A. Underlying Convictions
- We believe that those who are blessed by God are automatically obligated to be a blessing to all the peoples of the world. Gen. 12:1 3.
- We believe that "to be a blessing means to spread the news of the saving power and sanctifying Lordship of Jesus Christ.
- We believe that the best way to do this is to plant the church within each and every one of the world's peoples.
- We believe that this unique, pioneer church planting activity is the most fundamental goal of missions. We are encouraged by the fact that a broad concensus of mission scholars and leaders is in agreement with this conviction.
- We believe there are ample evangelical resources in the world community (i.e. 147 congregations per group to be reached!) to make a serious attempt to plant the church within every people by the year 2,000, and that such a goal for the year 2,000 is therefore a reasonable goal to work and pray for.
- We believe this task is thus more readily within our grasp than ever in history, and that the very end of history may therefore be near.
- We believe this task is not marginal or secondary, but the primacy and preeminent task of the Church for all of those who are children of Abraham by faith, those who are already enjoying the blessing of God in the redemption that is in Christ.
- This means believers from all nations and peoples everywhere in the world, everywhere there is already a well-established Christian movement, can be expected so be involved. (This does by no means rule out the participation of Western believers in this task.)
- We believe, finally, that the question of the wholehearted pursuit of the duties involved in this task is the acid test of faith for any Christian group, and that the very well being of a blessed nation is dependent upon the sharing of that blessing in a serious, obedient, effective, comprehensive way.
B. Practical Conclusions
- We are convinced that if this is to happen, profound mission renewal will have to take place on a grand scale in all evangelical communities around the world. We have concluded that what is necessary for us in the USA must be somewhat of the proportions of a widespread movement, not just the project of any one organization. Stop and listen! It is already happening! To he a movement, the people say, "We're doing what others are doing," (even though there may be many small divergences in materials between the two groups).
- To generate a true movement, we believe that no single event or campaign will be sufficient, but that a new all year, year after year pattern is necessary.
- While we believe it is neither necessary nor desirable for initiatives in its build up to be centralized, nevertheless, for such a movement to come into being, a "concert" of decentralized efforts will be much more powerful than would be a great number of totally independent and dissimilar efforts.
- We are sure that the primary basis of such a movement must be the local congregation, if encouraged and assisted by whatever external point of contact is most helpful . be that a denomination, an already existing renewal movement within a denomination, or some one of many respected para church ministries with which a given congregation is in close touch. Such an external point of contact we will call a "network," and will assume that it will be, nationally, on the order of 100 congregations.
- We conclude that the best external assistance will come from a consortium of such entities working separately, but consciously and supportively in parallel, without the mixing of constituencies. Only this way do we see an effective movement of the sort described come into being.
- We most concentrate on raising up hope, vision and dedication, and clarification of purpose. To do this, we must recruit people for the task and also funds to support the cause. We regard the local congregation as the best channel for all giving and going elicited in this movement.
- At the same time, we see three types of essential structures in cooperation: a) local congregations, b) attending 'networks" upon which they normally rely for coordination and updating, and c) certain "Neutral Crucial" functions which are performed by neutral agencies serving everyone, assisting the auto amours networks to be able efficiently to do their job. (In Appendix D is a list of ten such groups which at this stage have been suggested.) In a practical sense these crucial, little understood entities must both be non.profit and also avoid competing for funds from the sources of income of the various networks.
- In order to more decisively assure the existence and vitality of these "Neutral Crucial" support activities, it is planned that the Consortium (of networks) (that is, the central office of the Mission 2000 movement) will receive via the networks $15.50 of the modest, one time only registration fee of $17.50 given by each individual at the grassroots who enrolls with the campaign. (It is well to note these funds going to the Consortium are the only funds which will go outside of the structure and budgeted giving of the local congregation. It is less than 12% of the total 88% goes to the local congregation. See Appendix E, Measurable Expectations of Response.
- We do not believe it is realistic for Mission 200010 be the dominant concern of a local congregation all year. We do believe however, that a home visitation effort two months of each year is practical for the Cooperating Congregation, in addition to a regular, once a month meeting of a "Mission Fellowship" group during the ten intervening months.
C. Long Range Goals
- Building on the UNDERLYING CONVICTIONS we have stated above, we believe that the coming of Christ was not only the central event of history but that the character of His ministry demonstrates to us the essential meaning of His command As My Father has sent me even so send t you". Specifically: He came and lived among us, teaching us by word and deed, in general respect ing the cultural tradition of the people (except where its practices proved to be religiously phony or morally and ethically reprehensible) and confronting the nation with the ultimate authority of the Kingdom of God. He gathered followers, taught them and sent them out to their own people and eventually to other nations. This is essentially what a pioneer missionary does.
- We believe that the goal of His final commission (Matt. 28:18), for any given people group, is thus most easily and reliably measured by the example of what He Himself in this respect did. We agree with the broad spectrum of mission leaders brought together by the Lausanne Committee at Chicago '82 when they defined this long range goal of Christ's Great Commission as the "reaching of unreached people groups.".
- This then defines the high priority: we must go to all remaining unreached peoples, some 17,000. and establish in their midst, in cooperation with the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, a people movement that is "a viable, indigenous, evangelizing church movement." This, we believe, is what Jesus did for the Jewish nation. It was and is the Biblical definition of "being a blessing."
D. Intermediate Objectives
- We recognize that the Preaching of an unreached people" is the most important measurable goal, and that this should be achieved by the year 2000.
- In order to do that, we assume that the last unreached group must be 'engaged" by a mission task force no later than 1995.
- We recognize that intermediate objectives must include renewed congregations, committed individuals who stay home to keep the cause alive, and missionaries who go to do the work at the "front line," whether the people group they attempt to reach is found at home or abroad, or both.
- The following table shows that to enter as many as 2,000 new groups per year beginning in 1987, certain intermediate objectives must be met. These are eminently feasible, assuming that a movement can be launched and that churches in other countries help.
E. The Yearly Cycle
- The yearly cycle of the Mission 2000 movement consists of two major monthly meetings during the two month annual campaign period, plus a monthly meeting in each of the remaining ten months of the year, making a total of 12 monthly meetings of the new local "Mission Fellowship,' which is a new structure to most present congregations. (Earlier in this century it was common in local congregations for there to be women's, men's and young people's "Missionary Societies", Since the latter phrase is now used to refer to sending agencies, we suggest the phrase "Mission Fellowships".)
- This Mission Fellowship meeting is distinctly different from, and additional to, the meetings of the church's "Mission Committee,' which makes financial, personnel and policy decisions. The Mission Fellowship, by contrast, will become the focus, the popular expression, and the carrier vehicle of mission VISION in the local church. Such a meeting can be started in my congregation whenever it is deemed feasible.
- Many materials are already available for the enhancement and enrichment of this meeting. Among others, a monthly audio visual in three forms is planned: I) as a set of slides with sound accompanyment, 2) as a video tape in various formats, and 3) as a 16 mm film version for use in large gatherings. Each network will likely want to provide a monthly bulletin as well.
- It is not expected that every member of the church will be involved in the Mission Fellowship. Attendance at the Fellowship meetings will be promoted annually during the two¬month campaign period and throughout the year on a less intensive basis by the Mission Renewal Teams. (See F 4 below.)
- Crucial to the Mission 2000 movement is the care and feeding, so to speak, of those who respond to the visitation program during the campaign period. This kind of vision building will lake place principally through the vehicle of the monthly Mission Fellowship meeting just mentioned.
F. The Terms of Agreement
- One level of agreement is national. We contemplate a minimum of 30 national "networks,' each of which is capable of enlisting a mini mum of 100 "Sponsoring Congregations'. This national level of agreement is between the leaders of a given Net work constituency and the central office of the Mission 2000 Consortium. Membership in the Consortium implies acceptance and adherence to certain nonnegotiable common denominators, such as the definition of unreached peoples, the use of the net $15.50 registration fee, etc.
- Each national network will then make agreements with its own leaders in an average of ten regional locations.
- Each such regional office will deal with ten local "Sponsoring Con gregations." which are the principal operational base of responsibility of the Mission 2000 movement.
- Each Sponsoring Congregation will be responsible for ten Mission Renewal Teams, whose two or three mem hers will constitute the nucleus of the monthly Mission Fellowships referred to above. These Renewal Teams can come from work in congregations other than the Sponsoring Congre gation with which, as a team, they are affiliated. That is, one larger church can be the center for three or four smaller churches which my have only one MRT at work in its membership. Or, a smaller church can be the sponsoring congregation relating to teams in several other congregations that are larger or smaller.
- Members of each Mission Renewal Team will have signed on for a stipulated number of 'seed plantings"e.g. presentations to specific individuals in a home visit. As in the parable of the soils, the team's goal for the number of individuals to be visited is 30, 60, or 100. Some will accomplish more than others. For the sake of evaluating the amount of materials to be produced, etc., we will assume that on the average each Mission Renewal Team (in, say, 5 to 25 visits) will contact 40 individuals. This fairly heavy assignment will be undertaken by only the very highly committed.
- This 'Seed Planting" activity does not absolutely require a visit to the home, although that is assumed to be standard. The initial goal is to register as many as possible and to distribute the inspiring vision building materials in the registration packet. Each Team can make its own plans and try its own ideas. A ream may choose to give a thorough "Presentation" in a home meeting, where six or seven 'Simeon" types are invited all at once. (" Simcons" are those already sold on missions.) It is also possible that a serious presentation and plea for registrations could take place in some Sunday School class, The main idea is t) to present people with the exciting challenge of the Mission 2000 campaign and 2) to enlist them in the development of a monthly fellowship in their own setting. Later they will be introduced to the other goals of the movement, such as the daily devotional discipline of the Frontier Fellowship.
G. The Local Plan of Action
- For many of the people drawn into the Mission 2000 movement, their very first discovery of the world of renewed mission vision will occur when a Mission 2000 Renewal Team visits their home. At that time they will hear a presentation, will be shown some exciting materials to ponder, and will be invited to pay a once and for all $17.50 Registration Fee to become official, permanent participants in the Mission 2000 Campaign. If they register, the materials shown them become theirs to ponder further. This kind of presentation with its early financial hurdle will fairly accurately determine the one level of their concern at that time,
- Which individuals should be visited? In the first round, they are the "Simeons" (of Luke 2) who are definitely in the "looking, believing, hoping" category. Fundamental to the Mission 2000 Campaign is the parable of the four soils, in which it is presumed that the farmer is definitely looking for soil which is likely to be reproductive. Rather than just spending our efforts, we seek to multiply them by deliberately and,prayerfutty enlisting first those who will be most likely to help with further enlistment and renewal efforts. Thus it is strategic to assume that the people to be visited first in any area or group of congregations are those who will welcome the goals and objectives of Mission 2000 and will be delighted by the solid base of additional information about "what God is doing around the world. (See the first chapter in C. Peter Wagner's ON THE CREST 0l THE WAVE).
- In terms of the four responses the parable describes, it is expected that of the 40 people carefully chosen to be visited: Ten will not actually be ready and will decline any involvement at that time. Ten will respond momentarily, 10 the point of paying the $17.50 registration fee and receiving their packet of materials. Ten will participate in the annual 'Mission Update' study program to which all who register will be invited. And... Ten will agree, in addition, to become part of additional Mission Renewal Teams in the second round of outreach.
- But the long term primary goal of the visitation campaign is to enlist people, heart and soul, in the monthly Mission Fellowship. It is this meeting which is lobe the central source of materials and interest as the backbone of the renewal movement. Area and regional meetings along network lines or across networks in "Concerts of Prayer" may or may not take place. And people will be blessed and inspired who do not come to the monthly Mission Fellow ship meeting. But the central force and backbone of the Mission 2000 Renewal is understood to be the Mission Fellowship.
H. The National Timetable
- It is envisioned that initially only three to five national networks will make up the Mission 2000 Consortium. Their representation will constitute the corporate board of the Consortium.
- At that point, an additional five to ten other networks (denominations, para.church organizations, etc.) will be invited to join an enlarged Consortium, each agreeing to hold firms to the nonnegotiables of the original concepts and principles. Representatives of these will be added to the board, the smaller group becoming the executive committee.
- In the third stage, as many as 30 nationwide networks will become consor tium members. [his number is considered the minimal essential level of viability for a "movement" to take place. "...the Consortium implies acceptance and adherence to certain nonnegotiable common denominators."
- The early "unveiling" of the Mission 2000 Plan is scheduled to take place at the annual sneering of the Association of Church Mission Committees in July, 1985, Some pilot 'Sponsoring Congregations" will test out the program before that date, and several national networks will begin in the fall. It is hoped that by January of 1986, tenor more networks will be committed and begin operations shortly thereafter If all goes as planned, by the end of 1986 the minimum goal of 30 networks will be involved.
A. Footnotes to the Table
Note: The table involves the following assumptions and estimates:
- There or 17,000 UNREACHED PEOPLES with no indigenous church yet.
- We seek 'A Church for Every People by the Year 2,000."
- The unreached peoples contain and seal off half the world's population, and average 150,000 individuals in each group.
- Is will take a minimum of two couples five years to reach each people.
- We can expect '1,000 new missionaries of this type by she end of 1987.
- The necessary increase of the mission force will be gradual, a rate of 8,000 more missionaries per year. beginning in 1988.
- It will cost an average of $12,500 per person per year for these new frontier missionaries, many from other countries.
- A "Support Team" = 100 people giving an average of $10.42 per month.
- Thus each new Support Team enrolled can support, completely, one new, misaionae)'.
B. The Contents or the Registration Packet
The content of the registration packet is of no essential concern to the Mission 2000 Consortium, other than that is be value received for the $2 collected in the Registration Fee, and that it be relevant to the bade vision of she movement.
In most cases, it will be the Network involved that will wane to choose from she mass produced, lowpriced materials which are being used by other networks. They will want to put in things of their own choice, as well.
It may well be that many Networks will ace the current "Neutral Crucial' (to which $15 of the $17.50 Registration Fee goes) as an added, exciting attraction in their network, and will be happy to have the work of that Neutral Crucial mentioned somewhere in the Packet. In other cases the cement "Neutral Crucial" can go completely unmentioned. However, let as aappoae a Network highly favorable to the cause of the current Neutral Crucial is making its selection for this packet. And, let us suppose that the Neutral Crucial is the U.S. Center for World Mission. Following in the kind of packet which might be made up, and for whirls he coat, delivered to the Sponsoring Church, would fit into the allowed 52 portion of the Registration Fee:
- Sample copy of Mission Frontiers.
- Sample copy of World Christian Magazine
- Sample copy of The Global Prayer Digest
- Poster: "The Unreached Peoples of the World"
- Book: I Will Do a New Thing - the story of the U.S. Center for World Mission.
- Booklet: "Look at What God's Doing"
- A list of materials as a healthy discount, tossing a good deal more than $2:
C. The Basic Ingredients of the Monthly Mission Fellowship Meeting
This is to be a meeting for prayer and inspirational education about the mission cause. Provisions are already being made for the highest quality motion picture input on a monthly basis, mediated through very low cost video tapes (either chose now in use 1/2" or the coming grain tapes (similar to audio tapes) which will cost far less and can be sent out on a "one way" hauls for about $4 per month. Small groups can get the basic equipment (less expensive than anything now available) and have their own tapes updated for SI at local Christian bookstores and/or offices. The same materials will be available in both the form of slides and 16mm film, depending upon the option selected.
It is inevitable that monthly printed materials will also be made available (perhaps by the different Networks), an addition to the already extating monthly Global Prayer Digest which it even at this point backed by 36 different organizations, with 22 d:fferent covers (and 8 page customized sections).
Many groups will, among other things, take in she "loots change" offerings of those who are pattici pating it the Frontier Fellowship daily prayer pattern (a take off from the widespread Asian Christian "handful of rice for nations" pattern).
However, these meetings will be expected to follow widely different patterns, and we do not tee any great value in trying to standardize the format.
D. The Ten "Neutral Crucials"
Certain crucial activities are deemed essential so an authentic mission renewal movement. They are also characterized by the fact that at least in their early stages they may need financial assistance. A detailed treatment of a carefully thought through list of ten may be found in the Ian, '84 (Vol 1:1) issue of the fpa! err.aoional Journal of Frontier Missions. These ten relate to the following perceived essential necessities within a mission renewal movement:
- A widespread daily devotional discipline emphasizing the completion of the task.
- The Concerix of Prayer "for spiritual awakening and world evangelization.'
- The Global Mapping Project, which can feed the work of countless agencies around the world.
- Certain strategically missing is media.
- A groundswell, intemalional student mission movement.
- The strategic "enrichment" of certain existing programs and customs.
- The engineering of a new pattern in higher education which will routinely locate college students overseas half of each undergraduate year. and involve them is a work' study program which will prevent them from emerging with debts which will keep them out of Christian work.
- A new mitsinnary associate lifestyle ("Senders").
- An international network of cooperative mission centers.
- A 'Mission 2000' type of pro motional coalition of Christian organizations.