Ethnê – 06 . . . Launching A Global Prayer and Strategy Initiative Focused on the Least Reached Peoples

EthnÌÄå»06, is a global gathering of people, churches and organizations focused on ministering to Unreached People Groups (UPGs). The gathering will be held 7-10 March 2006 and is designed to energize the body of Christ for continuing work among the twenty-seven percent of the world which has little or no access to hear or experience the gospel. These people groups receive only about 2.4% of all missionaries and less than one-tenth of one percent of global church monies.

Although variously called Unreached People Groups (UPGs), Least Evangelized Peoples (LEP) or Least Reached People Groups (LRP), EthnÌÄå»06 has chosen to link the terms to highlight those people groups that are the least served. (For definitions on these terms, see Although significant progress has been made in the last thirty years, these UPGs/ LRPs still number in the thousandsÌ¢‰â‰۝and these peoples will still be Ì¢‰âÒleast reachedÌ¢‰âÂå in 2050 unless drastic efforts emerge immediately.

Intersection. This consultation serves to be an intersection for UPG/LRP strategy discussion for Lausanne and the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission. This meeting will provide an opportunity for leaders to meet face to face, develop relationships, pray and plan new strategic initiatives among UPGs. 

The specific idea arose from discussions at the 2001 Great Commission Roundtable, the Singapore 02 UPG Consultation and the Thailand 2004 Lausanne Forum Issue Group on Hidden and Forgotten Peoples. UPG-focused network leaders from every continent have become part of the EthnÌÄå»06 convening group. We believe that intentional Ì¢‰âÒtrans-nationalÌ¢‰âÂå collaboration and strategy is a biblical necessity, brings glory to God and is crucial to accelerate movements to Christ among all peoples.

Leadership. SEALINK (the SEAsia UPG network) serves as the core of the convening group. The SEALINK steering committee invited key leaders from around the world to join as a part of the larger EthnÌÄå» convening group. Shortly after the EthnÌÄå» 06 meeting in March 2006, the responsibility will be passed to another regional network that will serve as the core of the next planning group for the next meeting.

Leadership from the following networks are part of the larger EthnÌÄå»06 convening group: SEALINK, Philippines Mission Association, India Mission Association, Malaysia Center for Global Ministry, Nigerian Evangelical Mission Association, Indonesian Evangelical Alliance (PII), Indonesian Research Network (PJRN), US Center for World Mission, COMIBAM, Central Asia Consultation, CRAF (Francophone Africa Partnership), APP, China Source, SEANET, SW Peoples Partnership and others.

Vision and Purpose. EthnÌÄå» to EthnÌÄå» is global, ongoing, biblical and multi-generational. It focuses on the importance of each generation (baby boomers, gen-Xers, first-generation or even fourth-generation believers) in sharing the gospel.

The vision is Ì¢‰âÒpeoples joining together to glorify God among all peoples.Ì¢‰âÂå The purpose is Ì¢‰âÒto energize the body of Christ for continuing initiatives among the Ì¢‰âÒone-fourth worldÌ¢‰âÂå which has almost no access to the gospelÌ¢‰âÂå by:

Ì¢‰âÂå¢Celebrating progress among the least reached

Ì¢‰âÂå¢Assessing current opportunities and resources

Ì¢‰âÂå¢Accelerating movements to Christ among every people

Most significantly, EthnÌÄå»06 seeks to stimulate Global Prayer Initiatives and related Strategy Initiatives as well as a Global Youth Ethne meeting in 2007. These initiatives are not an effort to set a specific goal, but an effort to stimulate each other to greater efforts and effectiveness through collaborating and by sharing spiritual and cultural giftings. This prayer and strategy initiative will be mutually launched June 2006. Global Prayer Digest will provide daily prayer requests and Joshua Project is offering specific links to data by region.

Consultative Groups. Much of EthnÌÄå»06 will be focused on consultative groups which will develop strategic plans together by gathering people from different nationalities, giftings and vocations. Thus, rather than dividing into a pastors’ group, a church planters’ group, a member care group, a translators’ group or a Ì¢‰âÒfund-ersÌ¢‰âÂå group, these different gifting will be combined into several working groups. The following are descriptions of the strategy groups that will be organize

Wholistic Gospel Movements (WGM) will develop integrated efforts among UPGs to see the body of Christ started, reproducing, serving and transforming their own communities and other unreached peoples, cities and nations.

Frontier Crisis Response Network (FCRN) will explore ways to cooperate in crisis situations including natural disasters, war, economic disasters and terrorist attacks in a way that will ultimately lead to gospel movements in transforming societies, especially through increased cooperation of crisis responders around the world.

Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategies will launch and facilitate the first year of an ongoing prayer and harvest initiative by (1) increasing awareness of the remaining 6,900+ Least-Reached Peoples (LRP), (2) connecting prayer movements to specific strategic initiatives and (3) developing models, resources and training globally. 

LRP/UPG Workers in a Changing World will identify and offer solutions to challenges and issues related to placing, training and caring for laborers in various sending and receiving contexts among the LRPs/UPGs.

Program. Workshops during EthnÌÄå»06 will include: (1) Raising up the Next Generation of Mission Leaders, (2) People on the Move (nomads, immigrants, students, generations), (3) Communication Strategies for Missions, (4) Member Care among the LRPs, (5) Mission Mobilization Processes and Models (globally, locally, regionally) and (6) Information/Resources (opportunities, gaps and joint projects).

There will also be ten seminars during EthnÌÄå»06, including: (1-4) Strategy Group Reports, (5) Assess and Inform (Key Research, Gaps, Future Trends), (6) Maximizing Church-Centered Initiatives, (7) New Generation Leadership Transition in LRP Missions, (8) Partnership Principles, (9) Business as Mission and (10) Ethne: Shaping a LRP/UPG Global NetworkÌ¢‰â‰۝Steps Forward.

S. Kent Parks is facilitator for LausanneÌ¢‰â‰ã¢s Least Reached Peoples Special Interest Group. He also serves as co-facilitator for EthnÌÄå»06. Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 35, released by the 2004 Forum Issue Group on Hidden and Forgotten People (Least-Reached) is available online.  (Document opens as a PDF file.)