Table 71 is an association of Christian organizations; it has no legal status.
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.
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.”
|“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.
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).
|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.|
|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.|
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:
|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)|