What is Table 71? 

Table 71 is an association of Christian organizations; it has no legal status.

How was Table 71 established?

In God’s providence, a group of ministry leaders were a part of the Strategy Sessions at the Billy Graham Conference on Evangelism in Amsterdam in the fall of 2000. As they strategized about how to reach Unreached People Groups, they asked one another what they could do to help finish reaching all the remaining Unreached People Groups. In the course of their conversations, they realized that they could achieve some goals more effectively by working together more closely. They agreed to begin working to that end immediately.

What is the significance of the name “Table 71?”

There were over 100 tables at the Strategy Sessions at Amsterdam 2000. The table where the partners had their original discussions was numbered, “71.” The group began to be referred to as “Table 71.”

What is an “Unreached People Group?” (UPG)

“In early December, 1995, under the auspices of the AD2000 Movement, Christian leaders from 77 countries met in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to launch Joshua Project 2000 – a five-year initiative to help establish church planting movements in strategic places around the world. At the heart of Joshua Project 2000 were approximately 1,700 peoples whom mission leaders have agreed are most in need of a church planting effort. Of these 2.2 billion ‘Joshua Project Peoples,’ nearly 90% live in the 10/40 Window.”

At the Billy Graham Conference on Evangelism at Amsterdam, the Joshua Project 2000 suggested targeting 253 UPGs with the following characteristics.

  1. Country-distinct peoples – if a single people live in more than one country they are counted as many times as countries they live in. For example, the Kazakh people live in nine Central Asian countries. They appear nine times on the Joshua Project list.
  2. Population – 10,000 and above in a given country.
  3. Ethno-linguistic distinction – peoples are defined by their ethno-linguistic characteristics only. Cultural, social and religious distinctions are not included in this list.
  4. Less than 2% Evangelical (true regenerate believers)
  5. Less than 5% Christian adherents (broadest possible definition of Christian, includes nominal, Orthodox, Catholic, anyone that would call themselves a Christian. Not necessarily regenerate.)(Text of the five points just above was taken from People File, a CD-ROM resource available from Global Mapping International at GMI.org)

What is an Unengaged Unreached People Group (UUPG)?

After the initial meetings of Table 71 where the people group list was distributed among the partners and brought to the field, it was discovered that much work was needed in updating the list. Research collaboration led to the formation of a new website to house the data (http://www.peoplegroups.org). The current definition of a people group found on that website is: a people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow without encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance. A more technical definition is available as a link from that site.
As the data was being assembled it became clear that there was a group of people groups with populations in excess of 100,000 each representing over 500 million people who were not only unreached, but as far as could be ascertained, no one was even trying to reach them. We call this set of people groups unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs).

Where would I find a list of the targeted UUPGs?

Presently, the Table 71 partnership is focusing their efforts on a list of approximately 493 unreached and unengaged people groups over 10,000 people or more. The current list of engaged and under-engaged people groups is updated on an ongoing basis and can be found on the www.finishingthetask.com web site.

What is the goal of Table 71?

The organizations that have agreed to work together as “Table71” are totally and deeply committed to evangelism and world missions. As Paul proclaimed, “We are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation.” (Romans 1) The goal is to establish a strong and viable church within each of the UPGs, so that the number of UPGs is reduced to zero.

How does Table 71 contribute toward reaching this goal?

In June 2002, through the study of Luke 5:1-11, God orchestrated a turning point in the partnering relationships among the Table 71 organizations.  The result was what is called the “Managing Partner Concept” which is detailed as follows:

  1. We agreed to a model, where, as God directs, a Table 71 member has the privilege and responsibility to be a managing partner for a long or short-term project that would benefit from support from other Table 71 members.
  2. We agreed that each member has the responsibility to communicate within his or her own organization about the mission, dream, essential elements, and commitment of Table 71 to those people who may become involved in one of these projects.
  3. We agreed that, within the context of Table 71, a managing partner would only bring a project to the other members that are within the scope of Table 71’s mission and essential elements.
  4. We agreed to respond to a managing partner’s requests for help with support whenever possible.
  5. We agreed that there must be parallel efforts always ongoing.  There will be short-term projects that meet current needs and there will be long-term strategies that will provide the foundation needed to fulfill the goal.
Then, God blessed all of us with the following outgrowths of the relationships among the Table 71 organizations. Although all of these efforts have multiple roots extending back further, these various efforts were formally commenced and supported by Table 71 in 2003.

OneStory (originally formed as Epic) April 2004 http://www.onestory.org
International Orality Network Feb. 2005 http://ion2008.ning.com
Finishing the Task Nov. 2005 http://www.finishingthetask.com
Call2All (growth out of GPN) June 2007 http://www.call2all.org

When was Orality introduced to Table 71?

In February 2002, Bob Varney invited Jim Slack and Steve Evans to introduce orality to Table 71. The overwhelming presence of oral learners in 70% of the UUPGs immediately won the hearts of the Table 71 partners and we have never looked back. (See OneStory at http://www.onestory.org/ and International Orality Network (ION) at www.internationaloralitynetwork.org)

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