What is Priority ?
Our ambition is to preach the gospel where Christ is not yet known (Romans 15:20). Priority 15 is our focused attempt to take a significant step forward to completing the Great Commission in our lifetime.
There are over 3,000 people groups that are unengaged with the gospel, meaning they don't have a local church and few known missionaries working among them. Priority 15 is a collaborative effort of missional professionals to engage these highly strategic, restricted access areas with the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of making disciples and planting churches.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Our goal is to complete the great commission in 15 strategic areas through evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Our objective is to mobilize three resources: money, prayer, and people to form engagement teams for the purpose of church planting. Priority 15 is not a sending agency. It is a committed group of disciples who want to partner together to complete the great commission in 15 strategic places.
Purpose of the Map
The church of Jesus Christ is tasked with preparing His bride for His eminent return. We accomplish this task by advancing the gospel to all peoples of the earth. This map identifies fifteen missional priorities. Some of these targets are large people groups, some are clusters of peoples and some are large regions with no access to the gospel. Our hope is that this map will be used to raise awareness, garner prayer and gather engagement teams for these fifteen strategic priorities.
Unreached Status is an index created by the Joshua Project to measure the growth of Christianity among both countries and ethnic groups throughout the World. Scores range from 0 to 100. Mauritania’s score of 99.6 indicates that only 0.4% of the entire population of Maruitania identify themselves with any branch or denomination of Christianity. Unreached Status can be used to measure the need for gospel witness in the country or ethnic group. Higher scores indicate a greater need for gospel resources and evangelism.
THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX (HDI)
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic measuring life expectancy, educational opportunity, and gross national income. It is used by the United Nations to track human development in 187 of 193 countries and territories in the world. The highest possible score for the index is 1.0 and the lowest is theoretically zero. Currently Norway has the highest HDI in the world (.955) and Niger the lowest (.337). The index provides a way to quickly identify countries of high need relative to one another. The lower the score, the greater the physical need.
The Persecution Index
The Persecution Index measures the number of violent acts committed against Christians due to their faith as well as the cultural and government pressure to limit freedom of Christian expression. The Persecution Index is a rank list, developed and monitored by a group called Open Doors, of the 50 countries that most persecute Christians. The country of North Korea is given the worst Persecution Index rank of 100. The second most persecuting country, Somalia, is given a rank of 98, etc.
Physical Exertion was developed by the International Mission Board. It measures the relative difficulty of living in a country. For instance, Eastern Chad has one of the highest physical exertion rates, due to its location in the Sahara desert. Teams engaging this area will need to import their own electricity and cooler systems in addition to withstanding difficulties of desert life. Routine maintenance for daily living is much higher in areas with a high score for physical exertion. These factors must be taken into consideration when developing engagement strategies.
WHY WERE THESE  CHOSEN?
The great missionary Paul summed up his ministry with these words, "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known" (Romans 15:20). Paul’s ambition reveals the true heart of missions, to advance the knowledge of God's glory, the story of his good news, to every dark corner of the earth. The mission of the church will not be complete until all peoples have access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We chose the Priority  with this strategic understanding in mind. After much prayer, research, and dialogue with existing missionaries, the places we chose are not only unreached with the gospel, they are not likely to be reached in the near future. Most are located in politically unstable areas with religious barriers including active persecution of Christians and harsh physical living conditions. We need humility and faith, trusting that God will use us in our weakness to break through these areas of spiritual darkness.