Message Tab

Georgia Baptists crucial in success of new ethnic website

 

Sherri Brown

Phillip Connor, standing, research missiologist for NAMB, helps Jerry Baker, GBC language missions specialist, register for a new website that was introduced at the Ethnic Workers’ Summit.

Georgia Baptists will determine the future of a new website that contains detailed ethnic information all in one place.

During the Atlanta Ethnic Workers Summit, peoplegroups.info was rolled out for the first time. Developed jointly by the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, the website includes detailed demographic information for cities across the United States.

“This information has always been available, but it’s been hard to get to. We’ve put it all in one place, in an easy to use format,” said Phillip Connor, NAMB research missiologist who developed the site.

Jerry Baker, GBC language missions specialist, was also on the team that developed the site.

“You can use this site to find current immigrant populations for your city or county, but you can also find resources that have been developed all over the world (for help when working with a people group). Things like Scriptures in their language, the worldview of a certain people group, the Jesus film, all these things are now collected in one place.”

The site is a pilot project through 2006, with Georgia as the test state. NAMB staff will monitor the site and determine the future of the project by the participation level this year.

The new website is an outgrowth of IMB’s site, peoplegroups.org, which lists people groups by nation.

“That site gives information on a national scale, but churches and ministries need to know who’s living in their area,” Connor said.

 

Info at your fingertips

By clicking on a map of a state and then choosing a city, users can find out the number of people in a specific nationality, ancestry, language spoken in the home and people groups in that city. By clicking on the people group name, users can get detailed information about the group, including specific cultural information.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the site is the ability for local ethnic workers to report on specific work in an area.

“Ethnic groups can change weekly,” Connor said. “We wanted more than just raw data, so we included user observations.”

For the rest of the year, only Georgia users will be able to make the online reports.

The site requires registration and NAMB staff will verify every user before allowing entry into the site. Users do not have to be Southern Baptist, but they must be evangelical Christians. It takes an average of three days before a user will be approved and allowed onto the site.

“We’ll call or email the church to make sure the person is a member,” Connor said. “We’re protecting our users.”