14) The Last Bit: Finishing the Task (FTT) Met This Past Week

The Finishing the Task Network gathered this past week at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest (L.A.), California for its annual conference designed to mobilize, report, and advance the vision of fulfilling the Great Commission. Learn more about the FTT movement at…


The network’s visionary leader and statesman, Paul Eshleman, continues to amaze us. He began full-time service in missions way back in 1966 (50 years ago this year!). For 26 years, he directed the Jesus Film Project. (If you’ve been living on another planet, the Jesus Film is based on the gospel of Luke and has been translated into more than 850 languages and viewed around 6 billion times. Cru estimates that more than 195 million people have made decisions to follow Christ after viewing the movie. Not a bad investment of Paul’s life.)

The FTT staff has been tracking Christian workers sent out to unreached people groups. They have especially been vocal in lifting up unreached people groups which reportedly had no voice, no proclamation, no Christian presence at all. They referred to these UPG’s as “unengaged” and, over the last 10 years, they’ve waved the flag for these number of unengaged, unreached people groups to the point that practically every group of 10,000 or more now has at least one worker per 50,000 people. This past week, they released the population threshold and began focusing on UUPG’s regardless of population. This now means that they are focusing on groups of all sizes, whether the group consists of 3 million members or 300. No one knows for sure how many unengaged ethnolinguistic people groups remain, but Finishing the Task is currently lifting up a list of roughly 1500 of them.

Exactly what does this mean for Christendom? Does it mean the Great Commission is near completion? Well thanks to groups like Finishing the Task, it at least signals the dawn of an era in which Christian WITNESSES will be present among every reasonable grouping of individuals (though granted — 50,000 people would still be a sizeable population to try to influence, especially in a place where public witness is forbidden). But the bigger question — and one upon which FTT focused this past week — is that we not only need the infrastructure in place, we need FRUIT. So although many might CONFUSE this epoch s one in which the Great Commission is near completion, what we are approaching, actually, is a day and age in which spiritual flag-wavers are in place, becoming salt an light for every community for Christ. Now comes the tough part: How do we make DISCIPLES of all those nations. That becomes the question for the NEXT generation of Christian leaders.

More about Finishing the Task in next week’s Brigada.

3 Responses to 14) The Last Bit: Finishing the Task (FTT) Met This Past Week
  1. Alex Morales Reply

    Two years ago, Dr. Tim Hill approached church leaders about an initiative he called FINISH. Recently he was elected as General Overseer of the Church of God and delivered this message about FINISH(ing) the Great Commission.

    Watch on Daystar:


  2. Mark Snowden Reply

    You can participate in FTT here in the U.S. by identifying people group populations by zip code and uploading them at http://www.peoplegroups.info. You can request training and security clearance at that website.

  3. Dawn Birkner Reply

    Help finish the task in unengaged rural Japan. Japan is the second largest unreached people group in the world. Though its urban areas have long been engaged, the vast majority of its RURAL areas have been virtually unengaged for the last several decades. As a result, urban and rural Japan are in two different missiological stages. Arguably, RURAL Japan (towns or villages under 50,000 population based on pre-Heisei merger boundaries) is not only unreached, but practically unengaged. 14 million people live in the 1800 towns and villages that have yet to have their first church. Most of these have no believers, or at most a few, with no one is targeting them for outreach or church planting even though all remaining areas in Japan without a church are in rural areas. Learn more at the website ruraljapanchurch dot com. Maps showing all unchurched (without their first church) areas left in Japan can be downloaded here for free as well. If interested in interacting, feel free to email Rural Japan Church Planting Network at rjcpn@Hotmail dot com

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