What kind of Sunday School class or small group do you want to belong to? A group of people who are centered around their own needs, or a group of people who want to make a difference in their community and across the world? If you are not interested in sharing the Gospel with others and impacting lost people around the world, well… you might want to come back tomorrow, because this post is NOT for you!
I firmly believe that many Sunday School classes have not discovered their mission. Your group’s mission comes straight from God’s Word – “Go, therefore, and make disciples of every nation…” The actual Greek word for “nation” is pante ta ethnos. We get our word “ethnic” from it, but this word means people groups. Your Sunday School class is how your church is organized for its mission. Notice the verse again “make disciple of every nation (ethnos)”. You are falling short of the Great Commission if you think reaching your neighborhood is enough.
I believe that most of our members are more than happy to give their time and treasure to a worthwhile cause. Let me connect you with one… your class should Adopt an Unreached People Group. Approximately 28% of the world’s population (2.1 billion people) have no access to the Gospel – none! Your Sunday School class can have an impact on thousands of people by simply adopting and praying for an unreached people group.
This year in Oklahoma, we began challenging Sunday School classes to adopt an unreached people group for one year. To date, over 2,200 classes have stepped forward to adopt and pray for their adopted group. At right is a pic from a worship service at Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, whose Sunday School classes have adopted 32 unreached people groups. In fact, this week one of our smallest churches (they have one adult class) sent a mission team to Africa. They are meeting and discovering the needs of the group they adopted just a few months ago so that they can share the Gospel and begin a church among the people they have adopted.
Here are some things your group can do to adopt and pray for your people group:
- Visit www.joshuaproject.net and do some research on people groups;
- Go to www.bgco.org/6426project or www.imb.net and register to adopt a people group;
- Those registering for the 6426 Project through the Oklahoma Convention will receive an email with information about their new adopted group;
- Share information about your people group with your class. Take time during every meeting to lift your group up in prayer;
- Ask group members to go online to learn more about your group;
- Pray for opportunities to bring the Gospel to your unreached people group.
There are a number of resources to help you and your group share the Gospel with your group:
- Order Operation World, which will help you pray daily for people groups all over the world and will also probably have some information about your group;
- Visit www.bobmayfield.com/6426project to order materials such as bookmarks, bulletin inserts, and posters;
- Put the name of your adopted people group on the sign outside your classroom door;
- Plan a time during your worship service to actually pray for unreached people groups that classes in your church have adopted;
There are some definite benefits to adopting an unreached people group:
- Any age-group can adopt an unreached people group;
- By asking every class to adopt an unreached people group, more church members become involved in prayer and ministry. More doors open as a result;
- By praying for those who have yet to hear the Gospel, we deepen and expand the prayer lives of our members;
- Our members become more aware of lostness when they research their people group and discover the needs of those for whom they pray;
- By praying for unreached people groups, we challenge our members to put the Gospel on display and expect God to move in their adopted group.
First Baptist Church of Sapulpa, Oklahoma adopted an unreached, unengaged people group. A woman in the church realized that a lady that clerked in a local business might be from the area her people group was located. She was, and she was even a member her adopted people group! After some time of developing a relationship with this lady and contacts she has back home, the church has made several mission trips to this people group. They are starting the first church ever for their adopted unreached people group.
A major reason for decline in many of our churches is that we have disconnected the purpose of Sunday School from the mission of the church. A group with no purpose belongs in a bingo hall, not in a body of believers who have a mission to carry the Gospel to every people group on our planet.
Be a leader. Lead your group to adopt an unreached people group and make a difference.