This is an article from the September-October 2017 issue: Gendercide

The Beginning of the End?

The Launch of 24:14

The Beginning of the End?

After months of fighting for survival in the Battle of Britain and finally prevailing, the British people heard these fateful words from Winston Churchill. “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Four years later, as Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, the situation was no longer the end of the beginning. It was now the beginning of the end. The war was not over, but the end was in sight, and everyone knew it.

In the U.S., in the years leading up to D-Day, every man, woman and child was involved sacrificially in some way. If they were not fighting on the front line, they supported the war effort in other ways, perhaps in a re-tooled factory to produce items for the war. Children collected dimes each week to buy war bonds. Everything was rationed.

Anticipation of D-Day was palpable and everyone lived wisely and sacrificially in light of that day.

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Ps. 90:12, NASB)

When the invasion was announced on the radio on June 6, 1944, millions of Americans stopped what they were doing and prayed. Business shut down; schools recessed; traffic stopped.

One business took out a full-page ad the next day in a local newspaper that read, “Today is a fitting day to ask ourselves, ‘Am I doing enough?’ If I met a man who was there, could I look him squarely in the face and say, ‘I did my share’?” D-Day wasn’t the end of the war; it was just the beginning of the end.

In the greatest mission ever given, the Great Commission, D-Day is in sight. Anticipation of it is growing among leaders in movements around the world.

In a recent global survey of very fruitful mission leaders, we asked one question: What is God doing uniquely in our generation? The answers were eerily similar: God is calling us to finish the task of engaging every unreached place through movements and, most added, with a deadline that creates urgency. D-Day.

We should listen very carefully when God speaks the same thing to people who do not know each other.

Over the last few months sixty-plus mission representatives from around the world have gathered in two unadvertised 24:14 Summits in Britain and the Middle East. Each of these men and women leads organizations or networks sold out to two priorities:

Finishing the task of reaching every unreached people group and place.

Doing so through movements of multiplying disciples, churches and leaders.

We wrestled with the question: “What would it cost us to pray and work together to start movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2030 or even 2025?” To our collective ethos, we were adding a third element: to do so by a deadline.

As we prayerfully met, we could taste the possible culmination of what every generation has hoped for—the completion of Matthew 24:14 and perhaps the return of Christ.

And this good news of the King’s reign will be heralded throughout the whole world as a sacrificial witness to every people group, and then the end will come.

(Matt. 24:14; author’s translation)

2030 felt too far off for many of us. Instead the seeds of a global coalition emerged to pray and work together to start kingdom movement engagements in every unreached people and place by the end of 2025.

Eight years. One 20-something recently said: “Eight years? I can do anything for Jesus for eight years!”

We pray this is the final push to fulfill Jesus’ mandate and invite believers from every country to join in this effort—sacrificing, rationing, battling, praying—to make it the beginning of the end. We can do anything in His power for eight years.

Why take this path?

The numbers don’t lie.

The last 30 years there have seen significant vision-casting and sacrificial efforts to bring the gospel to the whole world. Yet despite these efforts, the number of non-Christians in the world has risen from 3.2 billion in 1985 to 5 billion today. The number of those without access to the gospel (unevangelized) has risen from 1.84 billion people in 2000 to 2.13 billion people in 2017.1

Global researchers share with our 24:14 that although engagement is up, effectiveness is down. Though we have increased engagement of the unreached people groups (UPGs) of the world, our strategies to reach them have largely not been effective. Engagement alone is not the answer. We are losing ground.

But the Holy Spirit is doing something today of a magnitude perhaps without precedent. During the last 20 years, the number of CPMs has greatly proliferated globally. In those places, kingdom growth is often greatly outstripping the population growth.

Biblical Acts-like movements are spreading around the world. The instructions Jesus gave His disciples continue to bear fruit. Places we had labeled “too hard” before are now proving themselves to be “harvest fields.” From the beginning, Jesus taught us to pray for this:

Our Father in heaven,

Cause people to worship Your name on earth as in heaven!

Cause Your kingly reign to come on earth as in heaven!

Cause Your will to be done on earth

as in heaven!

(Mt. 6:9-10; author’s translation)

The numbers don’t lie: wherever the global church refuses to adopt kingdom movement approaches, we are losing ground. To change the kingdom equation, we must catalyze Church-Planting Movements by the Spirit of God.

The Three Distinctives of 24:14

Called by the verse that inspires us, 24:14 is a global coalition praying and working together to start kingdom movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2025.

Within this are three distinctives:

  1. REACH the UNREACHED: In line with Matthew 24:14, bringing the gospel of the kingdom to every unreached people and place.
  2. THROUGH CPMs: Fully reaching them through biblical kingdom movements of multiplying disciples, churches, leaders and movements.
  3. WITH URGENCY BY 2025: Doing so with a wartime urgency by the end of 2025 in the power of the Spirit, no matter what it costs us.
  • 24:14 is not an organization; it is a movement.
  • 24:14 is not the whole mission community; it is a sub-set. We celebrate and honor all the other mission efforts going on and will seek to synergize with them.
  • 24:14 is not a Western initiative; it is a global coalition.
  • 24:14 is not committed to a particular method; it is committed to biblical Church Planting Movement principles that are expressed in different methodologies in different contexts.
  • 24:14 is not an exclusive community but a movement open to all Bible-believing disciples willing to collaborate on the three distinctives.
  • 24:14 is not a replacement for previous movements and organizations; it is a natural next step to global finishing the task and church multiplication initiatives.

We pray that 24:14 will be the final lap of the race so many others before us have faithfully run.

Distinctive #1: Sold out to finishing the task of REACHING every unreached people group and place.

The number of unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) and places has dropped dramatically in recent years. This fact could give us the false sense that the job of the Great Commission is done. But the vision of Matt. 24:14 and Rev. 7:9 is a number that no one can count from every tongue, tribe, people and nation. Engagement was an important first step, but engagement was never the goal; reaching them was.

Though the number of unengaged people groups has dropped below 3,000, the number that are not engaged effectively is far higher. With an estimate of  7,000 UPGs and 1,800 unreached cities, the global church must effectively engage 8,800+ people groups and places.

Perhaps 2,300 of these are engaged with effective CPM strategies. That means that 6,500 unreached people groups and places, though many are “engaged,” still need an effective CPM strategy with an on-the-ground team. In some ways, the job before us is far greater than we anticipated. To fulfill Matthew 24:14, we must count the right numbers: 6,500 of them. Each of them needs movements of multiplying disciples and churches.

Distinctive #2: Reaching them through MOVEMENTS of multiplying disciples and churches.

God has given us strategies to keep up with population growth. The Scripture lays out clear paths for how disciples of Jesus can cooperate with the Spirit to see “Book of Acts” movements of God emerge.

CPMs are not a recent phenomenon. They have happened throughout history beyond the Acts period (e.g. Patrick of Ireland, the Moravian movement, the Wesleyan movement, the growth of the church among the Nagas of NE India).

But movements are now proliferating globally.  Of the total movement engagements reported, 593 are considered bonafide CPMs (4+ generations in multiple streams) – with over 95% in the unreached world. The 593 CPMs represent 49.1 million believers in 2.8 million churches.

After careful analysis of some very sensitive data, we are confident in projecting this approximate growth of CPMs.

To make the chart, a movement had to have at least four separate streams of new disciples and new churches multiplying past the 4th generation consistently in a relatively short period of time.

The number of movements is greatly increasing. In hundreds of other places, effective CPM engagements are in place, and it may just be a matter of time before they move into the CPM category and register on this chart.

This points to a very important lesson: persistent, faith-filled, sacrificial efforts in CPM strategies are bearing fruit as time goes by. Such commitments take time. There is always a time lag from engaging a group with a CPM strategy until a movement emerges. Organizations that commit to CPM strategies for a few years and then opt for “the next new trend in missions” will fulfill their own perceptions that CPMs are unattainable.

With a 20+ year track record bearing exponential fruit, CPM is not a passing fad but a recovery of timeless biblical principles. Movement strategies are not easy and are often outside our previous ministry experience. Bearing fruit is costly, but let us press on!

Distinctive #3: Collaborating with URGENCY that a CPM strategy will be in place among all unreached peoples and places by Dec. 31, 2025.

To change our modus operandi, we need a new spirit of urgency. 24:14 is committed to starting kingdom movements in every unreached people with a wartime urgency by 2025 in the power of the Spirit, no matter what it costs us. The Church has lived with a peacetime mindset for too long. Gone is the urgency of a wartime mentality.

But we can recover a wartime mindset for the kingdom much as was done in the physical realm in World War II.

Engaging every one of the 8,800 unreached population segments with an effective kingdom movement strategy in the next eight years is impossible. Perhaps that indicates it is from the God of the impossible.

Though CPMs are proliferating, disciples in movements still only represent 2% of the unevangelized world. Lostness must drive us to live differently. Even eight years (2025) is too long for many—the number of those who die without hearing the gospel one time: 16 million per year, 43,000 per day, 1,800 per hour, 30 every minute, 1 every 2 seconds.

Liberating those trapped without the gospel will take an unprecedented effort by the global church. What price are we willing to pay to see 30% of the world without the gospel become 0%? Will we live in light of D-Day?

Kicking hard for the final lap of the Great Commission race will call us to sacrifice more than we ever have as a global church. We can only do so in the power of the Spirit. May we let our attempts match the majesty of the God we serve!

December 31, 2025 is the not the end of the Great Commission. But perhaps it is the beginning of the end. D-Day.

In the coming months, global 24:14 conferences will convene around the world to enable the global church to more effectively join this movement. Pathways are already developing to enable any surrendered disciple of Jesus to learn how to multiply disciples at home and in an unreached context.

Though the last lap is costly, we are committed to doing it together. Will you run the next eight years with us? We can do anything for eight years.

Someone must run the last lap. Why not us? What better way to honor all the faithful saints who have gotten us to this point? Will you join this effort? Go to 2414now.net.

[For more information about how to get involved individually, as a team, a church, an organization or a network, go to 2414now.net. To learn more about the spirit of sacrifice needed to reach 2025, see Steve’s two recent based-on-real-life novels: No Place Left Hastening and Rebirth at SteveSmithBooks.com]


TESTIMONIALS:

What Church and Mission Leaders Are Saying About 24:14

“This was the most focused ‘band of brothers’ willing to rise together to ignite Kingdom movements among every people at all cost.” —Mary Ho, All Nations

“It is good to worship and fellowship together among our own brothers who are in the same line doing movement work. I am not alone. There are 500 other movements. That was exciting.” —Kumar Pillai, Movement Leader - No Place Left South Asia

“My heart’s been stirred again to realize that we can see every person on planet Earth hear about Jesus, have a chance to plant a church, and change the world in our lifetime. Everybody pulling together with one heart and one mind can see God do what He promised would happen. Won’t you join us this incredible journey as we go on to fulfill Matthew 24:14 in our lifetime?” —Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor, Antioch Community Church and President of AMI, & author

“To be in a room with men and women who suffer well to reach the lost has given me strength and motivation to continue.” —Worker in Iran

“Urgency found a friend in the 24:14 summits!” —Kevin Greeson, Global Gates and author

“It’s possible to finish the remaining task with collaboration and networking.” —Aila Tasse, Lifeway Mission, East Africa CPM network,

“Bringing together those with experience and expertise in starting movements with those who share a desire to see them start in their location is immensely exciting. Collaborating must be the way forward.” —A brother in the Arabian Peninsula

“It was an exuberantly wonderful experience to be together with men and women at 2414 who are committed to completing the Great Commission in this generation.” —Victor John, Leader of the largest modern CPM

“The missions community seems to me to have come to a place where we are ready to take on the giant. Not in terms of talk, but in our commitment to work together for His Name’s sake.” —B Kumar, Co-chair, SEALINK (Southeast Asia Unreached Peoples Network)

“The 24:14 gatherings came at the perfect time. There has been no better atmosphere than the present for collaboration towards a shared vision to see Kingdom movements everywhere matched with the faith and urgency to do something about it. I believe 24:14 provides a catalyst for existing networks like Vision 5:9 to more effectively accomplish our mission.” —John Becker, Vision 5:9 and AIM

Comments

Not sure I’m ‘scratching where people itch’, but I’ll comment here.

Two areas of questions I’ve had about CPM’s and their sustainability has to do with doing a CPM in a large urban, western-city environment, and how to proceed with doing a CPM when your current authority structure is a denominational-oriented church.

So, my questions would be:

(1) Have CPM’s happened more consistently and been sustained longer when they are in locales that are more predominately ‘mono-cultural’ or ‘mono-worldview’ as opposed to happening in large cross-cultural urban environments? For example, can missions experts foresee CPM’s taking place well within a city such as New York City, and if so, what factors would have to be overcome to sustain a CPM within a specific UPG target group that has a sizable population inside NYC? In other words…does a place and an environment like a New York City fight against sustainability of a CPM?

(2) What authority structure works best to ‘oversee’ a CPM? If a CPM ‘outbreak’ happens, how tight or loose is authority structure in a CPM? It would seem to me that having any one authority structure such as a singular local church or a denominational authority structure as the singular accountable oversight in a CPM might either be bad, or undesirable at best, especially if that church structure doesn’t have missional experience in the first place to understand all of the dynamics of a CPM. In other words, are either parachurch ministries or missional networks that are already effectively engaged in CPM work the better source of authority oversight, in order to prevent a singular organization from imposing denominational doctrinal views that aren’t universally shared?

I’m sure there are denominational orgs being very effective at CPM work - and I was long in a denominational missional situation -  but how they know where to engage and disengage from certain authoritative control within the unique occurrences of a CPM spontaneous movement, is an area I have wondered about, and how these decisions are reached. 

Thanks for insights here, these articles on CPM’s are critical to engaging the process-thinking of it all.

John in NYC

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