Practical Ways to Make an Eternal Difference


By John Pitterle, Advocates for the Unreached

Believers can get more involved with unreached people groups in a number of ways. There are at least six significant ways to help reach God’s world: learn, pray, go, send, welcome, and mobilize. OMF has six corresponding videos.

You can begin to strategically pray, give, and go. For example, you can start praying daily for different unreached people groups (UPGs). You could begin to give monthly to ministries and missionaries that are focused on UPGs.

The Joshua Project has many excellent UPG resources. One such resource is the website with prayer calendars and prayer guides. I believe the most important resource I receive every day is the Joshua Projects Unreached People of the Day e-mail. It gives readers the highly valuable opportunity to unite with tens of thousands of believers around the world in praying for a different UPG every day. You can sign up at their website.

There are some UPG ministries that can be financially supported without risking unhealthy dependency according to author and missionary speaker Glenn Schwartz. It is very helpful to support UPG missionaries as well as the important training they receive before going. For example, the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class is one good training resource. Bible translation (like Wycliffe Bible Translators) and UPG gospel radio can also be financially supported since they do not have a natural giving constituency like churches.

Hundreds of thousands of international students attend universities in many different countries around the world. Many international students are from unreached people groups. About 80% of these students will not be invited to visit in a local home. Yet, it is very easy to befriend international students who want to learn more about local culture and develop friendships with local people. Some universities even have an international hospitality or connection program. Some bodies of Christ in university communities offer a meal-in-a-home opportunity for international students.

Many people and refugees from various “closed” countries and unreached people groups live in the cities of America, European countries, and other open nations. International guests may often be more open to the gospel in places like these outside the confines of their home country. Befriending, reaching out, and becoming a missionary to the unreached in a reached nation are some practical ways to participate in the Great Commission.

In order to live more effectively and fruitfully, there are a number of excellent resources to learn more about UPGs and the Great Commission. One of the best resources is the previously mentioned Perspectives class that is offered to missions-minded believers around the world. Frontier Ventures bimonthly Mission Frontiers journal is helpful to regularly keep abreast of UPG happenings. YWAM Publishing and the William Carey Library have some good UPG books. With these resources, you can make an eternal difference, especially in the area where your passion and gifts intersect. Everyone has an important piece to contribute in order to complete the entire puzzle.

Serving on a church missions committee is an excellent way to cast vision and mobilize people regarding UPGs. There are many sleeping giants in the pews that could use a wakeup call. Sharing UPG vision can help people realize their calling in the Great Commission. Sharing practical ways for all believers to be involved with UPGs can help people become involved in the Great Commission including influencing people around the world through prayer.

Because the Lord has unique plans for you and your specific role in the Great Commission, you are strongly encouraged to take some new actions steps regarding your participation. The apostle James tells us that actions accompany our faith. Therefore, you are greatly encouraged to initiate a new prayer commitment and a new training or education activity related to unreached people groups. The next page provides a list of excellent prayer and learning opportunities for you to pursue on your journey to fulfill your role in the Great Commission and ultimately to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Please choose and pursue at least one prayer initiative and at least one learning activity from the figure below.

This article is the main contribution of my short e-booklet, “Need for Your Participation in the Great Commission”, that is available for free at (and also at and in Nook format at In the e-booklet, this short chapter had quite a few endnotes but they were eliminated in the attached article in order to shorten it.

Advocates for the Unreached, a Mission Nexus member, provided this article. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

Related Articles

Welcoming the Stranger

Presenter: Matthew Soerens, US Director of Church Mobilization, World Relief Description: Refugee and immigration issues have dominated headlines globally recently. While many American Christians view these…

Upcoming Events