In the mid 1970’s missiologists concluded that half the world was locked away in thousands of ethno-linquistic and cultural groups with little or no church planting movement among them. Progress has been great, yet there are still many people groups needing to be adopted for prayer and engaged by church planters, bible translators, literacy specialists, Jesus Film translators and more.
ADOPTION RESOURCES & GUIDELINES
COUNT FOR ZERO (By Issachar Initiative) (Currently not available)
This six session, small group video-based curriculum was created to cast vision and foster awareness of some of the most strategic dynamics of mission today. Count for Zero includes 6 videos, a participant guide and 6 sermon outlines. All resources are available for download for free. Session titles include: The Challenge of the Great Commission > Scripture Translation & Orality > Evangelism > Reaching Unengaged People Groups & Planting the Church > Intentional Giving > Getting Involved
AAP CAMPAIGN: Seven Aspects of an Adoption (Short Version)
AAP CAMPAIGN: Seven Aspects of an Adoption (Long Version)
An adoption doesn’t rigidly follow specific steps, though there are elements that are typical of jost successful adoptions. This article, in both its short and long versions, will walk your team through these elements.
AAP CAMPAIGN RESOURCES
Introductory videos, books and other resources for assisting your efforts to initiate and sustain a people group adoption.
AAP CAMPAIGN SENDING AGENCIES
Want to know who to partner with in doing an adoption? Here is a list of agencies and denominations that are recognized for their identification with the AAP strategy.
AAP CAMPAIGN ARTICLES
Eight select articles related to adoption.
Ten churches that have successfully adopted one or more unreached people groups.
JOSHUA PROJECT ARTICLES
Many of these articles provide a great place for exploring the criteria for who make up the unreached peoples, for current and varying numbers, how estimates are made, etc.
FOCUS ON HUMAN COMMUNITIES, NOT MISSIONARIES, by David R. Hackett
Yes, we love missionaries. But they are not the object of mission – the mission itself is. Churches discover that mission involvements are energized and made more attractive and sustainable when the focus is not on the missionary but rather on the targeted human community, or people group, itself. True local church mission happens when we escape that centrifugal force and begin to love and focus on the targeted human community that is beyond ourselves. (Read more)
A STRATEGY FOR LOVING THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD AS WELL AS THE MISSIONARIES
by Stan Yoder
Returning to the USA for our scheduled furlough in 1988, we were soon shocked to find out that we could not return to Sierra Leone. My wife, Valli, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Understanding our commitment and calling to missions, our agency assigned us to serve at the U.S. Center for World Mission. Thankfully, our churches continued to pray for and support us in our new ministry role. We were also able to attend one of our supporting churches in California. It did not take long before they asked us to serve on the missions committee. In one of our first meetings, I asked our mission committee members if any were still praying for the Yalunkas. Their reply was negative. “We are praying for your family and your new ministry at the U.S. Center.” Our family needed all the prayer it could get, yet it is the Yalunkas who are still in darkness. I estimate that over 90% of our supporting churches pray only for us and over a period of time, have forgotten all about the Yalunka people, Why? Because they have focused only on the strategy of World Partners and not the goal of reaching the Yalunka people. (Read more)
Five Reasons a Local Church Should Adopt an Unreached People Group
1. Adopt a UPG for the good of pastors
2. Adopt a UPG for the good of missionaries
3. Adopt a UPG for the good of the congregation
4. Adopt a UPG for the good of your city
5. Adopt a UPG for the good of the world
KEYS TO THE NATIONS (SCROLL down to find this item once the page comes up)
Though this workbook was first edited and printed in the 1990’s, this compendium is still one of the most comprehensive resources available anywhere for senders and mobilizers focused on unreached peoples. Containing nearly 100 articles, Keys to the Nations covers a broad range of issues: understanding unreached peoples, establishing effective partnerships among agencies and churches, facilitating people-group adoptions, maintaining security, fundraising, using the Internet, and much more. An invaluable tool to help you open doors to the kingdom. 261 pages, updated in 2002.
PRAYING FOR PEOPLES
The following links are found under Prayer Resources and will open up on either a new browser or a new window.
- MISSION-RELATED BOOKS ON PRAYER
- PRAYER-CAMPAIGNS FOR THE UNREACHED PEOPLES
- PRAYER ARTICLES (includes some oriented to mobilizing prayer for the unreached)
- JOSHUA PROJECT PRAYER TOOLS
- PRAYER CARDS (Check this out thoroughly! … especially on how to use them with children and how to get them in front of your church)
If you belong to a denomination, check first to see if they have an “adoption” program. If they do, start there. This will save you some trouble for the leaders and members of church to accept adoption as a worthwhile pursuit! Click here to see if your church or agency affiliation is a part of the Adopt-A-People Campaign of the US Center for World Mission (See listed below).
AD2000 & BEYOND MOVEMENT
Although this ministry no longer exists, AD2000’s Adoption Guidance Program is still on their web site. Highly recommended!
The US Center for World Mission’s AAP Campaign provides a helpful introductory web page on how to adopt an unreached people group, called, Seven Aspects of a Successful Adoption. Addtionally there are case studies of adoptions, and a list of sending and service agencies participating in the campaign.
ACCELERATING INTERNATIONAL MISSION STRATEGIES (AIMS)
AIMS is a ministry that encourages, trains, mobilizes, networks and facilitates the world-wide community of churches, agencies, other organizations and individuals for strategic global evangelization. AIMS currently has 10 alliances, seven of them focused on the 10/40 Window. AIMS offers seminars that focus on training to become more missions minded and a new seminar whose focus is on prayer and how to better pray for the unreached peoples of the world.
FINISHING THE TASK
Finishing the Task (FTT) is an association of mission agencies and churches who want to see reproducing churches planted among every people group in the world. In 2006, FTT identified 639 unreached, unengaged people groups with populations above 100,000. Since then, 190 of these people groups have been selected, with church planting started in 60 of them.
GAAPnet (formerly: ADOPT-A-PEOPLE CLEARINGHOUSE)
The official service agency for those who want to either report their involvement and adoption of a people group, or to find others who have adopted the same group so they can begin networking and possibly partnering with them. They also offer various services for churches looking for guidance and assistance in adopting a people group.
ISSACHAR INITIATIVE (A major Adopt-A-People initiative pioneered out of the ongoing vision of Table 71)
JP provides: 1) lists of the world’s ethnic people groups with Christian progress status indicators. From this overall list is generated a list of all unreached ethnic people groups with strategic church-planting status indicators and ministry tool availability data, 2) Statistical profiles of all ethnic people groups, 3) Country specific data related to Christian status, persecution rankings, human development index, economic levels and religious makeup, 4) User-defined selection of people group data. Data can be selected by population, geographic area, religion, status, ministry resource availablity including Bible translation status, the Jesus Film, and Gospel audio recordings, 5) A daily rotating Unreached People of the Day feed that can be displayed on websites and blogs. The Unreached People of the Day is also available by email, 6)Downloadable data, PowerPoints and other unreached peoples presentation materials in various languages, and 7) A user-friendly software program for viewing, querying and reporting of available Joshua Project data.
THE ANTIOCH NETWORK
A fellowship of local churches which share ideas and strategies for initiating church-planting movements among unreached people groups. Annual Gatherings (August/September) are an excellent place for churches to learn and network with others interested in the same part of the world.
RESEARCH WEB SITES
NOTE: If you are researching a particular people group the following web sites will be some of the best places for you to look on the internet. The most comprehensive site is Joshua Project.
BETHANY PRAYER PROFILES
Created in the mid 1990’s, these are still useful profiles for prayer but it is best to follow these up with research on the Joshua Project web site (see below)
Listing of both the written and unwritten languages of the world
The JESUS Film Project distributes the film “JESUS,” a two-hour docudrama about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. The film has been seen in every country of the world and translated into hundreds of languages since its initial release in 1979. Their goal is to reach every nation, tribe, people and tongue, helping them see and hear the story of Jesus in a language they can understand.
The most comprehensive database of unreached peoples on earth! JPII’s missions is to highlight the people groups of the world that have the least Christian presence in their midst and to encourage pioneer church-planting movements among every ethnic people group.
HARVEST INFORMATION SYSTEM
The Harvest Information System is a cooperative effort of several organizations who share a desire to facilitate the task of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the peoples of the world. HIS assists mission sending groups in fulfilling their portion of the task, by improving the sharing of information through the standardizing of categories and codes.
PEOPLEGROUPS.INFO (Specific to North America)
A ministry of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church, providing web tools to gather ethnolinguistic information on your state, country and zip code.
Research date gathered by the Global Research Department of the International Mission Board (SBC) See also: The Global Research Department of the International Mission Board, SBC
ASIA HARVEST PROFILES
Profiles on China Cities, Peoples of Vietnam and Laos.
VIDEOS OF SPECIFIC PEOPLES
Though this site is no longer being updated, AD2000 & Beyond produced an alphabetical listing of videos of specific unreached peoples and where to find them. Click here for more lists of missions videos.
DOING YOUR OWN PEOPLE GROUP RESEARCH
EXPLORING THE LAND
This manual is often used by long-term workers and is ideal for church planters, advocates, and others who want to get an insider’s perspective on the culture of an unreached people group. Although this is very comprehensive, it is simple enough to use to train your summer short-term teams on understanding new cultures.