Will This Modern-Day 'Upper Room' Burn With the Flames of Revival?
A group championing the cause of missions to those who have still to hear the gospel is hoping its virtual "Upper Room" gathering June 4, Pentecost Sunday, will help ignite a new fire among Christians to take the gospel to the two billion people in the world who not yet been told the good news of Jesus Christ.
Tapping into the latest social media capabilities, the International Day for the Unreached will center on a global "Facebook LIVE for the Unreached!" event at 7 p.m. EDT that day, challenging churches and individuals to a greater commitment to world evangelization.
The event will be hosted at www.facebook.com/dayfortheunreached and feature a message by David Platt, president of IMB, the international missions board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and author of the best-selling book, Radical.
"Facebook LIVE for the Unreached!" will also feature music from Christian recording artist Phil Stacey, an American Idol finalist, and noted author, speaker and former missionary Becky Harling. There will also be brief video messages from the members of the organizing alliance: Bibles for the World, GMI, Missio Nexus, Operation Mobilization, Partners International, Reach Beyond and World Mission.
The International Day for the Unreached is being celebrated on Pentecost Sunday because it marks the birth of the early church. That was the day the Holy Spirit fell on Christ's first followers meeting in an upstairs room and propelled them to pursue his "Great Commission," taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
"Just as the Book of Acts records that people from all over the world were there that day, we are expecting a global gathering," said Wayne Pederson, chairman of the Alliance for the Unreached. "And we hope for a similar empowering of the Holy Spirit to take the message of the good news to those who are 'far off,' as the apostle Peter said when he spoke that day."
While there is support for missions work in many countries, currently only 5 percent of missionaries are serving among the world's least-evangelized. And their efforts receive only 0.5 percent of American evangelicals' giving.
"There is no more pressing need than a greater focus on the unreached peoples of our world," said Platt. The International Day for the Unreached was launched in 2016 to rally churches to that need. Churches are being encouraged to focus sermons and programs for the day on the challenge and opportunity before them, to get more involved in efforts to take the gospel to the two billion people who have yet to hear.
IDU participants are also being urged to adopt and share the "Manifesto for the Unreached," committing to making support for world missions a higher priority and to participate in a special 30-day prayer focus on unreached peoples and missions activity.
"Jesus told his earliest followers to pray for more workers to go into the harvest field, and we hope that many thousands will join us in doing that on June 4," said Pederson. "So many unreached people groups across the globe are still waiting to hear the good news of the gospel. We want as many people as possible to experience the privilege of responding to their need."
For more information about "Facebook LIVE for the Unreached!," go to DayForTheUnreached.org.