Mike Latsko is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Frontiers (frontiersusa.org), and is also one of my favorite people. Mike is doing great work to help the Church complete Jesus’ commission to us to reach all the people groups (ta ethne) on the earth. I asked him to report on his work to identify what is called the “unengaged.”
“Thanks, Don, it's an honor to share with your friends. You and Cathy have been among those in the US who have most resonated with this need of the reaching the remaining unengaged-unreached. “
“Let me start by making a distinction between the terms ‘unreached’ and ‘unengaged.’ The word unreached is a technical term that measures the response of a people-group to the gospel. It simply means that a relatively small number have responded to an invitation to know Jesus. It doesn't mean that there are no believers in that group, but only that they are relatively small in number. Any church that has begun there will need help from outside their ethnic group if disciples are to be made. That's unreached.
“But the term unengaged does not measure the response of the people groups to Jesus. The term unengaged measures the response of the global church and missionary community to send evangelists to that people group. They haven't been engaged by us. We haven't yet become flesh and dwelt among them, so that the people can see Jesus through us.
“The unreached people groups have been engaged by the global church, so they have a chance to come to know Jesus and to make decisions about whether to follow Him or not. But the unengaged don't have such a chance. There is no one among them who has begun telling the Story.
“And we are close to confirming that there are about 1700 unengaged people groups around the world, from Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and tribal backgrounds. Many of us feel that the priority of the Church must be the engagement of these remaining unengaged people groups.
“I'm building a website called unengagedpeoples.com which we hope to be ready for beta testing this summer and then made public after that. We're hoping it's going to give not only information but inspirational stories about the global Church’s efforts to engage these groups.”
Mike, thank you for your work to help us mobilize to engage the unengaged.
You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.