter. Then she (being very quick to think as she always is) “So what is your people group?” I said without hesitation “The Amdo in Tibet”. For years they have been on my heart. They are my people group. If someone said today that I have to do to a people group and I cannot do anything else, all the training and expenses are taken care of, where would I go? Well I have an answer because I have passed through the filter. I would say the Amdo. The Amdo people are actually a grouping of many ethnic groups and still several unclassified languages. No one knows how many people groups or languages exist among them. So I would have to say that more specifically my people group is the Amdo, Rongmahbrogpa. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Get into the filter and choose your group. Then you need to promote the filter and ask others, “Have you chosen your people group yet?” Don’t complicate it, just jump in.