George Verwer Speaks Out On GCOWE ‘95 The Global Consultation on World Evangelization
George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization, was a delegate at GCOWE '95 and the major foreign speaker at Student Mission 2000 before 75,000 Korean students who committed themselves to world evangelization. In a message given shortly after returning from GCOWE, he shares some of his insights on this conference by literally spelling out what each letter in the acronym G-C-O-W-E meant to him. We have taken selected quotes from that message which we present here.
On GCOWE and Missions In General For many of the people who came from all over the world GCOWE was a very motivating life-changing experience. We really need to praise God that it went off so well. AD2000 represents a quantum leap in cooperation between the charismatic and non-charismatic evangelicals. I think this is very beautiful. We should be thrilled that now more than ever before across this world there is a sense that we can work together despite our differences.
G-Global-- When we think about GCOWE we think about something that is very very global.There has been an enormous shift of enthusiasm for world missions from the Western world to third world. Never before in any major congress has the 10/40 window or the Muslim world been so prominently featured…that should surely stir our hearts…The global challenge of AD2000 should warm all of our hearts. Any country that thinks that they are no longer needed in the world missions challenge is just making a huge mistake. Because the task is so great, the task is so complex, no nation can be left out!
C-Catalytic-- I believe that GCOWE is a catalytic atomic bomb! That is probably the single greatest thing that will come out of this event. So many tens of thousands of conversations going on. It was a beautiful thing for people that came from countries where they don't get the opportunity to travel so much. Far more will happen after GCOWE '95 than happened during the conference. This doesn't necessarily mean that the entire world will be evangelized…but it does mean that 4000 people now have the opportunity to share their vision and multiply the vision as they speak to 100 or 1000 other people.
O-Overwhelming-- I am still overwhelmed by the challenge of the goals and the aims of the movement. I am hanging on for dear life. During the final grand finale evening of the conference, the GCOWE Declaration was read, which I believe is a very significant document that has come out of this great event. [You can read this document in its entirety on page 14-15 of this issue.] The most emotional moment of the stadium meeting was when all the GCOWE delegates came onto the field with an enormous welcome from the Koreans.
W-Weak-- The AD2000 Movement in some countries is incredibly weak…we acknowledge that this is a very new and recent movement, especially in a number of European countries. At least outwardly, it is very weak…but don't be deceived by that! God is in this. He is uniting people through this movement. In our Operation Mobilization fellowship alone, we have had a quantum leap of relationships, networking and distribution of literature. Just at this congress and related meetings, we have sold more copies of Operation World in six days than in the previous three years!
E-Evangelical-- The clear decision was made by GCOWE that this is a movement forevangelical, Bible-believing Christians who have a similar doctrinal foundation. This is not some kind of ecumenical trick!... At one point in the conference, a Russian Orthodox Priest got up in front of all the delegates and repented for all the persecution that evangelicals have experienced at the hands of Russian Orthodox, even though that denomination is not officially involved in AD2000. Now I can imagine an outsider hearing about this and suddenly attacking GCOWE '95 as some sort of ecumenical thing that we need to watch out for. That would be so sad. AD2000 is so big now that you can easily find some little thing that may be misunderstood. It would be a terrible mistake to judge AD2000 by any one thing because it is clearly an evangelical movement.