Summary Report: Unreached Peoples Resource Network (Revised)

Dear AD2-Announce Reader:

As the AD2000 & Beyond Movement moves towards its final closure date of early 2001, all of the movement's Tracks / Resource Networks and Task Forces have been requested to provide an overview summary of their specific realm of experience over the 5 - 10 years of their operational existence. These reports have been prepared for compilation of a "lasting record" of this movement and for all to see, as they are interested!

Please see the attached revised report on the Unreached Peoples Resource Network prepared by Patrick Johnstone and John Robb. This Resource Network existed throughout the whole period of the movement. God has blessed mightily as you will see. We thank God and praise Him for the diligent efforts and leadership of Patrick and John for spearheading this tremendous global effort! Many thanks and appreciation to them both!

These reports will all be included along with other historical reports and data of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, including the AD2000 website, and much more on a CD-ROM being produced for distribution at Celebrate Messiah 2000. Further distribution of this CD-ROM will also be made after the conference. Please email if you<> are interested in purchasing one of these CD-ROMs.

NOTE: Celebrate Messiah 2000 will be held in Jerusalem and Bethlehem 27 December 2000 - 2 January 2001. Registration invitation is still open to those so interested. Please contact Lauri Dennis, Registrar, at for more information.<>

The AD2000 International Office will be closing early in 2001. Click here for more information.

Thank you for your interest in the AD2000 & Beyond Movement and its spiritual and catalytic outworkings into the 21st century. Please continue to pray for the movement until our closing day! Thank you!

That all may hear!

Luis Bush
International Director
AD2000 & Beyond Movement


After the Lausanne II Unreached Peoples Track which they coordinated, Patrick Johnstone and John Robb were asked by Luis Bush to provide leadership for the AD2000 Movement's Unreached Peoples Resource Network, Patrick to serve as chairman and John as international coordinator. Our goal was to contribute toward the AD2000 & Beyond Movement goal of "a church for every people" through firstly defining the attainable boundaries of the task and secondly the formation of ministry and prayer networks for the neediest of these peoples.

Our Network

We were two busy people without committed resources and with no full- time staff committed to the ministry, so we had to work through encouraging and inspiring others to work together in achieving our objectives. We had to be catalytic. Patrick was more involved in the research and analysis of the unreached and John in the networking and mobilization.

Approximately 80 regional and national coordinators agreed to serve with us. To this should also be added the state coordinators in India. At GCOWE '95 420 leaders from more than 120 countries participated in our track, making plans to reach the unreached in their regions and nations. After GCOWE our network newsletter's constituency reached 750 leaders internationally.

We are grateful for the wonders God did and continues to do through all those associated with our network and the AD2000 Movement as a whole. As we set out on this decade of ministry we realized how much our Track was at the heart of the overarching vision of a church for every people. To an extent, the credibility and measurability of the achievement of the goal lay with us. We believe that much that we set out to do has been attained, or good beginnings made. In retrospect we believe that we have had the privilege of being involved in the greatest focused global Great Commission movement in history.

The accomplishments of the network were in two broad areas:

  1. Research and information
    1. For the first time ever we were able to list, map and profile the world's least reached peoples. In this we were able to earth a people vision from the Winterian broad strokes of "about 16,000 hidden/unreached peoples" proclaimed at Lausanne 1974 to the present more manageable realities of the Joshua Project List.
    2. The Joshua Project List (JPL) was compiled applying the knowledge gained over the past 20 years of research. We provided both the terminology, classifications and much of the data which made the JPL possible. The JPL was a compromise. We had to limit the list to peoples we assessed as over 10,000 in population and under 5% Christian or 2% Evangelical so as to be able to set achievable goals in research, analysis and ministry engagement. The JPL vision was launched out of GCOWE '95 and became an integral part of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement thrust. Ongoing field research and progress results have been meticulously maintained by the AD2000 International Office.
    3. This first published list of ethno-linguistic peoples, with all its inadequacies, gave us the basis for a realistic tackling of the implementation of the vision of a "church for every people". The breakdown of the 1,500 people on the JPL into 12 Affinity Blocs and about 170 People Clusters gave us a publicity and strategy handle, which many could grasp and provided Interdev and others with a partnering strategy for field ministries, which has proved very fruitful.
    4. The focus on unreached peoples (URPs) and on the 10/40 Window became widely known and publicized. Unreached peoples and their profile were immeasurably raised to become the touchstone of the unfinished task - what a change to 25 years ago! The whole vision statement of AD2000 & Beyond Movement, in some ways, stands or falls on our ability to provide this and measure progress.
    5. Research at national and regional level greatly increased as a result of the URP vision. Notable were the efforts in such lands and regions as China, S.E. Asia, India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Central Asia, North Africa, Mexico, etc. There were some areas of need where the achievements were not so marked. The result is that with these and the global research efforts we have the first ever reasonably complete picture of the bounds of the unfinished task of discipling the world's peoples.
    6. There are measurable results that have been recorded in the JPL database. Here is a preliminary assessment provided by the International Office:
      1. Active unreached peoples in Feb 1998 were 1510. Over the course of time some names were removed and others added as our information on them increased. In July 2000 there were 1592 active peoples listed.
      2. In Feb 1988 there were 1460 peoples without a single church of 100 individuals. By July 2000 this had been reduced to 1107.
      3. In Feb 1998 there were 861 with no known church planting team committed to reaching them, but in July 2000 this was down to 521.
      4. In Feb 1998 283 peoples were still untargeted, but we have reason to believe that by CM2000 this figure may have been reduced to practically zero.

    We may not have achieved the goal of a church for every people - even for the JPL peoples - but we have made more progress in a decade than many would ever have thought possible! We still have much to do in the next few years. We also need to analyze the peoples of the world and their need that fall outside our JPL parameters of ethno-linguistic peoples over 10,000 in number. In this on-going work of the HIS Services group to achieve this through the database network orchestrated by Ron Rowland of WBT is a worthy building on those foundations.

  2. Networking of leaders, training of workers and stimulation of vision among God's people
    1. Hundreds of ministry networks focused on specific people groups (often sociological subgroups within ethnolinguistic peoples) were formed and ministry efforts were undertaken by grassroots workers who took part in national and regional unreached peoples seminars, consultations and conferences in more than 80 nations. Prayer initiatives and research efforts were launched in many of these countries which also raised the profile of unreached peoples and stimulated mission efforts. For example, in North India virtually every state now has a network of leaders working together inter-denominationally and tied together through the North India Harvest Network. This network and many others like it were originally birthed in AD2000 UP Network events held in almost every state in India in the 1990's.
    2. Up to 10,000 Russian and other nationals from the former Soviet Union made professions of faith at 20 mass evangelism rallies and other events.
    3. Several peoples such as the Turkmen, Wolof, Parsees and others were adopted by Western churches.
    4. We partnered with YWAM to produce the video, "The Challenge of the Unfinished Task", which has been used widely to focus attention on the neediest 2000 unreached peoples.

What were some lessons learned and what might we have done differently?

  1. The pressure of the year 2000 deadline and the urgency it produced, while it was helpful as a rallying point, pushed us to appoint national coordinators who, in a number of instances, turned out to be unsuitable. It was difficult to keep many others motivated and reporting on progress made due to their other involvements. We should have thought and planned for the longer term from the beginning, enlisting and working through existing national leadership structures rather than appointing independent coordinators who then often had trouble relating to these structures.

  2. Better coordination between international tracks like ours and AD2000 national initiatives, which seemed to work at cross-purposes sometimes.

  3. A stronger focus on holistic mission, including such things as caring for the poor, fighting injustice and working for peace and reconciliation in keeping with the Lausanne Covenant would have strengthened the movement and laid a better foundation for mission in the new century. The narrow focus of the movement on church planting and evangelism tended to cut us off from some segments of the Church, yet this focus was helpful to the whole movement to accomplish what was achieved during the decade.

  4. On the research side, we had to go for a selected list to compile the JPL which brought us into significant problems -loss of the whole picture because we were selective [which peoples should be included or omitted], weird totaling problems [the selected peoples adding up to more than national populations], failing to give a complete picture which meant it was hard to let users assess the relative reachedness of peoples by themselves.

  5. Nationally generated research and motivation [if done] is better than global research for getting good results.

  6. Simplistic definitions of peoples and artificial divisions of the world into the 10/40 Window and non-10/40 Window countries led to over-response and seeming exclusion of such vital countries as Somalia, Central Asia and Indonesia. The emphasis on the 10/40 Window was essential, and we make no apology for this, but some took this concept too far in then invalidating valuable ministry outside the Window.

  7. The Bethany profile project was a courageous beginning in providing some basic information on every one of the peoples on the JPL. There is the continuing need for further innovative ways of profiling the unreached peoples in ways that motivate as many Christians as possible for prayer and ministry.

  8. The Adopt a People program has been a valuable means for engaging local churches in the whole process of reaching the least reached, but the program has struggled to get the profile it deserves in some areas.

  9. The 10,000 population and 5% / 2% Christian / Evangelical helped us to make the JPL viable and was right for the resources and info then available, but it did create too much argument and dismay at some inclusions and exclusions!

Our recommendations for a new movement:

  1. We need the complete list of all the world's peoples as the basis of future efforts towards closure. We need to pass on the cluster concept for peoples - so many of the smaller populations of peoples are migratory off- shoots of other peoples.

  2. Global research findings should serve regional and local research rather than the other way round.

  3. Holistic mission partnerships and networks are needed for each of the 3000+ neediest peoples still in the unclaimed or pioneer mission stage. These networks should include business people, relief and development workers, Bible translators and church planters along with the other diverse resources of the Body of Christ. We need to broaden the Great Commission to wider than peoples, but not so dilute the GC so as to be inclusive of everything we do in the Lord's name.

  4. The last 20 years has been a race to find the unreached peoples and start ministry among them. The next 20 years will change the emphasis from quantifying the task, to quality of ministry in the task.

  5. Any future movement should be closely tied with Lausanne, WEF and the new Great Commission Roundtable. It should be broad in its partnering, but adequately focused on the goal of viable church planting movements in every people of the world.

Patrick Johnstone and John Robb

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