The AD2000 Movement
Many people, especially in America, think of missions and world evangelization as an American led and promoted enterprise. But today in our time God is doing some earth shaking things around our world that are breaking down the usual stereotypes about missions. Today the number of missionaries from the third world is growing rapidly and far outstripping the number of new missionaries from the U.S. heading to the field. It is estimated that there will be 160,000 missionaries from the third world by the year 2000. That is almost 4 times the current number of U.S. missionaries. Hundreds of new third world mission agencies have sprung up in the last 20 years.
The AD 2000 And Beyond Movement, led by third world leaders, is bringing the third world and American mission efforts together under the banner of "A church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000." The AD 2000 Movement is a unique international organization involving thousands of the world's pre- eminent mission and church leaders who are working together as never before to see the world reached in the next nine years.
The present leaders of this world-wide movement are Thomas Wang, the Chairman/Founder, and Luis Bush, the International Director. Both of these men are international leaders from "third world" countries. Dr. Wang is originally from China and Rev. Bush was born in Argentina and raised in Brazil.
The AD 2000 Movement Chairman, Thomas Wang, was born in Beijing, China, October 14, 1925. By the age of 28 he had become actively involved in the Lord's work beginning as a local preacher in Taipei. By the age of 32 he had become an international evangelist. After founding and directing the Chinese Christian Mission for 15 years, Thomas was asked to found the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE), networking some 5,000 Chinese churches in the diaspora. In this capacity he served for another 10 years, until invited to be the office of International Director of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE) in January 1987. After writing an article called By the year 2000: Is God trying to tell us something? he began to see the need to focus even more intensively on the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this decade. And so he has fathered and chairs another movement, the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement.
Born in Argentina, Luis spent much of his growing up years in Brazil where his father was in business. While in the Argentine military service he and his wife accepted Christ. After completing Dallas Seminary, he served as pastor in El Salvador for seven years. In 1984 he organized a missions conference for Central America where over 1000 delegates attended from 18 countries and a brush fire for missions emerged.
Even after he became president of Partners International, he continued as coordinator for COMIBAM, the continent wide missions conference held in Sao Paulo in 1987. The momentum of that mission movement has spilled over into a vision for the world and now his role as International Director of the AD 2000 Movement.
Dr. Alvin Low was appointed last year to be the Associate International Director of the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement.
Dr. Low was born in Malaysia and received his Doctor of Theology in 1985 from Dallas Theological Seminary. Alvin wil work closely with Luis Bush, the International Director, and will operate from the AD 2000 office in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Before coming to the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, Alvin worked as Vice-President of Ministries of International Students Inc..
John is the Associate International Director of the Global Consultation On World Evangelization II (GCOWE II) scheduled for June 1994. John was born in Rangoon, Burma to Christian parents. After WW II his family moved to India. In 1966 John moved into full time Christian work with the Evangelical Fellowship of India and eventually became their General Secretary as well as that of the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia. He has also served with the Asian Evangelical Fellowship and on the Executive Council of the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) and the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He is currently serving on WEF's Commission on Church Renewal. In September 1990 John accepted the invitation to serve as the Associate International Director of GCOWE II for '94.
Its Origin and Purpose
The AD 2000 and Beyond Movement grows out of a desire to respond both to the imperative of the Great Commission and to the unique opportunity to mobilize all of God's people to reach the unreached by the year 2000, as God's people everywhere have established unprecedented faith goals for AD 2000. By July 1990, researchers reported more than 2000 evangelization plans focused on the year 2000. One third of these are from the two-thirds-world.
With all the interest in the year 2000, it became apparent that the worldwide body of Christ needs to coordinate its efforts for world evangelization. It is exciting to realize that much of the AD 2000 goals can be reached by mobilizing people in existing ministries without adding another complex and expensive infrastructure.
The following purpose statement was developed in consultation with around 350 Church leaders from all over the world. The overall purpose is stated as follows:
In a spirit of servanthood the people involved in the AD 2000 Movement seek to encourage, motivate and network men and women church leaders by inspiring the vision of reaching the unreached by AD 2000 through consultations, prayer efforts and written materials. The intention is to encourage cooperation among existing churches, movements and structures to work together towards this same vision. The expected result is the establishment of a mission-minded church planting movement within every unreached and unevangelized people and city by AD 2000, so that all people might have a valid opportunity to experience the love, truth and saving power of Jesus Christ in fellowship with other believers.
The focus of this movement is on reaching the approximately two billion unreached people who are not within reach of Christians of their own ethnic or people group and do not yet have a vital, indigenous church movement. People refers to the larger ethno- linguistic groups, estimated to be 2,000 among which there are an estimated 11,000 smaller people groups.
The two key words for the AD 2000 Movement are, "motivate" and "network." The two main avenues of sharing the vision are through "national consultations" and "common interest groups." The focus of the structure is upon a national, regional, and global strategy.
The goal of the AD 2000 Movement is to see spiritual initiatives in 200 countries around the world. As of December 31, 1991, interdenominational Christian leaders in over 65 countries around the world have held AD 2000 vision meetings or AD 2000 consultations. (See the chart below.)
The initiative and perspective of a national AD 2000 movement comes from the national leaders. Typically, informed by the global process, national Christian leaders take the initiative to set their own goals focused on the year 2000. The form and focus that the movement takes depends on the perspective of these national leaders. The national AD 2000 plans are responsive to the call of Scripture to reach the unreached as well as the political and economic realities within each of the individual countries where these plans are developed.
The sharing of vision comes through consultation as Christian leaders gather in national or regional consultations to share what God is doing around the world. The leaders from these countries involved in these consultations would include pastors, denominational leaders, Christian organizational leaders, training institutional leaders, women, young people, and lay people.
These national initiatives are formed as national leaders with a vision for the year 2000 form Ad Hoc Steering Committees to bring Christian leaders together to develop and implement mobilization strategies for the national, regional, and global levels.
The Global Networks
Along with these country-wide and regional spiritual initiatives, there are 14 global initiatives by interest groups networking together to concentrate on each vital element needed for the cause of world evangelization.
Each track is charged with mobilizing the existing forces for evangelism and uniting them, not organizationally, but in prayer, in mutual respect, in interpersonal relationships, and in support of one another through sharing of ideas and resources, to prevent overlap and competition. Within the overall purpose of the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, each of the interest networks has their own purpose, goals and objectives as they prepare for GCOWE II in 1994.
One aspect that underscores the AD 2000 networks is the partnership established between different Christian leaders representing many countries of the world. Each global network typically includes in its leadership one person from the west and one from a two-thirds-world country.
As these global network representatives identify, select and recruit regional network representatives, a core group of 12, representing all ten major regions of the world, will come into existence. As each of the regional network representatives select, identify and recruit two representatives for the country, the internationalism of the process becomes increasingly evident.
These global AD 2000 initiatives by interest groups are seeking to:
- Network church leaders for an intensive effort of world evangelization by AD 2000.
- Intensify, galvanize and accelerate vision for world evangelization within that interest group.
- Facilitate information exchange between tracks and all interested parties.
- Encourage cooperative relationships with existing movements, networks and structures that result in coordinated efforts to evangelize unreached peoples and urban centers.
- Foster concentrated, prevailing prayer against the obstacles for world evangelization.
The Prayerful Outcome
As Christians work through separate but cooperative programs, the AD 2000 Movement hopes that the body of Christ would realize these outcomes.
- Mobilization of united prayer efforts in every country of the world. Engagement in cooperative ministry efforts to reach the 2000 unreached clusters of peoples.
- Revitalization of the church leaders for lay mobilization and church renewal.
- Establishment of an evangelical congregation within easy access of every person in the world.
- Penetration and evangelization of the unevangelized world by creative missionary methods, such as non-residential missionaries, tent-makers, international returnees and sports evangelism.
- Equipping of key leadership in every country to develop and implement an effective cross-cultural missionary training program.
- Establishment of permanent national missiological research functions in every country of the world.
- Assessment of the progress of evangelization among the 2000 unreached peoples.
- Engagement in cooperative ministry efforts to reach the 2000 unreached peoples.
- Provision of a valid opportunity for every person to hear the Gospel in a language they can understand.
- Establishment of a church planting movement within every unreached people group and city in the country or region.
- The development of the innate and spiritual gifts of God's people everywhere, and in particular, women and young people for world evangelization.
The AD 2000 Movement is a dynamic institution tailor made to meet the latest trends in missions. It is tapping into the tremendous surge of interest around the world in giving all people everywhere the opportunity to receive Christ as savior by AD 2000. It is also a movement that is raising up international leadership from dozens of countries. AD 2000 is a unique global mission enterprise motivated and carried forward at the initiative of thousands of people from all over the world who have God's heart to see all peoples reached. These are people who desire to work together to see the job completed more rapidly and easily than if they worked separately. It is important for the western church to take this movement seriously as the third- world begins to take over the leadership of the mission movement to penetrate every people group with the gospel by the year 2000.
But it is still not too late for the church in America to get mobilized into this world-wide movement. Some 170 countries at Lausanne II in 1989 expressed in the final paragraph under the 11th affirmation of the Manila Manifesto -- "We commit ourselves to evangelize the world during the last decade of this millennium. There is nothing magical about the date, yet should we not do our best to reach this goal? Christ commands us to take the gospel to all." And certainly if D.L.Moody were in our midst he would add: "It can be done, it ought to be done, it must be done!"