Of the 6500 distinct people groups around the world, 2500 groups are still unreached for the Gospel of Christ.
That’s 2500 people groups that have no church, no Bible, and no contact with Christians. What a heartbreaking statistic!
But one ministry is specifically focused on turning those unreached people into communities that know Christ and love Him.
Ethnos360 has a big vision: to reach the unreached all around the world.
“By unflinching determination we hazard our lives and gamble all for Christ until we have reached the last tribe regardless of where that tribe might be,” reads the organization’s bold mission statement.
Founded in 1942 as New Tribes Mission, Ethnos360 helps local churches in locations around the world to “train, coordinate, and send missionaries” to these unreached peoples.
The ministry’s founder, Paul Fleming, was passionate about the plight of “people who have no access to the Gospel.” So he and five mission-minded colleagues formed New Tribes Mission to increase access to the message of Christ.
“It seemed that the Lord had pushed us into something,” Fleming confessed, “and we were confident that no man started [the ministry]; the Lord brought it into existence in spite of us.”
The ministry recently updated its name to reflect its work in a changing world, but its mission and vision are the same as they’ve always been. Ethnos360 dreams of seeing “a thriving church for every people.”
“[The name] 360 represents the entirety of the globe—all 360 degrees,” writes the ministry.
“Our goal is to go wherever in the world is necessary…not only to focus on one particular type of people group.”
To that end, Ethnos360 works within the language and culture of each people group. More often than not, unreached people groups have been marginalized by their larger societies because of their languages or cultural practices.
This means that Ethnos360 has the unique opportunity to meet these people on their own terms and introduce them to a God Who loves them in the way that the societies around them often don’t.
The ministry believes that unreached people groups shouldn’t have to learn a different language or adapt their cultural practices in order to get to know Jesus. Instead, they should be assured that God speaks their language and sees what’s in their hearts.
“[The name] 360 also represents the full-circle work of a Great Commission ministry,” the organization continues. “We begin with thriving churches sending believers to an unreached people group, and keep working until there’s a thriving church sending out believers.”
The ministry’s mission is to not only introduce the Bible to unreached people groups but also grow mature believers who can effectively evangelize in their communities.
It’s all about making people “agents of change” for the kingdom of God.
Today, more than 3,000 Ethnos360 missionaries serve communities around the world. They work in cities and jungles, in places that are open to Christianity, in places where their ministry must be kept secret – from Papua New Guinea to Mexico to the Philippines.
They strive for “excellence and urgency” in their quest to “finish the task” of reaching people groups everywhere for Christ.
In addition to training and sending missionaries to unreached people groups, Ethnos360 offers solid Bible education through the Ethnos360 Bible Institute.
This two-year program offers Bible education—with an emphasis in cross-cultural ministry—in order to “establish believers in the foundational truths of the Bible with an emphasis on church planting among people groups without the gospel.”
Students at the Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin spend four semesters studying the Bible chronologically. They walk in the footsteps of 60 years’ worth of missionaries and ministry leaders who have graduated from the Institute!
Attending the Bible Institute is an opportunity to learn more about the Bible in the context of God’s heart for world missions. Students learn from Ethnos360 missionaries and staff who are experienced in cross-cultural ministry work.
Students at the Institute also have the chance to pursue short-term mission trips to see the work of Ethnos360 firsthand. They’re introduced to the “360” vision of the organization and offered the opportunity to apply their learning and engage directly with unreached people groups.
All of it comes back to God’s intense love for even “the least of these”—the people who have never been reached to hear the Gospel.
Ethnos360 is filling a deep need by focusing on unreached people groups around the world. To learn more about the comprehensive ministry of this organization and how you can get involved in reaching the far corners of the world for Christ, visit the Ethnos360 website.