This is an article from the July-August 2003 issue: Have Missions Really Made a Difference?

International Coalition Steering Committee Report

International Coalition Steering Committee Report
  1. God leads His people through the burdens, visions and dreams of His servants who are submitted to His will and engaged in His mission. By listening to these burdens and visions we have an indication of what God wants to do in the future.
  2. There are lessons to be learned from the vantage point of Church history which can inform the present and anticipate the future course of His working through the Church. The experiences of the Church as it is engaged in God’s mission of world evangelization in previous generations provides insights about how God is moving through his people to fulfi ll his purposes in this generation.
  3. Mission springs from renewal. There exists an inherent link between a movement of renewal and a movement of mission. Renewal movements of the present provide important clues to mission movements of the future.
  4. Emerging streams of mission are notable as “the new things” of the mission of God. Because the missionary mandate is given to the Church in any place and at any time, there are new initiatives emerging in the historic mission fi elds of mission.
  5. Significant missionary movements normally appear on the fringe periphery of the larger ecclesiastical structure.
  6. Spontaneous Holy Spirit-prompted mission-action initiatives unveil future direction for mission. Since the Spirit is the primary agent of the mission of the Messiah, “Pentecost-like promptings” serve as sign-posts to a divinely initiated mission path.
  7. The Church’s critical refl ection through a group of respected scholars  with a heart for mission contributes to the shaping of a framework for mission into the future.
  8. Fresh ideas, concepts and their expressions related to God’s mission where there is vigorous engagement of culture on the mission fi eld by the Gospel provide fresh resources for the future. It is time to listen to voices from the non-Western world.
  9. An inquiry by means of a survey by focus group can be not only informative but catalytic in regard to God’s purposes.
  10. The biblically-based goal of mission is the consummation of all things in Jesus Christ Christian mission is future driven. “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when  the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1:9-10).

In spite of concerns about traveling to East Asia due to the SARS virus and resulting airline cancellations the World In­quiry International Coalition met May 7-9, 2003 near Seoul with 132 participants from 39 countries.

The World Inquiry has been an 18-month journey in the listening mode. It began with a question: “Where to from here in world evangelization?” It was born out of a desire to hear what God was saying to his people. It was in­spired by the sevenfold repeated question in the book of Revelation: “What is the Spirit saying to the churches? The World Inquiry is a quest to know the mind of God through the burdens, visions and dreams of his people as we move into the future. The World Inquiry seeks to discern the divinely or­chestrated frontier of the Church’s mission of world evan­gelization at the begin­ning of the 21st century.

The preliminary findings were bound in a five hundred page series of five compendiums by the Facilitation Fellowship for a midcourse assessment by the World Inquiry International Coalition. Informed by the Facilitation Fellowship, the World Inquiry International Coalition: assesses the preliminary findings of the  World Inquiry, makes further observations and interpretation of the results for the Steering Committee to deliberate on, and then provides directional application to the ongoing inquiry process.

The assessment of the preliminary findings considers the verbal presentation of results at the Coalition Event May 2003 in Korea, as well as the written record of the preliminary findings in five compendiums as follows:

  • Position Papers on the World, the Church and the Mission
  • Preliminary Findings Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys from more than 5000 focus group participants from seventy countries and more than 500 cities.
  • 21st Century Realities & Dreams of God’s Servants
  • Forty-two Emerging Streams of Mission
  • City-Based Action Plans Unveiled by case studies from India, Indonesia and the Philippines


There are expressions in the evangelical mission community of a vision gap and silence regarding a cohesive global initiative at the present time. Strategies to address the vision are in short supply in view of mission leaders. The new paradigms that help us interpret and organize our strategies for the future have not become clear. Mid-course findings point to fresh paradigms as we all anticipate the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ.


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