Who is Global Research?
The Global Research Department of the International Mission Board, SBC gathers, analyzes, systematizes, preserves and disseminates strategic information for the multiplying of churches among all peoples. Information is collected through a global network of research coordinators. These coordinators obtain information from approximately 3,600 IMB field personnel, local evangelical partners, and others. Much of the information reflects primary research among people groups. In some instances, secondary sources are used.
What is a people group?
For strategic purposes, a people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow without encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance.
What is the Global Status of Evangelical Christianity?
The Global Status of Evangelical Christianity is a model that describes the progress of the gospel among the peoples of the world by considering:
1. The extent to which a people group is Evangelical.
2. Accessibility to the gospel.
3. Church-planting activity, whether localized or widespread, within the past two years.
The model establishes the criteria for identifying those people groups described as “Unreached People Groups”.
Why does the Global Status of Evangelical Christianity emphasize church planting?
While Evangelical Christians do much good work every year (e.g. radio broadcasts, literature distribution, relief and development, evangelism, discipleship, etc.), we believe that the gathering of believers and establishing of churches is the key to establishing effective long-term evangelizing, discipling, nurturing, ministering presence among any given people group.
What is an Unreached People Group?
An Unreached People Group is a people group in which less than 2% of the population are Evangelical Christians.
What do you mean by “Evangelical” Christians and churches?
An Evangelical Christian is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is the sole source of salvation through faith in Him, has personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit, recognizes the inspired Word of God as the only basis for faith and Christian living, and is committed to biblical preaching and evangelism that brings others to faith in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, an Evangelical church is a church that is characterized by these same beliefs and principles. Some churches that are not considered Evangelical in faith and practice, may contain members who are Evangelical.
How can I get the global list of people groups?
You can download an Excel spreadsheet with the entire list of people groups and data here.
What is a church-planting movement?
A church-planting movement is a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.
What is the Annual Statistical Report?
The Annual Statistical Report tracks church growth among field entities where International Mission Board field personnel worked or partnered during the reporting period. As such, the report summarizes the work of field personnel and that of the board’s overseas Baptist partners. You can download the Annual Statistical Report here.
Is the Annual Statistical Report data updated after publication?
The International Mission Board’s Annual Statistical Report (ASR) contains the most accurate information for the stated reporting period available at the time of publication.
After publication, the board’s Global Research Department continues to process both new and revised reports as field personnel continually strive to provide the most accurate picture of the board’s work and influence during the given reporting period. Affinity Research Teams may submit new or revised reports for a variety of reasons: typographical errors in the original report, newly received or corrected information from Baptist Partners, clarification of reporting categories, etc.
After publication of the ASR, all analyses utilize the most current data for the reporting period available at that time (including all new and revised reports submitted since the ASR’s publication). Thus, subsequent ASRs will reflect corrected data and may differ from previously published reports.
For current data regarding a given reporting period, including the latest revisions, contact the Global Research Information Center (GRIC@imb.org).
Need help with Annual Statistical Report category definitions?
Why can’t I find a list of countries where IMB missionaries serve?
The IMB no longer releases the list or number of countries where IMB personnel are residing or working. The nature of mission work has changed in recent years. Field personnel often work in countries where they are not living, or live in countries where they are not working. Sometimes they work in multiple countries. Their focus is on reaching a people group, and people groups just don’t fit neatly within a single geo-political boundary.
We as Christians need to pray for every country in the world, as the gospel is for the whole world and our field personnel are reaching people groups in every country where there is a continuing need for their involvement.
What are the different roles for IMB field personnel?
Where can I get more information about serving with the IMB?
Need help with IMB acronyms?
Where does this information come from?
The Global Research Department (GRD) of the International Mission Board, SBC gathers and analyzes information collected through a global network of Affinity Research Teams. These research teams obtain information for approximately 3,600 IMB field personnel, local evangelical partners, and others. Much of the information reflects primary research among people groups. In some instances, secondary sources are used.
Why are there so many different lists of people groups, and how does the list of people groups on this site compare with other lists of people groups?
Different lists of people groups reflect the different methodologies of the researcher(s) and/or organizations that produce the lists. Some researchers use language as the sole or primary factor in determining the existence of a people group and its differentiation from other groups. Other researchers believe that worldview or culture is an equally important factor. Some organizations simply compile lists of people groups produced by other researchers, resulting in inflated numbers of groups.
We adopt an ethnolinguistic approach to understanding people groups (see What is a people group?). Our list is determined by International Mission Board field personnel in ongoing dialogue with local Baptist partners, Great Commission Christian partners, and other reliable information sources (see Where does this information come from?)). The people group list and supplemental data is updated regularly based on new information received from the field as well as on feedback received through this site.
Do I have permission to use Global Research materials?
Yes. We just ask that you credit the information. When referring to this information, please include the following:
This information was provided by The International Mission Board – Global Research, Month 20XX, name of publication, https://grd.imb.org.
A word of caution: This information has been collected from multiple sources and is continuously subject to adjustments and refinements based upon the highly dynamic nature of today’s global environment and the rapid advance of the Gospel in literally every part of the world. This information is shared with others on the condition that the user assumes all risks incident to reliance and has the right to make an independent assessment of its accuracy and reliability. Any questions may be directed to GRIC@imb.org. This information is provided for the intended use only.
Global Research Information Center
In addition to these sections within Global Research, the Global Research Information Center (GRIC) provides a friendly face for providing timely and appropriate answers to inquiries related to information maintained by our department.
Contacting GRIC is easy. Just email, call, or visit us:
IMB Global Research Dept.
3806 Monument Ave
Richmond, VA 23230