MISSIONS VOCABULARY 101

Affinity Group (also called People Group): a specific ethnic or cultural group situated within a specific region of the world; there are nine to which the IMB ministers.

Career missionary: an individual who has committed his or her life’s work to spreading the gospel of Christ to a certain affinity group (people group); often use education and skills of a non-church occupation as a means of sharing the Good News.

Church planter: most common type of missionary assignment; full-time work of building a church within an unreached community.

Closed territory: term for a high-security area of the world not open to Christianity.

International Mission Board (IMB): denominational organization tasked with appointing, training, and deploying Southern Baptist missionaries across the world; formerly known as the Foreign Mission Board; headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Journeyman: IMB missions program for young adults just completing their college education; provides full-time mission opportunities for assignments ranging from two-to-three years; designed for adults ages 21-26.

Mid-term missionary: a student or lay person already engaged in an occupation overseas (teacher, doctor, accountant) who partners with a missionary team on the field; mid-term opportunities can range from one to four years in length.

Missionary: a term for any individual who has committed his or her life to spreading the gospel of Christ.

Missions: any evangelistic outreach crossing boundaries of culture, geography, or language; can be reaching out to your next-door neighbor or moving across the world to serve a specific people group.

Missionary Team: a group of believers who partner together with missionaries in a specific location of the world; usually are tasked by the same sending organization; may provide emotional, financial, or technical support.

North American Mission Board (NAMB): denominational organization tasked with appointing, training, and deploying Southern Baptist missionaries to various locations throughout the continent of North America; formerly known as the Home Mission Board; headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia.

S.T.A.S. (Stateside Assignment): period of time (usually six months) in which a missionary or missionary family comes back to the United States in order to rest, enjoy the company of family, and participate in professional training; occurs at the end of a missionary term, which is usually a period of three years.

Short-term opportunities: a student or church group who partner with a missionary team to engage in a service trip; short-term opportunities can range from several days to several months in length. Various opportunities may exist for individuals to engage in a service trip, as well.

Unreached and Unengaged People Groups (UUPG): term for peoples of the world who have never heard the name of Jesus or His gospel (unreached) and/or have had little missionary contact and only a very small portion of the population is receptive to the gospel (unengaged).

International Mission Board Affinity (People) Groups

Deaf: some 35 million deaf persons located throughout the world.

Americas: almost 605 million people in twenty-four countries and three territories of Central and South America.

Central Asia: some 365 million people and 394 people groups to be reached in twelve countries comprising this part of the world.

East Asian: 1.7 billion people, one quarter of the population of our world, live in the five countries of this region.

European: some 800 million people are in need of the Gospel in this area of the world.

North African and Middle Eastern: the twenty-four countries of this region are home to 483 million people, many of whom are refugees.

South Asian: 1.6 billion people are scattered throughout seven countries of this region.

Southeast Asian: this region contains the largest number of affinity (people) groups – 2,694 – living in ten nations, many of which are situated across some 20,000 islands.

Sub-Saharan Africa: contains the second largest number of unreached affinity (people) groups – 1,600 – living south of the Sahara Desert.

North American Mission Board

The North American Mission Board is committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the United States and Canada throughout a variety of ministries, including church planting.

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International Mission Board Affinity (People) Groups

Deaf – some 35 million deaf persons located throughout the world.

Americas – almost 605 million people in twenty-four countries and three territories of Central and South America.

Central Asia – some 365 million people and 394 people groups to be reached in twelve countries comprising this part of the world.

East Asian – 1.7 billion people, one quarter of the population of our world, live in the five countries of this region.

European – some 800 million people are in need of the Gospel in this area of the world.

North African and Middle Eastern – the twenty-four countries of this region are home to 483 million people, many of whom are refugees.

South Asian – 1.6 billion people are scattered throughout seven countries of this region.

Southeast Asian – this region contains the largest number of affinity (people) groups – 2,694 – living in ten nations, many of which are situated across some 20,000 islands.

Sub-Saharan Africa – contains the second largest number of unreached affinity (people) groups – 1,600 – living south of the Sahara Desert.

North American Mission Board

The North American Mission Board is committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the United States and Canada throughout a variety of ministries, including church planting.