Lists:  All Progress Levels

The Joshua Project Progress Scale is an estimate of the progress of church planting among a people group, people cluster, country or language. The scale is derived from people group values for percent Evangelical and percent Christian Adherent. See the table and explanation below for level descriptions, criteria, counts and population summaries.

Every individual is equally valuable and equally lost without Jesus Christ. However, people groups have varying levels of exposure and response to the gospel. The Progress Scale is an attempt to avoid the perception that unreached / reached is an off / on toggle. Please note the diagram below showing the Progress Scale overlaid on the Gray Matrix.

Click column headings for sorting ▲▼
Description Criteria People
% of People
Population % of World


Few evangelicals and few who identify as Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity. Frontier Peoples are a subset of unreached.
Evangelicals <= 2%
Professing Christians <= 5%
7,402 42.5 % 3,278,434,000 41.8 %


Minimally reached
Few evangelicals, but significant number who identify as Christians.
Evangelicals <= 2%
Professing Christians > 5% and <= 50%
1,147 6.6 % 281,726,000 3.6 %


Superficially reached
Few evangelicals, but many who identify as Christians. In great need of spiritual renewal and commitment to biblical faith.
Evangelicals <= 2%
Professing Christians > 50%
1,813 10.4 % 537,507,000 6.9 %


Partially reached
Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Evangelicals > 2% and <= 10%
3,786 21.7 % 1,966,554,000 25.1 %


Significantly reached
Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Evangelicals > 10%
3,284 18.8 % 1,774,480,000 22.6 %
Totals:     17,432   7,838,732,000  

Figure 1. shows the Joshua Project Progress levels plotted in the various Gray Matrix quadrants. The Gray Matrix is a helpful evaluation tool. "It separates out knowledge (cognitive) elements into the vertical axis (y-axis) while attitudinal dimensions belong to the horizontal (x-axis)." The further to the left and down, the greater the need. Thus the red (unreached) groups are in the lower left quadrant.

It can be debated which groups are needier: orange or yellow? Orange has less knowledge, but more open attitude, while yellow has greater knowledge, but more closed attitude. Which is more needy? A case could be made for either orange or yellow. We encourage individuals and organizations to make use of these category distinctions in line with their ministry focus and priority.

Joshua Project welcomes feedback and critique of the Progress Scale. If you have thoughts or ideas, please contact us.

Figure 1: Joshua Project Progress levels and the Gray Matrix:  A matrix that plots spiritual awareness vs attitude.


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