by Ralph D. Winter
The Association of Church Missions Committees is one of the most impressive new arrivals on the scene, the ACMC serves literally thousands of congregations and is leading them into a new outlook on other congregations such that most of "the work" of the ACMC will be done by the member congregations, as they are coached by still other congregations and by the modest Wheaton office staff back at the headquarters.
As you hold this bulletin in your hands you are only days away from the famous "URBANA" student mission convention, attracting over 16,000 students from many backgrounds. This conference prays for all student work all around the world, and offers free exhibit space to literally hundreds of mission agencies. Meanwhile the InterVarsity office sponsoring the meeting maintains an accessible "pool" of students who have registered their interest in a possible mission career. This pool can then be consulted by computer from the office of any mission agency by phone.
But let's think of some other "generic" promoters of the over-all cause of missions.
Pre-eminently there is the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization. Our cover story a few months ago included Thomas Wang's perceptive article about the many new initiatives in global evangelization "by the year 2000." The LCWE is simultaneously promoting many different completely "generic" activities, all of them focusing on some aspect of the evangelization of the world.
Only a few days ago the world's largest denominational mission board, the Southern Baptist Foreign Board of Missions, convened a meeting inviting a wide range of organizations, denominationational otherwise. This SBC entity openly recognized the fact that a community of different organizations will be necessary to complete the task.
Students have been quick to start a lot of generic initiatives÷and just as quick to walk off and leave them for other interests as they grow and go. But in some cases the initiatives nave been taken very seriously as a long-term commitment. The Caleb Resources is the best example. Its candidate teams in traveling vans not only represent many different agencies, but pool the follow-up for the benefit of all evangelical agencies.
The Valley Mission Consortium in Phoenix Arizona consists of mission leaders from 25 or more congregations in the area. A similar consortium is in Washington, D.C.
I'll have to be immodest if I mention the network of Centers for World Mission around the globe, and most of the 46 corporations on our campus. The Global Prayer Digest, the Perspectives courses, the hoped-for "Vision Network" arising out of our financial campaign as a by-product! On and on. there is a lot more to this story. We have planned a future issue to deal with the growing matrix of highly cooperative generic agencies in general!