7 steps to adopting a people group
Baptist Press
March 18, 2011

7 steps to adopting a people group

7 steps to adopting a people group
Baptist Press
March 18, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A people group shares a basic identity

and view of the world.

Individuals within a people group frequently have the same

language, culture, history, customs and family/clan identities.

From a missions perspective, a people group is the largest

group through which the gospel can flow without encountering significant

barriers of understanding and acceptance.

An unreached people group is comprised of less than 2

percent evangelical Christians.

Your church can play a key role in bringing an unreached

people group to Christ.

Adopting a people group helps churches take an active and

direct role in missions.

Pray for God’s guidance

  • As in any spiritual endeavor, your search for an unreached

    people group to adopt must begin with prayer.

Discover church’s natural affinity (DNA)

  • Do you already have a connection to an International

    Mission Board (IMB) missionary? Have you sent out a missionary from your


    Do you have a parent or children of missionaries who are


    Has a team been on a mission trip where they felt a connection

    to the people group(s)?

  • What are the skills and spiritual gifts of your church


  • What people groups live near your church or its members?

    Check out www.peoplegroups.info to find people groups in your area.

    Determine your church’s expectations

  • Do you want to commit to pray for an unreached people

    group? To be a prayer partner, call (888) 462-7729 or find prayer resources at


  • Is your church ready to pray and connect with a missionary

    on the mission field by going on multiple volunteer trips?

  • Is your church ready to pray and become the “missionary”

    to an unreached people group that has no missionary working among them? Are you

    ready to study the culture, develop the strategy and take ownership of reaching

    a people group that may never hear about Christ unless you go?

Identify a missions champion

  • Has God laid a particular people or part of the world on

    the heart of one or more church members?

  • Are they ready to find ways to take the gospel to those

    who have little or no access to it?

  • Who in the church will be the point person to communicate

    with those on the field?

  • Is this person willing to be trained in security measures

    to allow communication to restricted areas where there is a lack of openness to

    the gospel?

  • Can this person help influence the congregation to focus

    prayer for your unreached people group?

  • Are they willing to lead teams and work with church and

    IMB field leaders?

Investigate opportunities

  • Do you feel led to reach a megacity or a rural area or

    something in between?

  • Are there volunteer opportunities available that might

    help you discover the people or area of the world where God is leading you?

    Explore opportunities at going.imb.org.

  • Has your state convention or local association adopted an

    unreached people group?

  • Assign teams or individuals to research various people

    groups and areas at peoplegroups.org.

  • If you feel led to a specific area but have not yet

    selected a people group, contact an IMB mobilization specialist assigned to

    your state at (800) 999-3113, ext. 1667, or go to the “Lead Your Church”

    section at imb.org, and find “Church Services.”

Celebrate God’s direction

  • Once you have determined your adopted people group, follow

    God’s leadership, find ways to bring the whole church into the process and meet

    with church leaders to plan a celebration time.

Communicate, follow through and

keep commitments

  • Learn from field personnel.
  • Connect with other churches to multiply your efforts.
  • Communicate with field personnel as your team trains and


  • Keep your commitments. Building trust is vital.

    Follow-through will lead to more opportunities.

  • Evaluate your role every year. If God leads you in another

    direction, communicate this to the field and other churches that have joined in

    this effort and develop a strategic exit plan.

    To learn more about adopting a people group, go to the “Lead

    Your Church” section of imb.org.

Related story

W-S church prepares to adopt

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