by David Westmeier

Christians who truly believe that God is sovereign over all things will lead a life of self-sacrifice for the sake of all peoples. Why is that so? Because true followers of Jesus recognize that the last command He gave us before He ascended to Heaven was to “go and make disciples of all nations”.


Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

(Matt 28:19-20, NIV)


Six chapters prior to that command, Jesus told an expert in the law that the two greatest commandments of Scripture were to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.  I would suggest that we can do neither if we ignore the Lord’s final commission.  There are many charities that could be listed that bear the Christian name but do nothing in regard to making disciples.  What value is it if we feed the hungry and cloth the poor but never tell them about Heaven and Hell, or the tragedy of sin and the reason for Christ’s sacrifice?  What value is it if we are not making disciples for Jesus out of those people whom we help physically, and yet ignore spiritually?  Or if we give them food and medicine and yet leave them to a Christless eternity?  Whether we are working at home or abroad, the only way that we can be obedient to Christ, in the midst of our charity, is if we are actively making disciples.  So, in order to discuss how we are to make disciples of all nations, it is appropriate to define what the Great Commission is.  Let’s begin by taking a closer look.



It is important to understand from the outset that what I am about to advocate in no way negates the importance of local missions and local ministries.  Local missions and ministries are totally necessary for the church, both as a witness to unbelievers as well as for the edification the church’s own wellbeing.  However, there is a great need in the church to confront the fact that global missions have been tragically neglected throughout its history.


The Tragedy of Missions among Muslims

Perhaps the most glaring example of this neglect can be seen in the history of missions among Muslim peoples around the World.   Although the trends of failed missions among Muslims are just beginning to be reversed, we must come to grips with the fact that for almost 1,400 years the church’s attempts at reaching People Groups from Muslim backgrounds have been unsuccessful.  In David Garrison’s book, “A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ” he states,


To recap our review of the history of Muslim movements to Christ, in Islam’s first 12 centuries we found no voluntary, and only a handful of coerced, conversions to the Christian religion. Not until the end of the 19th century, twelve and a half centuries after the death of Muhammad, did we find the first voluntary movements of Muslims to Christ that numbered at least 1,000 baptisms. These two movements, the Indonesian movement led by Sadrach and the Ethiopian movement by Shaikh Zakaryas, accomplished what no other Christian had seen in more than a thousand years. [1]


But as Garrison continues to point out in his book, it wasn’t until the end of the twentieth century we saw these trends being reversed:


… in the final two decades of the 20th century, there was a surge of 11 additional movements. These occurred in Iran (2), Algeria, Bulgaria, Albania, West Africa, Bangladesh (2) and Central Asia (3). By the close of the 20th century, 1,368 years after the death of Muhammad, there had been a total of 13 movements of Muslim communities to faith in Jesus Christ.


It is this long history of frustration, a history that has seen tens of millions of Christians absorbed into the Muslim world that makes the current events all the more striking. In only the first 12 years of the 21st century, an additional 69 movements to Christ of at least 1,000 baptized Muslim-background believers or 100 new worshiping fellowships have appeared. These 21st-century movements are not isolated to one or two corners of the world. They are taking place throughout the House of Islam: in sub-Saharan Africa, in the Persian world, in the Arab world, in Turkestan, in South Asia and in Southeast Asia. Something is happening—something historic, something unprecedented. A wind is blowing through the House of Islam. [2]


When we speak of strategy in trying to win Muslims for Christ, we need to understand that we are still dealing with virgin territory.  The majority of these relatively new movements to Christ in the Muslim World are happening through the expansion of multiplying house churches in countries where Christianity is illegal, where it is banned by society, and where Christians undergo much persecution for their decisions to follow Jesus.  Such strategies, which have been effective in those parts of the world where Christianity undergoes much persecution, have not been effective in trying to reach Muslims in the West.  This is why at CTU, we believe that in order to be effective in reaching Muslims in the west, it is important to take what has been working in the Muslims World and tweak those strategies so that they become more relevant for our western societies.


Defining “Nations” in the Great Commission

As important as it is to understand what Jesus meant when he said that we are to go and “make disciples of all nations”, it is just as important to understand what Jesus was not referring to.  First, let’s understand that the Great Commission was not a command to go and make disciples here, there and everywhere.  As important as it is that we share the Gospel with friends and family members that God has naturally put in our path, Jesus’ command was specifically to “make disciples of all nations”.  The word translated “nations” is the Greek word ἔθνος, (pronounced ethnos).  It can be more accurately translated (all politics aside) “ethnicities” or “ethnic groups”.  So then, Jesus was not simply referring to countries, like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.  Rather he was referring to the ethnic groups within those countries.


A country like Pakistan, for instance, would be considered to have nine major distinct ethnic groups, which can then be broken up further and added to other smaller groups to make a total of 414 people groups in Pakistan.  It is important to understand that, in this context, Jesus was not saying that we are to go and make disciples of Pakistanis in general.  Rather, the term he used would have referred to the 414 people groups within Pakistan, of which only 5 have a Christian witness. [3]


So, in looking at this term “ethnos” (the term Jesus used for the groups we are to make disciples out of) it is important to define what we mean by an ethnic group.  For missional purposes the term “people groups” is used to distinguish the context of the term “ethnos”, in the way that Jesus used it in the Great Commission, from broader contexts such as what a sociologist might mean when he uses the word “ethnicity” today.  Thus, a “people group”, when used strictly as a missiological term, means “the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.” [4]  It is very important to understand that a people group does not refer to a group that is defined by social status, occupation, education level, political affiliation, or economic status.[5] 


While people groups can be defined by various combinations of ethnicity, language, religion, caste and geography, they are not defined by occupation, social status, education level, economic status or political affiliation…. A people group is not the same as a group of people. [6]


The power of "people group" imagery to focus people’s strategic thinking began to be used to re-define all kinds of strata of society as a "people group." So, young people, the disabled, prostitutes, or taxi drivers in certain cities (which are actually segments or a strata of society) began to be defined as a "people group."


Factually, a "people group" is a collection of inextricably linked strata. For instance, a large ethno-linguistic/ethno-cultural people group will have youth, urban, rural, rich, poor, disabled, etc. At the end of the day, however, a young person or a taxi driver or a disabled person is in familial and societal relationships with other kinds of people from other strata of the society [and are not people groups]….


So, a "people group" may have a variety of defining factors which might include ethno-linguistic or ethno-cultural/religious elements, and may legitimately have unique elements (such as caste factors in India) but it will consist of various strata.[7]


There has been much confusion in the western church about how we are to apply the Great Commission to the preaching of the Gospel due to the wide misinterpretation of what Jesus meant by the word “nations”.  When Jesus said that we were to “make disciples of all nations” he was not speaking about “professionals in Chile”, to name an example.[8]  Professionals in Chile are an example of a smaller strata within a larger people group.  Thus, when Jesus commanded us to make disciples of the “nations” he was referring to those larger people groups within which the Gospel would be able to spread without encountering cultural barriers of understanding or acceptance.


When is Enough, Enough?

This begs the question of when enough is enough.  When have we made enough disciples to satisfy Christ’s command in any particular people group?  In practical terms (and in accordance with our previous definition), this can only happen once the Gospel has taken enough of a foothold within a people group that it can spread within that people group without any outside interference.  At that point it becomes the primary responsibility of the church within that people group to share the Gospel among their own group.  


The most commonly accepted criteria for a people group to be qualified as Unreached, and therefore still in need of an outside witness, was given by the original Joshua Project editorial committee.  They suggested that any people group with less than or equal to 2% Evangelical Christian and less than or equal to 5% Professing Christians should be considered Unreached.[9]  Joshua Project goes on to explain that some of this reasoning was based on articles published by sociologist Robert Bellah, from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, in Psychology Today in the 1970s, but more recently quoted in Christianity Today.[10]  There is much more to be said about this, but this should suffice for the purposes of this paper.


Defining “Disciples” in the Great Commission

The second term in the Great Commission which we should clarify before we can discuss strategy is the term “disciples”.  What did Jesus mean by using this term in His first century, Jewish context?  


Much of this is explained right in the Great Commission itself when He says we are to “baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  This was an initiation in which the new believer is to be immersed and surrounded into the Trinitarian community – it was not simply dunking a person in water.  Following this, Jesus tells us we are to “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20 NIV).  As Brian Jones wrote on (in a follow up to his article entitled Why Euthanize Small Groups):


Discipleship is not about teaching people Jesus’ teachings, but it is about teaching people how to obey Jesus’ teachings. In fact, that’s probably the simplest definition of a disciple I can give:  A disciple is someone who knows and obeys Jesus and his teachings.


Who cares if someone can lead a small group discussion on worry? People become disciples in the presence of someone who can teach them how to stop worrying, from experience, by the power of Jesus.[11]


The meaning of the word “disciple” in Jesus day was not what many have come to associate with that word today.  A disciple in Jesus day would probably best be described by our word “apprentice” today.[12]  Merriam-Webster describes an apprentice as “someone who is bound by indenture to serve a [skilled master] … with a view of learning an art or a trade”.[13] 

Perhaps we who consider ourselves Christian should ask ourselves what being a disciple of Jesus really means to us.  In your own walk with Christ, do you see yourself as an apprentice?   More to the point, do you view yourself as an “indentured servant” of Jesus Christ, striving to reach the goal of obeying everything He commands; following the examples that He has set so that one day you will become just like Him?   For the most part, this is not what discipleship means in our western churches.  Dallas Willard put it this way:


… I do not know of a denomination or local church in existence that has as its goal to teach its people to do everything Jesus said. I’m not talking about a whim or a wish, but a plan. I ask you sincerely, is this on your agenda? To teach disciples, surrounded in the triune reality, to do everything Jesus said? If that is your goal, you will certainly find a way to bring theological integrity and spiritual vitality together. But as you do so, you will find both your theology and your spirituality refreshingly and strongly modified.[14]


In the western church our model of discipleship seems to be mostly concerned with information transfer as opposed to the obedience and imitation of Christ.  We go to church on Sundays, listen to a sermon and sing a few songs with some skilled musicians.  We go to a bible study to learn more and immerse ourselves in an environment where we can ask knowledge-based questions. We are encouraged to read our Bibles so that we can increase our knowledge even further.  But rarely are we expected to actually obey and put into practice what Jesus taught.   The emphasis of such learning is certainly not obedience.   


This is much different than what discipleship looked like in Jesus’ day.  As Dallas Willard goes onto explain:


When Jesus walked among humankind there was a certain simplicity to being his disciple. Primarily it meant to go with him, in an attitude of observation, study, obedience, and imitation. There were no correspondence courses. One knew what to do and what it would cost. Simon Peter exclaimed, “Look, we have left everything and followed you” (Mark 10:28). Family and occupations were deserted for long periods to go with Jesus as he walked from place to place announcing, showing, and explaining the here-and-now governance or action of God. Disciples had to be with him to learn how to do what he did.


Imagine doing that today. How would family members, employers, and co-workers react to such abandonment? Probably they would conclude that we did not much care for them, or even for ourselves. Did not Zebedee think this as he watched his two sons desert the family business to keep company with Jesus (Mark 1:20)? Ask any father in a similar situation. So when Jesus observed that one must forsake the dearest things —family, “all that he hath,” and “his own life also” (Luke 14:26, 33)—insofar as that was necessary to accompany him, he stated a simple fact: it was the only possible doorway to discipleship….


[So], there is still a decision to be made: the decision to devote oneself to becoming like Christ. The disciple is one who, intent upon becoming Christ-like and so dwelling in his “faith and practice,” systematically and progressively rearranges his affairs to that end.[15]


Oddly enough this IS the kind of discipleship that can be found in places where we see the most persecuted churches on earth.  Yet, in spite of their persecution, and because of their radical obedience to Christ, we find that it is in these areas of the world that the church is growing the most rapidly.  While the evangelical churches of the West are shrinking, theirs are growing.  While the evangelical church in America has shrunk from being a majority of the population to a minority of only 7%, and while American Evangelicals are losing their children to a plethora of non-Christian beliefs,[16] we can see first-hand how single house-church movements in places like China and India are winning and discipling new believers by the millions.  Many of these movements no longer count their newly baptized believers by the hundreds, or by the thousands, or even in the hundreds of thousands; rather, many of these movements are measuring their baptisms in the millions.  Such movements are now being observed in various places throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, China, and Northern and Western Africa. 


In his book From Megachurch to Multiplication, Chris Galanos asked one of his friends who was involved in one of these movements what the difference was between our churches and theirs, and here is what they had to say:


“You guys focus on knowledge. We focus on obedience.” These friends call what we had been doing knowledge-based discipleship and what they do obedience-based discipleship. Their words stung a little, but I knew it was true.


He went on to explain:


In case it stings you a little too much, and you feel the urge to resist that characterization, I’d encourage you to think about this: In the American church, how do we decide when to move on to the next sermon or the next Bible study lesson? We move on once we’ve heard it, read it, or learned it, regardless of whether anyone has obeyed it.  In fact, we would be insulted if the pastor preached the same sermon he preached last weekend because we didn’t obey it the first time. Or if our Bible study leader said the group would be repeating the lesson from last week because we didn’t obey it. In traditional American churches, obeying is not the goal. We move on once we’ve learned, not once we’ve obeyed; hence the term knowledge-based discipleship.


But in many DMM (Discipleship Making Movement) churches overseas, guess how they decide when to move on? When they’ve obeyed! In fact, they will often repeat the same lesson until everyone has obeyed it.[17]


If there is anything to be learned from this it is that, in designing a strategy to reach UPGs in New York City, such a strategy must include some kind of Obedience Based Discipleship.  Because of the amount of oppression that many UPG background Christians face, even in the West, there is a tremendous need for a practical step by step, day by day, application-based discipleship that shows them how to practice the Presence of Christ in practical ways, especially in the midst of difficulties and persecutions.


Sharing Christ and Discipling UPGs in New York City

Before we get into methodology it is important to understand the reasons why urban cities with UPG populations are so strategic for missionary work.   To put it simply, one of the best reasons is because the best missionaries to people groups that are Unreached usually tend to be individuals who are already part of that people group.  Although there are exceptions to this rule, for the most part there is a shorter learning curve for people who already are familiar with their own culture. Even for second generation immigrants who serve as missionaries returning to their parent’s country, cultural adaptation and language acquisition is much faster and burn out is much less likely.  Immigrants that come from Unreached People Groups and find a new life in Christ here in the west, and then return to their own people groups as missionaries tend to be very successful. They are able to bring people to the Lord and plant churches at a much quicker rate than a non-cultural missionary that may need to spend five years or more simply learning the language well.   The opportunity we have in doing missions in western urban areas with UPG populations is huge.


*          *          *


In February of 2006 a group from our church was doing an outreach in Astoria, Queens.  We would go to Astoria every Wednesday night and knock on doors with Arabic or otherwise Muslim sounding names.  Astoria is known for its Muslim population with several mosques open all week long.  They have large Moroccan and Egyptian populations as well as Bengalis, Pakistanis, Indians and just about every other Muslim country you can imagine.


This particular night my sister and I knocked on the door of a Bengali woman who, seeing us out in the cold, felt sorry for us and let us in.  She told us that her name was Parveen and we gave her a copy of the Jesus DVD and a New Testament in English (though we promised to come back with one in Bengali).  Unbeknownst to us, Parveen had just given up on her religion.  She had prayed the night before asking Allah why he had put her in a difficult work situation where she couldn’t practice her religion because her husband had her working eight hours a day, seven days a week.  She had told Allah the day before that she was done with his religion (Islam) and that she wanted him to show her the truth. 


Well, she didn’t come to the Lord right away, but that one meeting developed into a long-term friendship.  My sister would go and visit her at least once a week and since she couldn’t come to church, we started having church services in the park and we would invite her to come as well (along with several other Muslim friends that wouldn’t be caught dead in a church).  The service was short, but we would stay the rest of the day in the park getting to know our Muslim friends. 


After five years of friendship Parveen started opening up about problems she was having in her marriage and with distant family members.  We started to pray with her until one day she gave her life over to follow Jesus and was later baptized.  Although she was dramatically transformed, she lived in fear of her husband and her father back in Bangladesh. After three years she finally picked up the courage to tell her family what Jesus had done for her.  Needless to say, they were not very happy (although being in the United States made it much easier).  Her father, who was very devout, disowned his daughter and said that he would never speak to her again.  But God started working in the family.


Parveen returned to Bangladesh to visit the family and was praying that God would provide an opportunity for her to reach out to her mother and her brothers and sisters. While she was there her mother accepted Jesus as her personal savior.  A while later her father also came to the Lord, and then her brother who was imprisoned in Dubai.  After her brother accepted the Lord, he was miraculously freed and returned to his family in Bangladesh where he was baptized.  And just this last week (8 years later) her sister, who immigrated to Germany, accepted Jesus as well.  They are now have house church services in their home in Bangladesh. 


*          *          *


This is an example of what we can do as American missionaries reaching out to Bengalis here in the United States.  Notice how quickly Parveen was able to work in Bangladesh, whereas it would have been much more difficult for an American missionary going to Bangladesh and trying to plant a church themselves.   And we have seen this phenomenon happen with different people. 


It’s also important to mention that New York City is a great training ground for missionaries that will be serving overseas.  We had one young man who was studying at Nyack College and was planning on going to Morocco as a “undercover missionary” after graduation.  For four years he trained with us and practically lived among the Moroccan population in Queens.  Although he was American, he became fluent in Moroccan Arabic before he ever left the United States.  When he arrived in Morocco the mission agency that sent him said that they had never had a missionary so well prepared to reach out to Moroccans as what they had in this young man. 


We have also worked with several interns in the past and it has always worked out well.  They always return to their schools or churches with a new heart and a vision for reaching the Unreached.


*         *        *



So, what do we do?  Our Strategy can be summarized in six basic steps.  Each step is actually a phase of a person’s walk with Christ.  We map these six steps on a scale commonly known as the Engel’s Scale (see linked page):

The Engel’s Scale

As we bring our UPG friend into a relationship with Christ we are constantly conscious of where they are in the Engel’s Scale.  Then we pray, intercede and do spiritual warfare over them. We specifically ask God to move them forward along the scale. 

Step 1:  Share Christ immediately – Most UPGs are between a -8 to a -6 on the Engels scale when we first meet them.

When we first get to know somebody, we always encourage our missionaries to share Christ with their friends right away.  Some methods of evangelism encourage people to befriend their unsaved contact and then wait for God to open doors to share the Gospel.  The problem with that is that often people never share the Gospel and many times never let the person know they are practicing Christians.  This is disingenuous at best.  We never encourage our missionaries to have hidden agendas.  It is very important that your friend know who you really are right from the start and that you are praying for them to know Jesus.

The method we usually use to share the Gospel is called Any 3.[18]  This is a method for sharing Christ with Muslims but can be adapted to almost any religious background and it works very well with UPGs.  It was written by Mike Shipman who used it in planting house churches when he was a missionary in Asia. 

It’s important to understand that we use this method as a guide, but we don’t force people to use it exclusively since we believe that sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is more important than a method.  Nevertheless, we insist on people sharing Christ with their unbelieving friend from the outset of the relationship at least once.

Step 2:  Befriend – Once they have shared the Gospel and clearly communicated with their contact, we encourage them to continue working on the friendship.  The objective here is to move our friend up the Engle’s Scale till they are ready to accept Christ.  As you can imagine this can take several months or years since most UPGs are not able to move from a -8 to a -1 in one step!  It takes time.

This may or may not involve discussions about Jesus or Islam.  Some people have had the opportunity to start the discipleship process at this point, even before they come to Christ.  I have one Muslim friend that was curious about the Bible and has been reading through John, Acts, Matthew, and is now working through the Torah.  We finished reading the book of Leviticus out of sheer interest on his part.  He is not ready to believe in Jesus yet, but the discipleship process has already started.

For others like Parveen, in the example given previously, there was very little religiously oriented Biblical discussion during our 5-year friendship with her.  But when things became difficult, we were there to help her turn her problems over to Jesus.

Step 3: Lead to Christ and Baptism– We are always watching for a time that we can lead our friend to Christ.  Again, this is not a hidden agenda.  Our friends should know how serious we are about our relationship to Jesus from the start of the friendship.  In this way, once they are going through problems, we will always turn them to Jesus.

Once they have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, we ask them to be baptized.  Some don’t mind getting baptized in front of other believers while others may find that difficult.  We have a portable baptistry that we take to people’s houses to baptize new believers privately if necessary.  WE have also baptized quite a few in bathtubs at home.  The important thing is not how it is done, but rather that they understand what their commitment to Christ is and what baptism means biblically for the new believer.

Step 4: Obedience based Discipleship in a very small group setting – As we stated before, the lines between Evangelism and Discipleship can get blurred. Discipleship does not always start right after the person accepts Christ.  It often starts way before while they are still investigating.  Curiosity will almost always lead them to start reading the Bible. 

It’s important to understand that many of our friends have been told many negative things about the Bible so they may be defensive at the beginning, especially if the discipleship process starts before they come to Christ.  What I often challenge my friends to do is to start out by comparing the Bible with one of their religious texts, such as the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita or maybe the Guru Granth Sahib.  I will often challenge my newfound friend to read the Gospel while I read their Holy book.  We can then compare the two.  I almost always find that when we start such a journey, we always end up looking at the Gospel and the life of Jesus without reference to the other texts.

The size of the groups is very important.  For the most part I never use a discipleship group that is larger than four or five people.  We need to understand that many of these new believers are studying in secret and cannot risk being caught by other friends and family members in the social groups.  We do encourage them to come out and become transparent but the pace at which that happens must be set by the Holy Spirit.

One of the big parts of discipleship among the Unreached is to teach them obey the teachings of Jesus.  Once the person has come to Christ, we place a lot of emphasis on obedience and prayer.  It’s not enough simply to read about the teachings Jesus gave.  The new believer needs some kind of accountability in regard to how they are putting Christ’s teachings into practice.  We encourage new believers to share examples of this on a regular basis as we walk through the Gospels.

Another big emphasis is on prayer.  From the very first day we teach new believers how to pray, intercede and practice spiritual warfare on behalf of other friends and family members.  With Muslims believers we teach them how to break the Pact of Omar over their lives and ministry.  The Pact of Omar is a pact that the church made with the spirit of Islam when Jerusalem was first conquered.  There is a big teaching that goes along with this but suffice it to say that we have noticed significant strides being accomplished much faster in the lives of MBBs (Muslim Background Believers) when this pact is broken.  And just generally speaking, we have seen that the amount of prayer and seriousness a new believer express toward developing a prayer life and personal relationship with Jesus greatly affects the growth rate of that believer.  Praveen has had great success in coming out and being open about her faith and has brought over 60 people from UPG backgrounds to the Lord.  This is largely because of the fact that she spends over an hour every day in prayer and the Word.

Step 5: Introduce to the larger body of Christ –  Once they have grown to the point that they are willing to be open with their unsaved family members about their relationship with Christ we usually find that these new believers want to either join a church or become part of a larger House Church.  We are happy to accommodate them in this when the time is right.  At this point they are usually at a +3 on the Engel’s Scale.

Step 6: Send – This is +5 and +6 on the Engel’s Scale.  Once the believer is ready to be transparent with others about their relationship with Jesus, we immediately start training them to witness to other friends and family members and multiply the Evangelism – Discipleship process with them.  We hope to see every believer who reaches this stage start discipling at least 3 others at one time.  People who are working as missionaries should have a minimum of 8-10 contacts/disciples (at whatever point they may be on the Engel’s Scale, as the Lord provides).

Can a Small Group become a House Church?

One question I am often asked is at what point does a small group that meets on a weekly basis become a house church.  Much has been written about this and I would direct you some interesting resources including the Discovery Bible Study method or the books T4T: A Discipleship Re-revolution by Steve Smith and Ying Kai and Stubborn Perseverance: How to launch cascading movements to Christ among Muslims and others.  David Garrison also has some interesting comments about the topic of house Churches versus small groups in his book A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the world to Jesus Christ.

In a training session I recently took with David Garrison he said that a small group should be considered a House church once the group becomes Self-Governing, Self-Supporting, Self-Propagating, Self-Correcting and Self-Feeding.  We could get into the definitions of what each of these mean but what needs to be understood on the surface is that once these five criteria have been met there really is no reason to avoid calling the small group a House Church.


At Center to the unreached we believe that one of the big reasons God has brought us into existence is so that we can came along side of other ministries and help them become effective in reaching UPGs.  If you feel that we could help your church or ministry in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



[1] Garrison, David. A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the world to faith in Jesus Christ . WIGTake Resources, LLC. Kindle Edition, loc 360.

[2] Ibid, loc. 368.


[4]  Winter, Ralph D., et al., editors. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. 3rd Ed., Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1999. pg. 514.

[5] Jenkins, Orville Boyd. “What is a ‘people Group’?”. 2008. Retrieved from


[7] Parks, S. Kent. “What Happened to People Group Thinking?”. 2019 [PDF]. Retrieved from



[10] Christianity Today Oct 2011: 42;


[12] Willard, Dallas. The Great Omission (p. 44). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.  

[13] Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary, 1999

[14] Willard, Dallas. The Great Omission (p. 61). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

[15] Willard, Dallas. The Great Omission (p. 6-7). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

[16] Dickerson, John S. The Great Evangelical Recession (p. 26, 28, 97-104). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[17] Galanos, Chris. From Megachurch to Multiplication: A Church's Journey Toward Movement (loc. 819). Experience Life. Kindle Edition.

[18] Shipman, Mike. Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime -- Win Muslims to Christ Now! WIGTake Resources. Kindle Edition.