What is Joshua Project?

Joshua Project: Purpose and Mission

Joshua Project is a research initiative seeking to highlight the ethnic people groups of the world with the fewest followers of Christ. Accurate, regularly updated ethnic people group information is critical for understanding and completing the Great Commission. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come." Jesus directly links His return to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. While no one knows the date or time of His return, we do know that this gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all the nations first. Revelation 5:9 and 7:9-10 show that there will be some from every tribe, tongue, nation and people before the Throne.

Joshua Project seeks to answer the questions that result from the Great Commission's call to make disciples among every nation or people group:

  • Who are the ethnic people groups of the world?
  • Which people groups still need an initial church-planting movement in their midst?
  • What ministry resources are available to help outreach among the least-reached?

Joshua Project gathers, integrates and shares people group information to encourage pioneer church-planting movements among every ethnic group and to facilitate effective coordination of mission agency efforts. Joshua Project compiles the work of numerous missions researchers to develop a list of all ethnic peoples that is as complete as possible. Many errors, duplicates, and overlaps exist and the data is continually being updated. We welcome feedback of all kinds!

From this overall ethnic people group list, a subset of unreached / least-reached peoples has been identified based on the criteria of less than 2% Evangelical and less than 5% Professing Christian. This subset helps focus attention on the unfinished task of the Great Commission. We desire that this list be used by mission agencies, denominiations, churches and missionaries to accelerate the Gospel's advance into each of the least-reached people groups. Joshua Project has also developed a Progress Scale indicating a spectrum of reachedness rather than a simple on / off indicator.

Joshua Project: History and Track Record Top

Joshua Project was originally birthed in 1995 within the former AD2000 and Beyond Movement. From 2001 through 2005 Joshua Project was at different times informally connected with Caleb Project, ICTA and World Help. In 2006 Joshua Project officially became a ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission (now called Frontier Ventures).

The original Joshua Project list was a cooperative and globally accepted list of the largest unreached ethno-linguistic people groups and related ministry activity data. The Joshua Project list attempted to provide a clear goal of pioneer church-planting among the largest unreached peoples. Joshua Project has since expanded this list to all unreached / least-reached peoples regardless of size and moved from a purely ethno-linguistic to an ethnic people focus.

Joshua Project: Distinctives and Uniqueness

  • Strategic - We help mission strategists who ask, "Where is the greatest need?" Our desire is to help focus the Church on the most spiritually needy ethnic people groups.
  • Effective - We seek to maximize the effectiveness of Kingdom resources by helping identify and reduce duplication of effort between ministries through data sharing.
  • Comprehensive - Our emphasis is on comprehensiveness, to see that the Church is initially established in all the world's ethnic peoples. Our method has been "when in doubt include a people group on the list" to insure that no groups are overlooked.
  • Neutral - We are a neutral, low-profile ministry, serving the global missions community.
  • Grassroots - We encourage grass-roots initiatives and seek input from those actually doing onsite work. Priority is given to updates made by local and national researchers.
  • Openhanded - We provide all data and services at no charge, we desire individuals and agencies in all parts of the world to have access to unreached peoples data.

Joshua Project: Constituency and Partners Top

We serve missions agencies, denominations, churches, and individuals around the world that have a heart for pioneer church-planting among the world's least-reached people groups. Data is gathered from a worldwide constituency of field workers and their agencies, brought together into a database, and within security guidelines, provided free of charge to the global Church.

Regular users and providers of Joshua Project data include: international researchers and church-planters, local churches and individuals, denominations and mission agencies. Field workers utilize the information for building prayer and vision for their ministries and discovering what ministry tools may be available. Local churches see value for missions mobilization, and for finding agencies with whom they can partner to see pioneer churches established among unreached / least-reached people groups. Mission agencies use the data to strategically determine where to send new church-planting teams and for partnership development to avoid duplication and waste of kingdom resources.

Joshua Project: Products and Services

  • A list 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.
  • Statistical profiles of all ethnic people groups, many with photos, maps and text.
  • Country specific data related to Christian status, persecution rankings, human development index, economic levels and religious makeup.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Downloadable data, PowerPoints and other unreached peoples presentation materials in various languages. A user-friendly software program for viewing, querying and reporting of available Joshua Project data.
Nosu, Xiaoliangshan of China
Population:  534,000
Status: Unreached
Bassari of Guinea-Bissau
Population:  500
Status: Unreached
Baria (Hindu traditions) of India
Population:  298,000
Status: Unreached
Wala of Ghana
Population:  96,000
Status: Unreached
Sindhi Sumra of Pakistan
Population:  212,000
Status: Unreached
Dhobi (Muslim traditions) of Pakistan
Population:  1,163,000
Status: Unreached
Dahalo of Kenya
Population:  2,800
Status: Unreached
Kheng of Bhutan
Population:  35,000
Status: Unreached
Simeulue of Indonesia
Population:  55,000
Status: Unreached
Miao, Enshi of China
Population:  666,000
Status: Unreached


Largest Unreached

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Direct link:  http://legacy.unreachedresources.org/joshua-project.php