A people group defined by language
The likely alternative is to always present a list of language groups, with some sub-divisions of language groups (an ethno-linguistic list). The first cut is always on language using this alternative. Consequently, church planters and disciple-makers focus on ethno-linguistic groups, attempting to plant churches (oftentimes) among castes and tribes that mistrust or dislike each other. People may understand each other, but do they accept each other?
A people group list with a church planting focusJoshua Project's first purpose is to support church planting and discipleship efforts, and we define "people group" with that goal in mind. We also wish to support language-based ministry efforts (such as literature / video / audio distributions and the like), as a more secondary purpose. Our data can be used for both purposes. We can format the data to support church planting, and to some extent we can re-format it to support language-based outreach.
What a people group is not
While people groups can be defined by various combinations of ethnicity, language, religion, caste and geography, they are not defined by occupation, social status, education level, economic status or political affiliation. While these do not define people groups, these distinctions are helpful for on-the-ground strategies.
A people group is not the same as a group of people. Unreached is not the same as unsaved. "Unreached" in unreached people group is describing the group, not the individual members of it. So, an “unreached people group” is not the same thing as a “group of unsaved people”, despite the similarity of terms.
Used by permission from Joshua Project - https://joshuaproject.net/resources/
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