Adopt-A-People for Children
A Church for Every People By the Year 2000
WHY THIS PROPOSAL?
In May, 1990 I wrote the article "My Burden" in which I challenged children's workers to think in terms of children's groups adopting "Unreached" People Groups as a practical and logical follow-up to children's Missions education. If there are approximately 12,000 People Groups in the world still to be effectively "Reached", and approximately 500 churches world-wide for every people group, isn't it time we look into HOW children can plug into this all-out, necessary effort? Adoption is a familiar concept these days, with agencies proposing that we "adopt" everything from a tree, an endangered species, to a child in Romania. I propose that, due to the urgency of the Great Commission given to us by God, that children not only CAN, but NEED to adopt People Groups.
-Gerry Dueck, July '91
THE TASK CAN BE DONE!
"And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, (Gk.ethne, peoples) and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14
"You were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." Revelation 5:9
HOW CAN WE COMPLETE THE GREAT COMMISSION?
There are, approximately, 24,000 peoples on planet earth, among whom live 5.3 billion people.
The Reached Peoples: There are 12,000 peoples among which a church is planted.
The Remaing Task: 12,000 peoples do not yet have a church, and can be divided into 5 major blocks:
4000 Muslim groups in which live 860 million people. 3000 Tribal groups in which live 140 million people. 2000 Hindu groups in which live 550 million people. 1000 Chinese groups in which live 150 million people. 1000 Buddhist groups in which live 275 million people. 1000 Other people groups in which live 225 million people.
Suggestion: Think of the phrase "Most That Heaven Can Boast Over," using the bold letters for the people groups.
1. Identify the goal.
Mission agencies and researchers are busy identifying every last tribe, tongue, and people on earth where a church movement must still be planted. An Unreached People is a group within which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without requiring outside (cross-cultural) assistance.
2. Mobilize the Manpower.
There are over six million evangelical congregations of vital believers worldwide. Since there are 12,000 unreached people groups, the ratio of congregations to people groups is about 500 to one! Think of the potential of just 10 congregations united to plant a church in a single people group. Never before has Christ's Church been so hopefully situated for finishing the task!
3. Finish the task in bite-sized pieces.
The world is too big for any one congregation to tackle. But in this final challenge to complete the task, each congregation can unite with others to adopt at least one of the 12,000 unreached people groups.
4. Involve Children
Children's groups can either initiate or propose the adoption of a people group, challenging their church to join them; or they can join their church in the adoption of one or more groups.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "ADOPT" AN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP?
- It means that one or more congregations or fellowship groups, work through their chosen mission agencies, to provide informed, dedicated prayer and financial support for a specific unreached people group.
- It means maintaining that commitment until a growing, evangelizing church movement is established within this unreached people group.
WHY YOUR CHILDREN'S GROUP AND/OR YOUR CHURCH SHOULD ADOPT AN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP
We adopt people groups because they are in bondage to Satan and need to be free. People need the Lord! Our focus is on bringing the gospel to peoples. Our focus is not on what adopting can do for our children, even though it can bring a blessing; rather it is on passing the blessing of being part of God's family on to others. We are actually helping a people to be adopted into God's family.
IMPORTANT CONCEPTS for seeing a people group adopted into God's family --
- you need to know:
a) a proper name for that group b) a location of significant numbers of that group
- a people group meets one or more of the following:
1) The people group has not heard. 2) The people group has not responded. 3) The people group does not have a church. 4) The people group does not have the Word of God translated into their mother tongue. 5) The people group does not have the Word of God readily available.
WHAT CAN YOUR CHILDREN'S GROUP DO NOW?
1. Make Contact!
- First explore adopting an unreached people together with your church and/or your denominational mission headquarters or a mission agency. If your congregation does not have such a link, then contact the Adopt-a-People Clearinghouse. Ask for specific people groups and suggested programs. They have extensive listings now of agencies and churches who are linking up in this "Adoption" program. (See address below)
- If your church has a specific geographic area or people group in mind, you can ask for information and suggestions directly from the Adopt-a-People Clearinghouse. They will point you to the agencies whose plans are close to what your goals are.
2. Obtain the Resources:
- Study your People Group by getting all the information you can, and using this in teaching the children. Write the Adopt-a-People Clearinghouse for "People Profiles". Even sources like National Geographic Magazines will have much valuable information and pictures.
- In order for your church to join you in studying your people group, praying for them, and setting the goals, suggest that your church order the Adopt-a-People Program Manual. You can order this manual by writing to William Carey Library (P.O. Box 40129, Pasadena, CA 91114) or by calling their toll-free number (800-777-6371).
- Call or write Mobilization Division at U.S. Center for World Mission for more Adopt-A-People materials.
3. Regular Focus
Have some type of focus on your people group every time you meet (Ex: every S.S. session).
4. Use Materials Focused on Unreached Peoples
- Obtain and use children's curriculum that has this focus (using the 6 major blocks of people groups mentioned on the first page).
- Obtain and regularly use the Global Prayer Digest yourself and with the children. (Use USCWM address below)
REMEMBER, THE HEART OF THE ADOPT-,A-PEOPLE CONCEPT IS THE LINKING OF A LOCAL CONGREGATION WITH A SPECIFIC UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP WORKING THROUGH A MISSION AGENCY.
Adopt-a-People Clearinghouse,1605 Elizabeth Street, Pasadena CA 91104. (818)398-2282.
Mobilization Division, U.S. Center for World Mission, 1605 Elizabeth St, Pasadena CA 91104. (818) 398-2200.
SUGGESTED IDEAS TO USE ADOPT-A-PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN
- Introduce the "Unreached Peoples"concept to the children by using the "Hidden Peoples Introductory Lesson" (available from Children's Missions Resource Center).
- Introduce the "Adoption" concept to them by telling them a story about adoption of a child. What principles involved are the same?
- Have a bulletin board exclusively for your "Adopted People Group". Fill it with pictures and any other information. Encourage the children to collect things and share them.
- Have some kind of focus concerning your "People Group" every Sunday (or whenever you meet), even if only 5 minutes.
- Teach them how to pray for their "group".
- Make a scrapbook about your people group, using a photo album with plastic pages. Use articles, pictures, etc.
- Find out how your people group dresses, and make simple costumes. Have special Sundays when children come dressed in the costumes. Put on a play with children or puppets.
- Find out what your people group eats, and make and eat some ethnic snacks.
- Introduce loose change jar, label it with your people group name. You might even have a contest with some sort of creative poster depicting your people group.
- Adopt the children of your people group.
- Find out if there are already missionaries going to your group, and have children correspond with them. Sending tapes back and forth is a wonderful idea.
- For more ideas or materials write CMRC(address on front).
WE WANT TO SEE EVERY UNREACHED PEOPLE BATHED IN DAILY PRAYER, ADOPTED IN LOVE, AND TARGETED BY CULTURALLY-SENSITIVE AND COMMITTED CHRISTIANS.
Go ahead -- take a People Group to Heaven with you!