$100 Million Campaign Gains Momentum
Goals set by an early handful of Christian organizations have already topped $1 million yearly for the fledgling Frontier Fellowship a cooperative campaign involving Christians in daily prayer, study and giving focused on the final frontiers of the gospel.
According to Dr. Ralph Winter, Director of the U.S. Center for World Mission and one of the Fellowship's founders, these are only the beginning steps for the Fellowship which ultimately hopes to enlist a million North American evangelicals and raise $100,000,000 annually to establish a church for each of the world's 16,750 people groups still without an indigenous Christian movement.
"a cooperative campaign involving Christians in daily prayer, study and giving focused on the final frontiers of the gospel."
"Based on the number of participants these groups have decided to seek, the total is now $1,200,000 and growing all to be destined for the frontiers. Almost daily, we get word of another group throwing its support behind this exciting movement, designed to make a frontal assault on the final frontiers of the Gospel," explained Dr. Winter about the developing movement.
Faith Goals Set
The "Frontier Fellowship" campaign, announced only in Spring of 1981 has already attracted participants from major mission agencies, from both evangelical and mainline denominations, major student groups on Christian college and university campuses, and seminaries. In addition, impressive endorsements of the campaign have been registered by mission and church leaders.
The $100 million Frontier Fellowship campaign has added numerous agencies to its growing list of participating organizations in recent days in this "march of coins" movement designed to gain widespread new support for the Hidden Peoples of the world those groups still beyond the reach of any church or mission effort. Mission agencies, denominations and campus groups are among the organizations taking up the Frontier Fellowship challenge.
Recently joining in the developing Frontier Fellowship are the following mission agencies: the Africa Inland Mission, International Students, Incorporated, International Missionary Advance, the Christian Missionary Fellowship, and the Chinese World Mission Center. Each of their initial "faith goals" are for 1,000 3,000 members to become actively involved with the campaign.
According to Peter Stam, U.S. Director of Africa Inland Mission, the Frontier Fellowship "is very much in line with AIM's goals of reaching out to Hidden Peoples within and beyond our present sphere of work." AIM has set as a preliminary goal, 3,000 active Frontier Prayer Partners. This will harness 3,000 of their followers in daily prayer, study and "loose change" giving specifically for new frontier outreach which is expected to be at least $100 per person per year, or $300,000.
Agencies, Individuals Commend Movement
Ben Jennings, Executive Vice President of International Missionary Advance, a mission¬planting agency, commented that, "the Frontier Fellowship provides every Christian a ministry of significance in advancing God's work in the world, particularly at the cutting edge of His Great Commission in the world."
On the denominational scene, the United Presbyterian Church (UPCUSA), the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), the United Presbyterian Order for World Evangelization and the Episcopal Church Missionary Community have begun their own versions of the Frontier Fellowship.
"This will advance world evangelization tremendously! I hope it is read and used far and wide."
A group of evangelicals within the United Presbyterian Church, USA, have recently gained approval for a "Frontier Evangelism Fund" Extra Commitment Giving Project.
The purpose of the fund is to "provide financial resources to enhance the Program Agency's search for particular groups of "hidden people" and others who are without a viable, indigenous, evangelizing church movement in their midst," according to Grady Allison, Program Director for Evangelism of the UPCUSA.
The United Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship was formed at the last General Assembly to generate grass roots prayer and giving for frontier outreach. Its board of directors includes representatives from various evangelical "cause groups" within the United Presbyterian Church.
The Evangelical Free church previously set a goal to reach ten new hidden people groups by 1990. The formation of the Evangelical Free Church of America Frontier Fellowship is viewed as a strong step to mobilize its 800 churches for this frontier advance.
The unique Frontier Fellowship Daily Prayer Guide, a booklet which is considered the very backbone of the prayer campaign, has already been adapted by the Evangelical Free Church, the UPCUSA, the North Africa Mission, and other groups for use within their own constituencies.
Dr. C. Peter Wagner, noted author and mission leader, upon reading the new Daily Prayer Guide, wrote: "...l am ecstatic! This will advance world evangelization tremendously! I hope it is read and used far and wide. Deep thanks for this exciting new tool."
Campuses Turn on to Frontiers
Momentum on the campuses is growing as well. Student mission leaders at Biola University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School have adopted unique missions projects. In conjunction with their normal campus missionary endeavors, they are planning not only to establish a Frontier Fellowship on their campus, but also to foster Frontier Fellowships within those local churches with whom students have contact.
Biola students have set a goal of reaching 200 churches by June 1982. If each church averages 50 participants, they expect to catalyze 1 million for frontier outreach. Other campuses are considering similar plans.
We believe the Frontier Fellowship will gradually and surely transform the church's entire outlook upon God's world today.
The Frontier Fellowship is not a single organization, but a movement of cooperating organizations, agencies, denominations and churches. The campaign hopes, within 24 months, to involve 1,000,000 Christians in a daily prayer and study, with the by product of raising $100,000,000 each year in new funds specially and strictly for the frontiers of world missions for those people groups where there is not yet any indigenous, witnessing church. The first two groups to join this movement were the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle and the North Africa Mission.
"Handful of Rice"
The concept behind the Frontier Fellowship was borrowed from the example of Burma Christians, who for some time have reminded themselves of their missionary responsibilities by the practice of setting aside a "handful of rice" at every meal for use in reaching neighboring unreached people groups. Similarly the Frontier Fellowship campaign is built on the daily saving of loose coins for use in outreach to frontier areas.
Thus far, all of the groups that have joined the FF campaign have decided to designate $15 of the first $100 in coins from each individual to help establish the US Center for World Mission. The USCWM has been the major proponent of the Frontier Fellowship effort, and through its research, mobilization, and training efforts is itself a prominent catalytic agent in advancing the frontier missions cause worldwide.