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Funding Missions

Why 99.99% of Missions Funds Are Not Going to the Unreached

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Written by McKenna Von Gunten

Today, you are living in a time in history where it is possible to see every nation, tribe, village, region, and unreached people group be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God is rising up a young generation of people with a heart that is intentionally seeking after God while pursuing a vision to take the Church to where it is not and helping others do that same. They want to be the people on the front lines and see the unreached reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples all over the world.

He may be calling you right now to go to the hardest and darkest places on earth to bring His name to a people and a place that has never been reached. But how?

As you read this blog, efforts to adopt new unreached people groups are being made and plans are being put into action to engage with indigenous tribes in rural areas.

This is unlike anything that has ever happened before in the history of the world. However, not many people and churches are aware of the urgent need to send more missionaries into the unreached regions of the earth and therefore, 99.99% of missions funds is not going to the unreached.

How do you tell people about giving to unreached people groups if they aren’t aware of them in the first place? You first need to educate people and make your church aware of what UPG’s are, how many missionaries are working with UPG’s, and finally, how they can partner in the Great Commission by supporting these missionaries in their efforts to reach the UPG’s in the world.

Giving Statistics:

These current statistics of where money from the Church is going are made available thanks to the Traveling Team.

Annual Income of all Church Members: $42 trillion

  • The annual income of evangelical Christians: $7 trillion
    • Which is also how much we spend in America during Christmas.

What People Give:

  • Christian Causes: $700 billion
    • Given to Missions: $45 billion (only 6.4% out of Christian Causes)

How Christians Giving is Used:

  • Pastoral Ministries of Local Churches mainly in Christian nations:  $677 billion (96.8%)
  • “Home Missions” in Christian nations:  $20.3 billion (2.9%)
  • Unevangelized Non-Christian World (Different than unreached): $2.1 billion (0.3%)
  • Unreached Peoples: Estimated $450 million (0.1%)

Have you ever wondered why the Church isn’t giving to the unreached and why 99.99% of their finances go towards the church itself? The estimated $450 million going toward UPG’s is only .001% of the $42 trillion income of Church members. For every $100,000 that evangelical Christians make, they give $1 to the unreached.

The main issue is that not all churches are aware of the need to support missionaries to go overseas to unreached people groups. Evangelical Christians could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,900 unreached people groups with only 0.03% of their income.

“The Church has roughly 3,000 times the financial resources and 9,000 times the manpower needed to finish the Great Commission. If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to missions we could easily support 2 million new missionaries.”

Traveling Team Statistics

What are Unreached People Groups?

Unreached people groups (UPG’s) are tribes or communities all over the world who have never had anyone share the gospel with them or proclaim the name of Jesus in their own village and have less than 2% of evangelical Christians in their region.

World Population of UPG’s

  • All Unreached People Groups: 6,741
  • UPG’s make up 42.2% of the world’s total population (3.14 billion people out of 7.56 billion)

Currently, there is an estimate of 5,574 unreached people groups in the 10/40 Window, which is about 83% of UPG’s in the world. The real tragedy is that only 3% of missionaries currently work in the 10/40 Window.

The Joshua Project has an amazing database of information regarding unreached people groups and how to pray for each group specifically.

For more information on UPG’s, read our blog, The Ultimate Guide to Unreached People Groups.

Missionaries and Locals Christians Working with UPG’s

All Foreign Missionaries in the World: 400,000

  • Missionaries in the Reached World: 309,315 foreign missionaries  (77.3%)
  • Missionaries in the Unevangelized: 77,610 foreign missionaries (19.4%)
  • Missionaries in the Unreached: 13,315 foreign missionaries  (3.3%)

Full-time Christian Workers in the World: 5.5 million

  • Christian workers in the Reached World: 4.19 million local workers (75.9%)
  • Christian workers in the Unevangelized: 1.3 million local workers (23.7%)
  • Christian workers in the Unreached: 20,500 local workers (0.37%)

In the unreached world of 3.14 billion people, that’s 1 missionary for every 216,300 people who have never heard the name of Jesus. However, if you look at evangelical Christians in the world today, there are 78,000 evangelical Christians for every one unreached people group.

Young people are traditionally leading the way in going overseas and there have been roughly 21 million university students who have answered the call to missions, yet are not yet fully aware of the need to go to unreached people groups.

    Supporting Missionaries to Go to the Unreached

    The Church is supporting missionaries all around the globe everywhere, but what is given towards missions is mainly directed toward reached people groups who have access to the gospel.

    How many people do you know personally within your own church who are going to the unreached and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ among those who have never heard of His name before? The entire body of Christ has been blessed by God with the resources and finances through Church members to equip and support missionaries to go to the unreached and work together in unity to fulfill the Great Commission.

    “I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!”

    ― Isobel Kuhn, missionary to Lisu people in China

    Multiple organizations such as Bethany International and its partners have committed to engage 500 unreached people groups through the Engage500 Initiative. Their vision is that the name of Jesus will be known throughout the entire earth as “the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

    Bethany International is currently working among 397 unreached people groups. There are only 103 more people groups to engage by the end of 2020. Will you consider joining us in prayer for the Lord to send out labors in His harvest?

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