National AD2000 Initiatives — A Focus of GCOWE ’97
GCOWE '97 is to be a power booster for national church leaders, already committed to the vision of the Body of Christ in their nations being mobilized and deployed to penetrate every least evangelized people, area and class with the Gospel. Each national delegation will bring to GCOWE '97 a status assessment of national evangelization which will enable them to share challenges and successes with others to the benefit of all. The aim of a National Initiative is for the Body of Christ to provide a witness for Jesus to every living person, that Jesus Christ become incarnate to every person in the world.
In order for this to occur, there are two prerequisites: a) See, as a priority and minimum, a Pioneer Church-Planting (PCP) movement within every major ethno-linguistic people in the nation and every country and mega-city of the world by the end of the year 2000; b) See the establishment of a Saturation Church Planting (SCP) movement in the nation by the end of the year 2000, where one does not already exist.
National saturation church planting initiatives are not new. Churches in Ghana and the Philippines have been, since the mid 1970s, implementing national saturation strategies. Today many nations have national initiatives providing excellent models of what can be done. The following components draw from the experience of existing national strategies and places national initiatives in the context of global evangelization and the goal of "a church for every people and the Gospel for every person by AD2000." Hence, the term National AD2000 Initiatives.
Basic Components of a National AD2000 Initiative
Though the twin National AD2000 Initiatives of Pioneer Church Planting and Saturation Church Planting processes may develop differently in various parts of the world, there are certain
characteristics and components that will be common to most, if not all.
- A visionary and proactive servant leader, or leaders, with the gifting and call from God to translate vision into reality through effectively sharing the vision and catalyzing a response resulting in mobilizing of the Body of Christ towards achieving the above stated goals.
- A national coordinating committee (or committees) representing a wide spectrum of the Body of Christ having as its (their) focus and purpose the mobilization of the Church towards achieving the twofold goal above, with an emphasis on reaching the least-evangelized people groups, cities and areas by the year 2000. A key function of the committee(s) is to facilitate inter-organizational cooperation, partnering, planning and goal-setting.
- Clearly defined measurable goals. It should be noted that in countries where there is an SCP project underway, there still needs to be an awareness, emphasis and goal by the national Church to participate in reaching the least-evangelized peoples, cities and countries of the world.
- Initial assessment survey of both the harvest force (e.g. number and location of churches by ethno-linguistic group, denominations, parachurch groups, etc.) and harvest field (e.g. villages/ areas/ people groups with no church, demographics, vital statistics, etc.) detailing the status of the progress of evangelization and church planting in every area and people.
- Consultations and National Congress, whereby the primary denomination and parachurch leaders gather to consider their commitment to, and completion of, the unfinished task in the nation in the light of the foregoing initial assessment and measurable goals. Any number of consultations can be held at various levels and in various regions leading up to and following a National Congress.
- Goal setting and ownership. Delegations attending a National Congress will individually and collectively consider and commit to enacting a) specific measurable goals for pioneer church planting in the least reached areas, cities, peoples and countries, b) long range goals for saturating every people group, city and area with Biblical gatherings of believers, and c) goals for involvement in reaching the least-evangelized peoples, cities and countries of the world. Local and regional level goals may be enacted at local and regional meetings.
- Ongoing research and analysis. A permanent national research, analysis and information function will be established for providing the Body of Christ with accurate, up-to-date information on the Harvest Field and Harvest Force needed for strategy and planning, and for evaluation of progress and effectiveness.
- Widespread participation and cooperation. A commitment by a broad spectrum of denominational leaders, pastors, mission agency leaders, and ministry executives to participation and cooperation in pursuing the vision and goals. A commitment to mobilizing their bodies/constituencies for involvement in pursuing the vision and goals is fundamental to the success of the National AD2000 Initiatives for nationwide and world evangelization.
- United prayer efforts. A concerted extraordinary emphasis and involvement in personal and corporate prayer is essential to the success of national and global evangelization. The ministry and the battle is the Lord's. Ours is to be in constant communication for worship, praise, guidance, intercession, and warfare against the enemy. A recognition that the real battle is a spiritual battle, being fought in the heavenlies, is essential.