In any area of concentration, specialized terms work their way into our vocabulary. To someone new to missions, there are likely terms used on UPGNorthAmerica.com that need defining. Here are a few of those terms and definitions.
10/40 Window – the slice of the world extending “from ten to forty degrees north of the equator and stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to China and Japan,” where the largest number of unreached people live
Barriers – obstacles that prevent connecting the core missionary task (entry, gospel, discipleship, church, leadership development) to a person’s worldview.
Bridges – ways to connect the core missionary task (entry, gospel, discipleship, church, leadership development) to a person’s worldview.
Church Planting Movement (CPM) – a rapid and exponential increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group, population segment, or place. (Church Planting Movements, Garrison. 1999)
Close-culture people group – a church or believer from a people group closer or similar to the target people group who can be trained and mobilized.
Contextualization – the attempt to communicate the message of the person, works, Word, and will of God in a way that is faithful to God’s revelation, especially as put forth in the teaching of Holy Scripture, and that is meaningful to respondents in their respective cultural and existential contexts (Contextualization: Meaning, Methods, and Models, Hesselgrave and Rommen)
Core Missionary Task – a framework of kingdom principles seen in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles following a pattern of entering lostness, engaging them with the gospel, disciple new believers, gathering them into a church, and raising up leaders to repeat the process.
Disciple-making – Disciple-making is the Christ-commanded, Spirit-empowered duty of every disciple of Jesus to evangelize unbelievers, baptize believers, teach them the Word of Christ, and train them to obey Christ as members of his church who make disciples on mission to all nations. (IMB)
Diaspora – A diaspora is a population scattered across regions separate from its geographic place of origin.
Disciple Making Movement (DMM) – a rapid and exponential increase in disciples making disciples.
End Vision – starting with the end in mind
Ethnography – a methodology that looks for significant patterns of behavior in social contexts and seeks to interpret them according to the insider’s perspective (Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions).
Evangelism – the proclamation of salvation in Christ to those who do not believe in him, calling them to repentance and conversion, announcing the forgiveness of sin, and inviting them to become living members of Christ’s earthly community and to begin a life of service to others in the power of the Holy Spirit (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, Bosch).
Focus People group – The people group the missionary/team focuses on and takes ownership of the core missionary task.
Great Commission – A command to all believers to make disciples of all nations.
GSEC – The Global Status of Evangelical Christianity (GSEC), developed by PeopleGroups.org, is a model that describes the progress of the Gospel among people groups by considering:
- The extent to which a people group is Evangelical.
- Accessibility to the Gospel.
- Church planting activity, whether localized or widespread, within the past two years.
Missionary/Laborer/Global Worker – a disciple of Jesus intentionally crossing cultural barriers, taking stewardship to make disciples, and multiplying churches among a specific people or place.
Missiology – the conscious, intentional, ongoing reflection on the doing of mission. It includes the theory(ies) of mission, the study and teaching of mission, and the research, writing, and publication of works regarding mission (Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions).
Mobilization – Mobilization is envisioning and educating God’s people about his strategic plans for the world. And it is the means of keeping them involved and moving forward until they find their specific place and role in world evangelization. (Fred Markert)
People Group (PG) – A significantly large group of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity for one another because of their shared language, religion, ethnicity, residence, class or caste, situation, etc., or combinations of these. For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church-planting movement without encountering barriers to understanding or acceptance. (Joshua Project)
Priority people groups – a list of people groups for a geographic area that has been identified as priority targets for a specific period of time due to needing and/or opportunity.
Priority Score – The priority score uses a weighted scale of six global and local key indicators to calculate a score to help further identify where cross-cultural evangelists and missionaries are most needed. Learn more at GlobalGates.info/unreached-people-groups-priority-matrix/
Refugee – a person forced to leave their country to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Strategy Coordinator or Missions Catalyst (SC/MC) – a missions catalyst takes responsibility for designing and carrying out strategies to initiate a church-planting movement among a specific people group in a city or region. They approach an entire people or place with one big-picture goal: to see an unstoppable church-planting movement begin, a movement that will empower local believers to worship God, evangelize their own people, and reach out to others in turn.
Tracking – the process of tracking progress among a focus people or place.
Unreached (or least) People Group (UPG) – a people group with less than or equal to 2% Evangelical Christians and less than or equal to 5% Professing Christians. (Joshua Project)
Unengaged Unreached People Group (UUPG) – An unengaged unreached people group (UUPG) has no known active church planting underway. A people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.
Virtual Prayerwalk – Virtual Prayerwalks are an innovative way to bring you to the places and faces among a people group community in a city, allowing you to pray with insight.
Worldview – the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual’s or society’s knowledge and point of view.
These are just a few terms you’ll likely encounter in the missions world. Do you have a suggestion that should be added? Contact us and let us know.