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August 1988


Editorial Comment

Can a 92 Year Old and a 22 Year Old...

The Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond

A.T. Pierson and the Year 1900: A Challenge for Our Day

Bangkok Breakthrough "City of Angels" Needs New Light

Mission Opportunity of All History!

The Crisis of Missions

Continuation of The Crisis of Missions

Continuation of The Crisis of Missions

Continuation of The Crisis of Missions

Continuation of The Crisis of Missions

Bibliography of The Crisis of Missions

Caleb Resources: Mobilizing to Finish the Task

Perspectives - Fomenter of Revolutions

An Open Letter

Warren Gleason - Serving the Lord by Serving Meals

Astounding Event Proves Impact of Western Missions

Letters to the Editor

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The Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond

by Jay Gary, Project Coordinator for the Global Consultation

Why is this meeting being called?
This consultation is being called to bring together 300 leaders from different Great Commission networks who sense the need to coordinate their efforts in mobilizing the worldwide body of Christ for world evangelization as we approach AD 2000.

In light of the great spiritual movements of God's people during biblical times to fulfill his purposes; in light of the remarkable way the Spirit of God has been moving in the last 25 years among the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America; in light of the magnitude of the unfinished task, but with quiet confidence of the possibilities for the completion of world evangelization if Christians cooperate with one another; and in light of the fact that many Christian denominations and organizations are already setting goals for world evangelization using AD 2000 as a milestone, the purposes of this consultation are as follows:

1. To accelerate the growing interest, attention, momentum and prayer in the body of Christ with regard to world evangelization by AD 2000.

2. To promote mutual encouragement and the exchange of information among denominations and agencies who are planning for world evangelization by AD 2000.

3. To encourage denominations and agencies who have yet to set AD 2000 goals, to set ones that are biblical, measurable and strategic.

4. To promote cooperative efforts in world evangelization among those planning around the milestone of AD 2000.

5. To lay the foundation for further consultations of this kind to be held at later dates at the regional and national level.

Who is convening this gathering?
A steering committee of 18 people is making preparations for this consultation. Ten of them are leaders of Great Commission networks in the Two-Thirds world. Although not officially sponsored by any one organization, the steering committee members come from networks such as: Third World Mission Advance, World Evangelical Fellowship, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Charismatics United for World Evangelization and the Southern Baptist Convention, just to name a few.

What need does this consultation address?
As we approach the changing of a millennium, many movements worldwide are seeing the year 2000 as a focal point and a hinge year into a new millennium. Those in the worldwide body of Christ are sensing the importance of this symbolic milestone for humankind and are setting goals for world evangelization.

Until recently, many people thought the AD 2000 movement was a Western phenomenon. But recent research has shown that more than a third of these 230 plans originate from the church in the Two-Thirds world. In addition, as we approach the decade of the '90s, many confessions and denominations are setting 10-year goals. This is truly a global evangelization movement. The twentieth century alone has seen, in addition to the 230 plans currently making headway, more than 300 plans emerge and eventually fall short of their mark to evangelize the world. According to David Barrett, researcher and author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, a common shortcoming of these plans was their relative isolation from the total worldwide body of Christ. Therefore, they ran out of steam.

This problem of isolation may still be true today. Barrett estimates that of the currently active 230 plans, fewer than 10 percent are communicating with one another. The vast majority are isolated, yet they sense the need to find points of connection. This consultation seeks to bring together leaders from many of these Great Commission networks, so that from their mutual encouragement and exchange of know-how, a greater work of coordination in world evangelization might emerge.

What do you expect to come out of this consultation?
An AD 2000 movement has been underway for more than 20 years. Through various relationships, writings and plans, this has become a global evangelization phenomenon. All this consultation is doing is bringing this work of God to the forefront

It is hoped that several results will emerge. First and foremost, it is hoped that the relationship between the leaders of the relationship between the leaders of various Great Commission networks would be strengthened.

Second, it is hoped that this process of networking between leaders of different AD 2000 plans would continue at the continental and regional levels. Out of these relationships, regional and national consultations would emerge in the '90s to focus the church on world evangelization by AD 2000. These consultations would enable a whole different level of mission and church leaders to make their own plans to mobilize and evangelize their countries.

Third, it is hoped that a greater understanding of who is targeting unevangelized populations would emerge, preventing unnecessary duplication of efforts. Using global databases as clearinghouses, it is hoped that much light could be shed on the unfinished task of world evangelization, whether that be seen in terms of whole countries, large cities or groups of people.

Fourth, it is hoped that Christians everywhere who are committed to the cause of world evangelization would develop an increasing appreciation for the value of setting AD 2000 goals, which reflect the entire corporate giftedness of the worldwide body of Christ.

Will this be a working consultation?
Yes. This is not a consultation to ask whether the church should be mobilized for world evangelization towards AD 2000, but rather to answer the question of how. If this is your burden, then you will feel at home in this gathering.

A networking survey and study packet will be sent to participants in the months preceding the consultation. It is hoped that those who are able will gather with others to develop written reports of how they envision their region or continent to be mobilized for world evangelization as we approach AD 2000. It is hoped that these reports can be made available in time for the consultation in January.

Specifically, in terms of the four days, three mornings will be given over to Biblical exposition, practical input and discussion. The planning committee has designed these mornings around the sub-themes of "Dreaming," "Targeting," and "Fulfilling." Other times throughout the day will be given over to strategic networking with like-minded people.

Ultimately, this consultation is really a prayer, asking the Lord of the harvest for a greater anointing of the Spirit of the Great Commission on the worldwide body of Christ. No single denomination, mission agency or stand-alone plan can fulfill the Great Commission. The whole church must take the whole gospel to the whole world.

What makes this consultation so unique!
First, this is a global consultation, not just a world consultation. This is an unusual gathering of leaders from Great Commission networks from the worldwide body of Christ, not just of one confession.

Second, this consultation has an exclusive focus on AD 2000. Although no eschatalogical importance is being attached to that year. Great Commission leaders worldwide have realized the symbolic importance of that year as a milestone around which to call the body of Christ to evangelize the world.

Third, the consultation has as its scope world evangelization, not just urban evangelization, or parish evangelization or, for that matter, personal evangelism. Specific emphasis will be placed on the role of the unfinished task of world evangelization, whether that is seen in terms of restricted-access countries, large cities, or unreached people groups. Since a majority of the participants will be from the Two-Thirds world, attention will be given to how new partnerships can emerge to strengthen the missionary movement emerging from that world.

How are participants being identified and invited?
In two ways. First, various leaders of denominations and international Great Commission networks are being contacted personally and given a set number of invitations. These networkers will invite and bring a select group of people from their worldwide network. Second, invitations are being sent from the Rockville, Virginia, address to a significant portion of leaders of the 230 active evangelization plans for AD 2000.

Although the Consultation this January is being designed for a group of 300, it is hoped that hundreds of leaders could participate in the pro-consultation study program and that eventually thousands of leaders will attend a regional consultation on AD 2000 between 1989 and 1993.

What financial obligations will participants have?
This consultation is working on the principle of self-support. Rather than devoting time to fund-raising, the steering committee is asking participants to pay for their own travel, housing, meals and a U.S. $250 registration fee. In addition, the steering committee is asking every participant to pray about giving an additional amount as an investment in the lives of others who are being invited, but whose currency situation does not allow them to underwrite their full expenses.

How can I find out more about this?
Write to Global Consultation on World Evangelization/2000, Box 129 Rockville, VA 23146, phone (804) 254-9401, FAX (804) 358-0504.

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