In His “Great Commission” to His followers, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” In our modern languages, we often equate the word “nation” with “country” – a physical place with national borders and government. The word that Jesus used was translated into Greek as ethne, giving the clear meaning of “ethnic groups” – tribes, cultural peoples, families. Whether you prefer to view the world by countries or by people groups, there are resources available to track the advance of the purposes of God.
There are approximately 250 countries on earth today. Most of these are divided into smaller geopolitical units (states, provinces, counties, etc.). YWAM’s 4K lists the physical and spiritual needs of roughly 4,000 of these units, called “Omega Zones,” and tracks the progress of meeting those needs.
While the exact number of people groups on earth varies according to one’s definition, a good round working number is 16,000. Of these, some 7,000 are still considered “unreached.” There is no indigenous Christian presence of sufficient size and strength to fully evangelize the people group without outside help. However, well over 90% of Christian mission funds and cross-cultural workers are directed to the “reached” world, places and peoples where the kingdom of God is already firmly established.
Here are two resources to help you understand the peoples of the world better.
- Finishing the Task. On this video, YWAM’s Loren Cunningham and many other mission leaders explain how to reach the unreached.
- Joshua Project. This clearinghouse website provides helpful information on the world’s people groups
In our world today, the trafficking of humans for exploitation is the second-most lucrative illegal activity. It brings in more money even than the global drug trade.
In our world today, over three billion people, almost half of the globe’s population, live on less than $2.50 per day.
Still today, one million people a year die from malaria.
When Jesus told us to ask God, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” He asked us to pray for transformation, to pray against the ungodly aspects of the status quo.
Here are two resources and one video that can help you learn more about social needs from God’s point of view:
- Christian Magna Carta. YWAM’s document about the rights of every person.
- Lausanne Covenant. A classic statement about the Christian’s task in the world.
When Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, He described an upside-down world, a transformed world. What would a world like that look like today?
In YWAM, we talk about seven dimensions of societal transformation. We call these spheres. We have a variety of ministries in each of these areas. The spheres are: family, government, economics (science, technology and business), religion, education, media, and celebration (arts, entertainment, and sports).
To learn more about spheres, watch the video or download the document below.
- Visit Call2All. This page explains spheres briefly. Download the “777” document to learn much more. Call2All is a coalition of churches and mission agencies, of which YWAM is a part.
- Loren Cunningham talks about spheres. Hear the founder of YWAM give a lecture (one hour and 50 minutes) on the concept of spheres of society.