What is EMBRACE?

For churches of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), EMBRACE is an emphasis of the International Mission Board (IMB) that challenges the churches to assume the responsibility for evangelizing an unengaged, unreached people group (UUPG).

To embrace a UUPG means to accept the responsibility of getting the gospel to people who otherwise would never hear there is a Savior. It means becoming the missionary. It means doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes to see indigenous churches established firmly enough to taken on the task of evangelizing their won.

It might help to understand what embracing is NOT. It is not just praying for a UUPG as important as that effort is. It is not just taking mission trips although trips are definitely involved. It is not just developing a partnership with a missionary even though church support is often vital to the realization of a missionary’s strategy for reaching a people group. All of these activities are good and legitimate expressions of the passion to see God’s glory extended to the nations. But they are not what is meant by “embrace.”

To embrace is to take on the task of getting the gospel to a UUPG. It means being willing to be the “boots on the ground.” It means establishing a strategic presence for sharing the gospel. It means discipling new believers who in turn will evangelize and disciple others. It means planting reproducing churches, churches that will plant churches that will plant churches in a movement of multiplication.

Someone has compared the commitment to embrace a UUPG to the commitment of marriage. Prayer could be compared to admiring someone from afar. Mission trips could be compared to dating. A partnership with a missionary could be compared to going steady or perhaps an engagement. But embracing means a commitment, like marriage, for as long as it takes for better or worse, to see it through.

Pray today about the level of your commitment. Are you ready to EMBRACE?

What is a UUPG?

UUPG stands for “Unengaged, Unreached people group."

A people group is a social unit of individuals who share a common ethnic, racial, linguistic, or cultural identity. It is the smallest social unit through which the gospel will flow unhindered by some barrier.

A people group is unreached when the number of Evangelical Christians is less than 2% of its population.

A people group is further called unengaged when there is no church planting strategy consistent with Evangelical faith and practice under way. It is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.