With all of this recent talk about people groups moving into American cities, have you ever wondered which people groups might be living around you? If so, then PeopleGoups.info is for you. Here is a recent article about the tool: PeopleGroups.info Helps Believers Reach the Nations for Christ.
The website is a wonderful resource put together as a joint effort between the International Missions Board and the North American Mission Board, and its purpose is to help visualize which people groups live in US cities so that local churches, associations, and conventions can engage them with the gospel.
Many different organizations have contributed to the data on the site. In fact, our seminary has played a role in helping populate the data on the site. It is a powerful tool, and there is a ton of information that can be gleaned from it. That being said, it has a bit of a learning curve, so you will need to play around with it for a while to get your bearings.
For local churches and individuals looking to use this as a way to meet internationals for ministry, then I would suggest overlooking many of the features and focusing on two things you can do with this site.
- See an easy overview of your city. This one is really easy to do. When you get to the home page, there is an option in the top, left corner to “Explore map.” Click there and it will take you to the map interface. Again in the top, left corner, you will see a search box. Type in the name of your city (or the closest large urban center) and hit “Go.” This should zoom in on your city and drops pins on the map for known groups of people with various data about population. You’ll be surprised at the different people groups that may be in your city.
- Find points of interest. While it’s nice to see the big picture above, I want you to be able to meet some of these internationals. One way to do that is by searching for points of interest. In that menu box on the map screen, look at the bottom for the “extended filters” option. Click on that and it will expand your option box and give you all kinds of tools. Don’t get overwhelmed. The one you are looking for is at the bottom call “Points of Interest.” Play around with these options in your map. You can select from 17 different types of location from temples and mosques to grocery stores and restaurants. All of these can be filtered by people group type as well. Want to find a Hindu temple you can go visit in your area? Then this tool will help you do it.
These two tricks should help you use this tool quickly without getting bogged down in the details.
No data in your city?
PeopleGroups.info is a growing database, and there are areas where we still need information. Your city may be one of those. If so, don’t fret. You can help us fill in the map. If that is something you would like to see happen in your area, leave me a comment below and we can get you started down that road.
Go check out the site here: