24:14, THE WAR THAT FINALLY ENDS
A renewed war has been quietly waged for the last 30+ years. At first, it began as a quiet insurgence by a few “freedom fighters” unwilling to see billions of people live and die with no access to the gospel. Radicals, not accepting that so many lived in bondage to the “ruler of this world,” laid down their lives to see Jesus set the prisoners free.
This insurgence has spread more rapidly and more broadly than the Arab Spring. It has enacted more lasting change than the fall of the Iron Curtain. Initial sparks have grown into a global firestorm. Millions of spiritual troops have arisen in this battle: to date, 49 million new disciples from within the harvest; prisoners of the devil in the past, steadfast proclaimers of Jesus today.
They advance the banner of Christ against demonic strongholds and despite human opposition. Their chief “weapons” are the love of God and the gospel of Jesus. Their struggle is not against humans but against the spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12). They lay down their lives for Jesus, while forgiving and blessing their persecutors. They thrill at the salvation of multitudes in unreached areas, yet during dry spells and frequent suffering, they rejoice that their own names are written in heaven (Lk. 10:20).
Most are not “professional” fighters; they work regular jobs but wage spiritual war day and night. Some take jobs that pay less to have more time to serve their King. Some volunteer for dangerous missions to rescue the lost. All have a heart to share freely with those who enter their kingdom communities. This groundswell overwhelms every major obstacle to the King of Kings, by the power of the cross. Laying down all to follow the call to finish what Jesus began spreads and fuels the mission (Rev. 12:11).
This is no return to the horrific Crusades of earthly battles waged falsely in the name of Jesus. This kingdom is invisible, as Jesus declared:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (Jn. 18:36, ESV)
This is a battle for the souls of people. These soldiers have fought the restraints of institutional religion to obey the commands of Scripture. They have endured not only attacks by demonic powers, but also friendly fire from church leaders who have misunderstood their desire to live as authentic disciples of the King.
These soldiers have chosen to believe that disciples, churches, leaders and movements can multiply as movements of the Spirit, just as they did in the early church. They have chosen to believe that the commands of Christ still carry the same authority and Spirit-empowerment as 2000 years ago.
Church-Planting Movements (CPMs) are spreading again today just as they did in the book of Acts and at various times in history (see the Addison article). They are not a new phenomenon but an old one. They are a return to basic biblical discipleship that all disciples of Jesus can emulate as 1) followers of Jesus and 2) fishers for people (Mk. 1:17) (see the article by Snodgrass). On every continent, where it was once said, “A CPM can’t happen here,” movements are spreading (see articles by Garrison, Tasse, Walker, Yehezkiel, Marcelin, and Wood).
Biblical principles are being applied in practical, reproducible models in a variety of cultural contexts. God’s servants are winning the lost, making disciples, forming healthy churches and developing godly leaders, in ways that can multiply generation after generation and begin to radically transform their communities.
These movements are the only way we have found historically for the kingdom of God to grow faster than the population (see Long’s article). Without them, even good ministry efforts result in losing ground.
The tide of this renewed effort is surging forward with unstoppable force. This insurgence is no passing fad. With 20+ years of reproducing churches, the number of CPMs has multiplied from a mere handful in the 1990s to 609+ as of October 2017, with more being reported each month. Each movement’s advance has been won with great endurance and sacrifice.
This mission—to take the gospel of the kingdom to every unreached and under-reached people and place—comes with real casualties of persecution. This is a struggle to the end to see the name of Jesus prevail in every place, so He is worshipped by all peoples. This mission costs everything, and it is worth it! He is worth it.
After almost three decades of resurgence of movements in modern times, a global coalition has arisen, not by boardroom brainstorming, but by leaders within and alongside movements banding together to fulfill one overarching objective:
And this good news of the King’s reign will be heralded throughout the whole world as a testimony to all peoples, and then the end will come. (Mt. 24:14, author’s translation)
As God draws multitudes of new believers from every tongue, tribe, people and nation into His kingdom, we yearn: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rv. 22:20). We cry out:
Your kingdom come! (movements)
No place left! (fully reaching all)
Finishing what others have started! (honoring those before us)
Through prayer, we as a coalition felt God gave us a deadline to increase urgency: We aim to engage every unreached people and place with an effective kingdom movement (CPM) strategy by December 31, 2025.
We have subordinated organizational and denominational brands to greater kingdom collaboration to accomplish this mission. We call our open-membership, volunteer army by the verse that inspires us: 24:14.
We are not a Western-centric initiative. We are composed of house church movements from South Asia, Muslim-background movements from the 10/40 window, mission sending agencies, church planting networks in post-modern regions, established churches and many more (see diverse testimonies in this edition). We are a coalition of CPM practitioners not waiting for a plan from executive leadership (though many executives are on board). We are inspired by a call for a wartime mentality (see Dubois article on the web at http://www.missionfrontiers.org) to sacrifice alongside brothers and sisters, to see the gospel proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all peoples.
Is this revolution any different than hundreds of other plans that have arisen over the centuries? Is this plan really able to finish the Great Commission? Dr. Keith Parks has spent a lifetime in cross-cultural mission service starting in 1948. He was a presenter at Lausanne 1974 and as IMB President initiated their engagement of UPGs in the early 1980’s. Dr. Bill O’Brien was co-chair of Singapore 1989 which birthed the AD2000 network. You can see in their article that they feel this 24:14 coalition is fundamentally different. It builds on previous faithful efforts (e.g. AD2000, Finishing the Task, etc.); this 24:14 vision could well be the culmination of these historical and current efforts by helping engagements fully reach their targets.
According to Dr. Parks, the biggest difference is that 24:14 came not at the impetus of mission executives but came from the grassroots of the movements themselves. 24:14 is a network of the world’s CPMs and CPM organizations collaborating with urgency, and calling the global church to join in similar efforts. That’s why it feels like the end may be in sight.
There will be a final generation. It will be characterized by the global spread of the kingdom, and will advance in the face of global opposition (see Ho and Arlund article). Our generation feels strangely like the one Jesus described in Matthew 24.
This edition of Mission Frontiers is a call to action.1
24:14 consists of movement leaders and people/organizations/churches across the world committed to three things:
1. REACH the UNREACHED: In line with Matthew 24:14, bringing the gospel of the kingdom to every unreached people and place.
2. THROUGH CPMs: Fully reaching them through biblical kingdom movements of multiplying disciples, churches, leaders and movements.
3. WITH URGENCY BY 2025: Doing so with a wartime urgency by the end of 2025 in the power of the Spirit, no matter what it costs us.
We are in a war, though most believers seem to live as if in peace. As long as God’s people slumber, the enemy wreaks havoc in communities, churches, relationships and personal discipleship. Priorities, time and focus remain dissipated. No D-Day objective looms. No great mission prevails, so sacrifice remains minimal or non-existent. Yet were the whole church to wake up to a wartime mindset, the gates of hell would quake (Mt 16:18)!
The 49 million (and growing) grassroots troops who have come to faith in these CPMs are spreading the good news globally. As stories of God’s breakthroughs trickle into churches around the world, reinforcements arise to go out into the battlefields. The slumbering giant of the global church needs to wake up (see Wells and Mickan article). But this giant must not awaken with a peacetime mindset. This is no business model for comfortable church growth; this is war.
The most effective troops to start new movements are leaders from existing movements. As a global church we need to prioritize prayer, personnel and funds to support existing CPMs in sending out messengers to unengaged areas to start new CPMs. (See articles by V. John, Larson, Kumar, Harold and Dubois.)
Of the 8,800+ unreached people groups and places, we estimate that about 2,500 of them are already effectively engaged with CPM strategies. That leaves 6,300 still needing purposeful CPM initiatives. But we need to look more closely than the macro-level of a major people group or city. A people group of one million must be subdivided into smaller districts in which movements must emerge. Globally, that may be as many as 130,000 geographical and ethnolinguistic segments of the world needing movements. As you read this, global researchers are compiling sensitive data from CPM practitioners to identify which population segments have movements and which still need them.
Which brings us to you. God is calling you to join this volunteer army. What could happen if the global church arose with a sacrificial eight-year push to engage every unreached place with a movement of God?
We invite you to be a part of the revolution. See 2414now.net to learn more, watch inspiring videos and find on-ramps to join this wartime effort (see “How to Get Involved”).
Are you unsure how to start multiplying disciples at home and abroad? If you are willing to pay the price in preparation and service, we can put you in contact with a CPM team near you. They can coach you to spread the kingdom in your locale or in a distant location.
The 24:14 army is lean and focused. Our organizing team is a skeleton crew that can use volunteers. The budget needs for 24:14 global initiatives and coordinating efforts is minimal compared with the immense task.2 Our prayer coordination is emerging but needs a fervent global prayer push. Country, zone and district 24:14 volunteer stewards are needed to help coordinate CPM efforts; vacancies abound.
2025 is not the end. It is just the beginning of the end. We need CPM teams in every one of these 130,000 segments sacrificially committed to the war effort of spreading God’s kingdom through movements. Once a team is in place (between now and 2025) the fight has just begun to evangelize the lost and multiply disciples and churches to see a kingdom transformation of those communities.
We can see an end to a 2,000 year spiritual war. The enemy’s defeat is in sight. “No place left for Jesus to be named” is on the horizon (Rm. 15:23). God is asking us to pay the price and deeply sacrifice to be the generation that fulfills Matthew 24:14. Are you in?
How to Get Involved
Jesus didn’t intend his Great Commission for just a sub-group of his followers, but for everyone who knows him as their Savior. He calls every believer to play a role in finishing the task. Join us via the avenues below to get involved!
Prayer movements always coincide with Church-Planting Movements. Join the global 24:14 prayer movement:
· Sign up to join the 24/7 canopy of prayer supporting the 24:14 vision and receive weekly prayer emails (contact [email protected]).
· Sign up to learn more about how to partner in prayer with a specific DMM team who are seeking to reach UPGs in their location (contact [email protected]).
· Set a 24:14 alarm on your phone for 12:14 pm each day, to remind you to pray for fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.
Engaging every unreached people and place with a movement strategy by 2025 will require the Church to mobilize like never before. We need to provide financial resources for special initiatives, collaboration of movement catalysts, training leaders, and mobilizing national believers to cascade movements to new unreached areas. Go to http://www.2414now.net/give.
Get trained to effectively start CPMs, whether across an ocean or in your backyard. 24:14 has a network of home hubs and field hubs to provide a pathway for reaching a UPG, starting in your local context. Contact [email protected] for more information on getting involved. To learn more about hubs, see this Mission Frontiers article: http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/four-stages-to-no-place-left-in-our-generation.
24:14 has a list of roles that must be filled in order to make the eight-year vision a reality. See below for some key roles that you may be able to help with:
· Join a Geographic Stewardship Team: Geographic Stewardship Team Members (GSTMs) will identify and/or train implementers who will seek to multiply disciples and simple churches within their focus People Group or geographic area. In order to engage every unreached people group, we need a huge number of volunteer GSTMs in many locations, to ensure the entire world is being covered. For more information, contact [email protected].
· Become a Home or Field Hub Coordinator: Are you already implementing CPM principles at home or abroad? Turn your place of ministry into a training ground where others can come to learn and serve in your ministry before being launched into a new region. For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected].
· Provide Logistical/Administrative Support: Help provide logistical and administrative support for the GSTMs, implementers, and others involved in this effort. For more information, contact [email protected].
· Become a 24:14 Advocate: Help us spread the word about 24:14 in your church, business, and other places of influence. You could mobilize resources, prayer, and funds for the cause. Contact [email protected].
· Start a 24:14 Task Force: Are you passionate about an area not listed above? Start a task force consistent with the vision of 24:14 to accomplish a specific objective. (For example, mobilizing 100 missionaries from your state/region in the next 2 years.) If you would like to start a task force, please contact [email protected].
· Not ready to volunteer, but want to stay in the loop? Fill out the form at https://www.2414now.net/contact-us.
1 To get a better context for this edition, we invite you to read "The Beginning of the End?" The Launch of 24:14, in the Sept-Oct 2017 edition. To understand our place in the Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 storyline, we invite you to read "The Storyline of History" in the Nov-Dec 2017 edition of MF.
2 Most 24:14 efforts are not supported by outside funds. Outside funding for CPM catalyzation, and support comes via individuals, churches and organizations. Yet there are some central funding needs. See www.2414now.net/give for more information on supporting 24:14 global efforts.