24:14 Coalition Update
A Global Revolution in Missionary Training
In the September/October 2016 edition of Mission Frontiers, Steve Smith, in “Four Stages to No Place Left in Our Generation,” reported on a developing trend in training missionaries. It is one that focuses on creating experiential learning in catalyzing movements for candidates in their home cultures before they deploy to a cross cultural field situation. He envisioned a network of Church-Planting Movement (CPM) Training Hubs that would help new field personnel navigate “the dark period of trial and error.” They would first learn to apply CPM principles in their own context before deploying to a cross-cultural location where CPM principles are already bearing fruit. They would then be mentored into effective catalyzing of a CPM among a new focus group, and finally help that movement to launch workers into yet more unreached groups.
The 24:14 Coalition (2414now.net) has formed a task force to facilitate the growth of a network of CPM Training Hubs. We have identified a number of emerging hubs that are training Phase 1 missionaries in their home cultures (both Western and Non-Western). More than a dozen teams and organizations have started Phase 2 Hubs, which are receiving trainees from Phase 1 experiences.
Phase 2 Hubs are reporting missionary candidates to be much quicker than the average candidate to learn and implement CPM principles. They have already developed experience applying CPM principles in their home culture before moving to a foreign cultural context. Those learning CPM experientially in this way are also receiving excellent ongoing coaching as they deploy to catalyze work among a UPG (Unreached People Group).
In the months to come, the Hubs Task force plans to continue finding and documenting new Hubs beginning to function, and gathering Hub leaders to develop best practices. They will also create cross-connections between organizations sponsoring Hubs (that could decrease need for duplication), network interested people and organizations to the Hub system, and assist organizations and churches that want to create CPM Training Hubs. We sincerely believe this model can greatly increase the frequency of CPMs among the unreached of the world. For more information contact [email protected].
Africa 24:14 Gathering
Africa is an incredibly diverse continent with 54 countries and 1.2 billion people. It is home to 3700 people groups, of which 990 are considered unreached and have a total population of 350 million. The African Union has its headquarters in Addis Ababa. So, it was fitting that 30 movement leaders from around Africa gathered in this capital city of Ethiopia to discuss forming a 24:14 Africa team. Attendees included movement leaders representing over 100 Church-Planting Movements, as well as key mission leaders, church and church network leaders, denominational leaders, researchers, and intercessors.
We experienced a significant atmosphere of unity and common vision. Our discussion focused on how to more effectively work together as citizens of God’s kingdom and brothers and sisters in Christ. We formed five task forces, to focus on prayer, research, mobilization, training, and strategy. A five-person facilitation team was formed of leaders from across the continent.
As the primary engine of God’s work, the prayer task force will begin connecting existing African and global networks of intercessors to the African and Global 24:14 efforts. They will also seek to mobilize new intercessors. They will focus as well on catalyzing new prayer coordinators in areas of special need and using secure channels to share 24:14 prayer requests.
The mobilization group set out a plan for regional mobilization efforts among churches. They planned ways for missionaries to be trained and re-deployed to groups not yet engaged with a movement effort. They also developed plans to mobilize more churches, businesses, donors, and intercessors to take part in the 24:14 vision in Africa and beyond.
The training group chose to focus on two priorities. First, the need to keep developing CPM curriculum that is simple, contextual and reproducible at every level. Second, the need to train leaders from existing movements to focus on and reach nearby UPGs.
Both the research and strategy task forces highlighted the need to share information and gather new data. We want to better understand the remaining unreached people groups and places and make a “master list” for all of Africa. That list will be continually updated, and the 24:14 Africa team will focus on identifying groups that are being engaged with a strategy for movements. Efforts will then be made to engage all the remaining unengaged peoples and places with CPM-equipped teams.
We need to remember that 24:14’s “Finish Line” is not “the gospel for every person” (which is unrealistic in eight years). Neither is it “every group reached.” To “reach” a group is missiologically defined as having an indigenous church able to evangelize the group without cross-cultural (missionary) workers. Only God starts churches, and we can’t be sure that there will be a sufficient church presence in each group by 2025 to qualify them as “reached.” Rather, 24:14 sees itself as the next step in the process.
Our goal line is a movement catalyst team engaging every people group. We know that accomplishing this goal is not the end of the Great Commission. Rather, it is “the beginning of the end.” Years of work will likely remain following attainment of this starting point. We’re just getting racers to the starting line; we will still have a race to run! Yet we believe that until unreached groups are engaged with multiplying strategies, there is very little hope that they can become effectively reached at all.
Why Tracking Data Geographically Matters
24:14’s Research Team understands the need to track movement engagement both by people group and by geographic location. While we want to make sure the gospel is not hindered by barriers of language and culture (thus engaging by culture), we know very large people groups can span cities, districts, provinces, and even countries. Within a specific group, political boundaries and distance can create barriers to gospel spread due to underengagement by insufficient teams. We also know we need to track engagement by cities, which have become very large melting pots of ethnicities, and have their own significant strategic challenges including social grouping by affinity rather than by culture, and issues like surveillance. We are counting total movement engagements mainly by people group (651 movements in all), and are now beginning to count by geographic region. Out of 3,846 provinces, 829 are less than 5% Christian, and only 63 of these have movement engagements.
24:14 Diaspora Task Force: Catalyzing Movements among People on the Move
The 24:14 Diaspora Task Force is seeking to answer the question: How can we best catalyze disciple-multiplication among diaspora peoples?
Diaspora, pronounced di·as·po·ra /dīˈaspərə/, is from a Greek word meaning “dispersion or scattering.”It describes ethnic communities and social groups dislocated from their home cultures, on the move, or in a transitional process of being scattered. These individuals are more commonly known as refugees and migrants.
People are on the move as never before; this is one of the great global realities of our era. An estimated 200+ million people are living outside their countries of origin– some voluntarily and some involuntarily. There are both push and pull factors causing this. These include environmental disasters caused by war, famine, political and economic instability, religious and ethnic discrimination, population surge, education and labor opportunities, to name a few. Diaspora peoples are a global phenomenon with local implications.
In many cases the diaspora phenomenon creates massive population shifts – such as when 1.6 million Syrian refugees entered Jordan, whose total population is just 9 million. Or consider the 8 million African migrants who now call Europe home. Cities such as Catania in Sicily took in 180,000 new arrivals in 2016! These mass movements of people create immense challenges such as megacities, diverse ethnic communities, and religious and ideological pluralism.
However, these challenges are also creating some of the greatest opportunities for disciple-making the Church has ever had. They are providing access to people groups from hostile environments that offer little or no access to the good news of Jesus. Believers from gospel-rich regions of the world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South America, are now living among those needing new expressions of witness such as in secular Europe.
As we focus our efforts and attention on these trends, we can see the fruit. Thousands of Muslims from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia have come to faith through faithful disciples offering hospitality and hope to their new neighbors. But we are only at the beginning of harvesting the fruit now just within reach. The 24:14 Diaspora Task Force is bringing together diaspora mission strategy leaders from several networks and organizations. We expect to see a great harvest as we catalyze movements among people on the move!