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Why "Least-Reached"?

Since its beginning, Christar has been driven by a passion to bring the gospel to those most cut off from the transformative gospel of Jesus. In our story’s earliest chapter, a brave woman ventured to the Far East in 1909 to share the good news with those living on boats who had no access to this life-giving message. Today our efforts continue to expand as we participate in reaching the Deaf worldwide, because the heart of our mission is still focused on taking the treasure we have in Christ to people without existing opportunities to learn of His love and salvation.

In the latter part of the 20th century, the term “unreached” emerged as a means to describe people groups among which there was not a community of indigenous followers of Christ large enough and with adequate resources to share the gospel with the entire group. Often, an unreached people group was (and still is) defined as one with a population that is under 2% evangelical Christian.1

While this concept certainly resonated with us as an organization, Christar continued to focus on a more specific outcome: We wanted to reach the groups with the very least opportunity to learn of the transforming message of the gospel. As we sought to effectively communicate our passion to see churches established among communities of people that previously had no culturally relevant gospel witness, we realized we needed a new term—one that described groups that not only have few Christians, but are also without a means to learn of the good news.

In 1999, we began using “least-reached” to describe these groups: those without access to a church that preaches the gospel in their language and that worships in a way that’s relevant in their culture. It emerged out of our firm belief that no one should be without opportunity to hear and respond to the good news, and has since served as a guiding definition that has shaped the focus of our efforts.

This term both narrows and broadens our efforts. It hones our focus on the groups that are most cut off from the gospel. But it also gives us freedom to minister, without veering from our vision, in communities of people that may not be categorized as unreached but who remain cut off from the message of Christ communicated in their language and culture.

For example, it enables us to serve among people groups that are more than 2% evangelical but have entire communities where there is no access to the gospel in a way that is understandable. These communities remain without opportunity to learn of the message of Christ through a local church within their own people group that preaches the gospel. If no one intentionally brings the good news to them, they are unlikely to encounter it within their daily life or experience.

So, while Christar does minister among unreached people groups, our focus is more specific: We want to see those who are without access to the gospel hear, accept and be transformed by it. No community should lack the opportunity to learn of the hope found only in Jesus, and we exist to bring this message of eternal salvation to communities that have yet to be reached by this exceedingly good news.