I remember as if it were yesterday the Amsterdam 2000 meetings. I was facilitating a small group seated at Table 71 in the middle of a room of 600 missions executives and strategists. We were considering a special part of the challenge of fulfilling the Great Commission – getting things started in the remaining unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPGs).
Recently one of our community members was interviewed by the Global Community of Information Workers. Here is the PDF Download link and David M’s feedback to them.
Original email to everyone – We know that Paul introduced the term “unengaged” at Cape Town 2010, and others have begun using it. I do not think it is the best term, and prefer less-reached, or un-reached. It translates better into, at least, Spanish and Portuguese. Paul, for strategic purposes, has focused primarily only on those people groups of over 100K. Even Luis Bush went down to 10K.
Hello Everyone, we have discussed the possibility of using new terms over the years. Unengaged as well as least-reached. I think we have been discussing all this since 2005.
I feel that we have worked very hard to help Latin America understand the one term unreached. And still many millions of Christians in Latin America have not yet heard the term unreached. So to add any new terms will be going backwards or confusing the few that understand and know what unreached is.
From a researchers standpoint, we UPG researchers have not even gotten a good handle on how many people groups are unreached. So until we do, should we be trying to track unengaged or least reached?
You can track these things when you have a small people list like Paul does. Paul made no error, we did by running with a term he uses in his movement.
*******UPG NUMBERS****5000 UPGs******
Depending on which database you look at you will get a different number for people groups and unreached people groups. The last time I did a deep comparison of people group databases was 2009 for the Ethne meeting in Colombia.
The first column is the Database Name – Word Christian Database, Global Status of Evangelical Christianity, Joshua Project, Harvest Information System, Etnopedia.org
The second number is People Groups Across Country figure – counts the people for every country they live in.
Third number is People Groups In country figure. Peoples are counted only once – not counted every time they are in two or more countries.
WCD 13,601 8,699
GSEC/IMB 11,601 8,313
JP 16,304 9,763
HIS n/a 10,609
Etnopedia n/a 10,478
The unreached numbers very even more, because every effort has a different definition of what is unreached and/or use different sources.
But for those who are looking for a round number, the average between all the Databases above is about 4,800 unreached people groups.
I always say 5,000 UPGs because we still do not know how many people groups there are.
Joshua Projects people group number has grown to about 10,000 now, 250 more than in 2009. So the lists are growing, they are not complete.
My thoughts after a call from Chris D. about creating a social network to connect users who are interested in specific unreached peoples. Ok, here we go again. I had to put myself in your shoes and say to myself “I have been given the task to create a social network that links people, churches, agencies etc. together on a specific people group.”
Here are the latest stats for Unengaged Unreached People Groups – UUPG currently 2939 w/300,955,026 pop. Approximately 2441 have no Bible translation, written or oral. 1,432 full time workers now w/original 639 list w/2,592 part time or vocational workers. If we get one worker for each 50,000 in all unreached people groups over 50,000 we need 11,115 more workers-national cross-cultural workers or ex-pat missionaries. This could be you.. This info came out of the recent Table 71 quarterly meeting. To view the history of Table 71 go to: http://www.call2allmedia.org/watch/3b78927e0cd15ba4c968/History-of-Table-71
When researchers talk about new people groups, they are not new but have always been there. They just have not been identified. This is a comment from one researcher about Pakistan which has increased in the number of identified peoples from 389 to 455. So 66 newly identified peoples are added to the missionary task. As we at Etnopedia have always said, our people group number is only about 70% complete. We need more researchers and more importantly, more missionaries..
This is the second part of questions posed to researchers for a missions conference. All major research efforts need to collaborate on a centralized list. I was told yesterday that we will never see collaboration happen between research efforts. I continue to keep the faith. We will reach many more peoples if we keep trying to make a few steps in that direction.
There is a definite need for collaboration on unreached people research. Several research efforts are working independently and have attempted many times to collaborate. We need to think about what it is that we trying to accomplish? Can we continue to work independently on small teams or can we develop a community of researchers working together. Maybe we can have both but are we investing our efforts wisely? Here is a proposal: