The Changing Landscape of Lostness Why Global Shifts are Driving the Need for New Engagement Indices

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Wilson Geisler
Jim Courson


While current people group engagement scales have been helpful for assessing the status of people groups, a changing ethno-linguistic landscape driven by the modern realities of globalization and urbanization requires new criteria and engagement scales. This article examines the current and historical definitions and indicators for people group engagement and unreached status.  Evaluating the effects of globalization on the current engagement indicies, the article sets the stage for the introduction of new multi-indicator engagement scales developed by IMB’s Global Research Department and field researchers to address this changing landscape of lostness.

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Peer-reviewed Articles
Author Biographies

Wilson Geisler, IMB

Wilson Geisler is the Director of Global Research for the International Mission Board (IMB).  Wilson has a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.  He is a software developer and previous owner of Inertia Software, Inc. in Austin, Texas.  He served with IMB in various strategy and leadership roles for 13 years in South Asia and the Middle East before becoming IMB’s Director of Global Research in 2019.

Jim Courson, IMB

Jim Courson has served as a GIS Analyst on IMB’s Global Research team since 2007. Prior to that, he and his family served overseas with IMB in East Asia for 17 years. He is also editor of the Registry of Peoples. He has an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a ThM from Asbury Theological Seminary.