Addresses Greatest Needs

One of the ObeyGC2 values is that work prioritizes the areas of greatest need.

This means that work focuses on places with the greatest lostness, especially in terms of having the least access to the gospel. This takes the form of prioritizing work among UUPGs (unengaged unreached people groups) whenever possible. UUPGs are ethnolinguistic people groups among whom there are no intentional church planting efforts taking place. You can see a list of ethnolinguistic people groups online at www.peoplegroups.org.  (For information on people groups in the USA go to www.peoplegroups.info instead.)  Of the roughly 12,000 people groups in the world, about 3,500 are UUPGs. Most of these have populations of less than 100,000 and one reason they are unengaged is that it is not efficient for missions organizations to commit resources to reach them because there are much larger groups which are still very unreached. Local churches nearby these UUPGs, but composed of a different people group are often the best placed to take responsibility for beginning outreach to the UUPGs.

We also need to target the areas of greatest poverty, greatest illness, greatest injustice, greatest ignorance, etc. If you work in a slum you can ask people who is poor and they will nearly always be able to identify people who are worse off than they are. There is often a degree of satisfaction among the relatively poor, but absolute destitution is a serious matter which deserves priority attention. HIV-AIDS is an example of a “greatest illness” although in some places it is not the only affliction deserving immediate attention. Malaria, or even simple diarrhea can be devastating in some places. Severe injustices such as sex slavery fall into a similar category. Especially in some Muslim societies such as Afghanistan, the education of girls is a major issue.

Every community also has one or more issues which are the most severe. In many places which are prosperous physically there is great spiritual darkness. Much of Western Europe comes to mind in this regard. Locally we need to address the greatest need. Globally we need to do what we can to bring light to the darkest places.

Matt 9:10-13

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”