AD 2000 Update
Denominational Leaders Commit to Reach All Peoples
Almost 100 leaders from twenty- two denominations and thirty parachurch ministries gathered in Colorado Springs December 6-11, 1993 to assess the progress of world evangelization. The event, sponsored by the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, symbolized a mass global cooperation in fulfilling the goal of "A church for every people, the Gospel for every person by the year 2000."
"This is the first time in history that missiologists can say there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have all the tools to fulfill the goal of the Great Commission by the end of the decade," Peter Wagner of Fuller Theological Seminary told the leaders. Wagner believes the "critical mass of unity and prayer" worldwide will make it possible to reach every person on the earth with the Gospel by the year 2000. Throughout the week, encouraging reports from representatives of resource networks, denominations and AD2000 task forces confirmed Wagner's claim.
At the Denominational Summit (Dec, 10 and 11) leaders discussed the mission work of their respective denominations and wrote a declaration affirming their cooperative commitment to reaching the world by the year 2000. Each group looked forward to meeting again, most especially, at the international AD2000 conference called GCOWE'95, a mid- decadal Global Consultation On World Evangelization to be held in May 1995 in Seoul, Korea.
Early on, Luis Bush, International Director of AD2000 and Beyond, identified several issues/needs for the conference: prayer (which he called the "only hope to reach the goal of AD2000"), simplification of data, cultivation of a human resource database, mobilization with a special focus on limited access countries, assessment of country-wide initiatives and surveys, conflict resolution, and creative resourcing to continue grass- roots involvement. As a result, the conference moved missions "one notch up in a momentum building synergy with global implications," Bush said, "As this word gets out, national leaders will get more involved, building on prayer initiatives and denominational involvement in GCOWE, and creating a stronger strategic focus on recruitment of new missionaries and redeployment of existing missionaries to the unreached peoples in the '10/40 Window.'"
Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World, reported that there are 140,000 missionaries worldwide and that evangelical Christianity is the only religion growing because of actual conversions. Johnstone also is creating a database of his research due out early next year. These reports from the Task Force clearly indicate the probability of reaching each person on earth with the Gospel by the year 2000.
But the climax of the week clearly came when denominational leaders joined the task force and resource network leaders for the first time. Representatives from 22 denominations exchanged strategies, goals, and progress reports on their missions efforts in various parts of the world. Several parallels surfaced from each report, suggesting that God is indeed at work in denominational missions work. Almost every denominational report emphasized newly established prayer movements, and the importance of youth work, cities, unreached peoples, indigenous church planting and missionary growth by the year 2000. Leaders from the Assemblies of God of Brazil, Evangelical Covenant Church, Evangelical Free Church Pentecostal Holiness, Presbyterian (USA), Foursquare, Free Methodist, Grace Brethren Fellowship, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Presbyterian Church of America, Nazarene, Wesleyan Missions, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Reformed Church in America, Conservative Baptist Association
Church of God (Cleveland TN), Southern Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board exchanged concerns and ideas as they reaffirmed their joint commitment to establishing a "church for every people, the Gospel for every person."
The denominational leaders unanimously approved the AD2000 Denominational Summit Declaration (See page 15), a powerful testimony to the spirit of cooperation in fulfilling the Great Commission. As Jim Montgomery said, "It is the denominations of the world that could see evangelization happen in unchurched villages, neighborhoods, cities and countries. I believe it can happen because denominations are the key to world evangelization." Luis Bush concluded the week by saying, "The key to this week was continual prayer and intercession. And it is the key to world evangelization."
AD 2000 Denominational Summit
December 9-11, 1993
We, the attendees of this historic summit meeting,
l Realizing that God is on a mission to redeem a lost world (II Peter 3:9), and that Christ has given us the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20);
l Having come here in the prayerful conviction that the Spirit of God is leading His Church at this unique juncture of history; and
l Having heard the reports of denominational initiatives to the year 2000 and beyond, and of resource networks that are cooperating across denominations, churches and organizations to focus on world evangelization, mobilization of united prayer and coordinated efforts to reach the unreached;
l Believing that the Holy Spirit has led us to be present at this gathering, and having experienced the unity of the multifaceted body of Christ and the unique corporate gifting that different denominations and organizations bring to that body.
Now, being of one mind in our commitment to work together for the evangelization of the world by the year 2000 and beyond, we, as individuals from various denominations, declare our joint commitment to seek a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000. We urgently call the worldwide Body of Christ to join openly in linking hands, hearts, minds and spirits in this grand cause of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we declare, that, upon returning to our respective organizations we will encourage others within our denominations and associations to consider the following actions:
- To magnify the focus on the people who do not have access to the gospel, the majority of whom live in the area known as the 10/40 Window, without neglecting the mandate for the whole world;
- To call our people to pray, recognizing prayer as the central strategy that is crucial to this endeavor; to encourage our churches to participate in prayer initiatives, such as Praying Through the Window, the Day to Change the World (on June 25, 1994) and the March for Jesus.
- To encourage our churches to participate in the national strategy initiatives that incorporate the various AD 2000 networks where they exist, and encourage the development of national strategy initiatives where they do not exist.
- To seek ways to accelerate the mission thrust of our respective denominations in our work around the world and the recruitment of new missionaries to the unreached.
- To pursue ways to communicate with and mutually support one another in our common task.
- To utilize the various networks and task forces of the AD 2000 Movement, where appropriate.
- As fellow servants of Christ we seek to join with other Christian communities around the world in accomplishing these goals. We make these commitments for the greater glory of Christ our Savior, and the extension of His Kingdom to the millions who have not yet heard.
Endorsing the Denominational Summit Declaration
Anglican Church-Rev. Dr. Michael Green, Advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Assemblies of God, Brazil-Rev. Geremias Bolanos, Executive Secretary
Assoc. of Vineyard Churches Mr. Bob Fulton, International Coordinator
Mr. Fred E. Wright, Southwest Coordinator
Christian &Missionary Alliance-Rev. David L. Rambo, President; Rev. Peter Nanfelt, InternationalVice President
Church of God-Dr. Roland Vaughan, World Missions Director; Dr. Grant McClung, World Missions Research Coordinator; Dr. Lamar Vest, General Overseer
Church of God of Prophecy-Bishop Adrian Varlack, Secretary
Church of the Nazarene-Dr. Eugene Stowe, Gen. Supervisor, Emeritus; Dr. Robert Scott, Division Director
Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society-Dr. Hans Finzel, President
Evangelical Church of West Africa-Rev. Panya Baba, General Director
Evangelical Covenant Church-Dr. Paul Larsen, President
Evangelical Free Church of America-Dr. Paul Cedar, President;
Rev. Jim Forstrum, Associate Director
FourSquare Missions International-Dr. Donald McGregor, Director; Dr. John Amstutz, Asst. to Director; Rev. Ray and Janice Wheeler
Free Methodist World Missions-Dr. M. Doane Bonney, General Director
Grace Brethren Church-Rev. Bob Fetterhoff, Moderator; Rev. Tom Julien, Foreign Missions Executive Director; Rev. Kurt Miller, Home Missions Director; Rev. Edward Trenner, Consultant
Presbyterian Church in America-Rev. John Kyle, Missions to the World Executive Director; Rev. K. Eric Perrin, Interchurch Relations Comm. Chair
Pentecostal Holiness-Rev. Harold Dalton, World Missions, Asst. Director
Presbyterian Church, USA-Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Associate Director; Rev. Jeff Ritchie
Reformed Church in America-Mr. Lee DeYoung; Rev. Richard Van der Voet, Mission Services Director
Southern Baptist Convention-Dr. Ernest Mosley, Executive Vice President
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Society-Rev. Lewis Myers, World A, Vice President; Dr. Clark Scanlon, Research &Planning Director; Dr. Avery Willis, Senior Vice President
Wesleyan World Missions-Dr. Donald Bray, General Director
Mr. H.C. Wilson, Strategic Planning Director