The Emergence of the One World Project
In 2005 I attended a meeting in Minneapolis where for the first time I heard Dr. Ralph Winter speak. I had come to greatly admire Dr. Winter after being introduced to the wealth of resources made available through the U.S. Center for World Mission. In Minneapolis I asked Dr. Winter about a statement that had appeared earlier in the year in his Mission Frontiers editorial: “The need for global-level planning, coordination and strategy is much, much more relevant today than it has ever been in human history.”1 I asked Dr. Winter about this quote, and it seemed as though he felt the need to defend the statement and explain his thoughts.
I later conveyed to Dr. Winter my complete agreement with his statement and my appreciation for his insightful leadership. Over the next few months I spoke about and wrote several articles about this subject, quoting Dr. Winter, and I came to understand all too well how contentious such a statement can be. I found myself defending over and over what to me seemed like such a basic revelation. The mere mention of such strategic planning provoked a wide array of responses—from theoretical agreement to absolute dismissal.
I believe God has strategically placed each of us somewhere within His body (Eph. 4:16). The Message says that we have all been made a part of this one body and we should say “…good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything” (1 Cor. 12:13).2 Verse 13 concludes that as part of Christ’s body we should not endeavor to hold frantically to our old (or even new) labels in which we used to identify ourselves. We are each part of Christ’s body, and this is supposed to be our new identity, “something larger, more comprehensive.” Verse 14 continues by stating that a body is “all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together” and that it is your position in Christ’s body that makes you really significant (1 Cor. 12:14).3 However, verse 19 states, “But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of” (1 Cor. 12:19).4
We must commit ourselves to collectively work together; only then will we find that we are able to fully accomplish all that God has called each of us to do individually. Our God-directed diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is the secret behind some of our greatest accomplishments. But do not be surprised, or even worse, resistant, when God begins to connect you with other ministries—even better, start looking for these strategic relationships. It is time for all of us to see the Kingdom beyond the portion that we are building. It is time that we give ourselves to Christ-honoring relationships and realize that divine achievement comes through divine association. Unity must cease being no more than the latest ecumenical buzzword and must become a practical reality in our lives.
Challenged by Dr. Winter’s statement, One World Missions has developed a missions education and mobilization DVD-ROM, drawing inspiration from the 1999 Light the Window CD-ROM. In 2007 we began contacting many of the same ministries that had participated in the original project as well as several new ministries. It was our desire to introduce to the body of Christ the diversity of ministries serving in mission in order to encourage cooperation, the sharing of resources and better strategic networking. Upon completion in 2007, the first edition of the enhanced DVD-ROM was released throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia with limited distribution in six other countries.
Committed to update this very important resource every two years, in 2009 we are announcing several major changes. The One World Project, as it has become known, includes many new partners and a concentrated effort to reflect the diversity of ministries working in missions around the globe. By featuring resources in multiple languages, we are acknowledging what God is doing in missions mobilization in the nations. The 2009 One World Project enhanced DVD-ROM includes a complete biblical library of digital study aids, the Bible in an additional 30 languages, mission literature in five languages, prayer resources in five languages, audio resources in 15 languages, missions articles, maps and people group information, and evangelistic and discipleship resources from more than 15 major sponsoring ministries.
The One World Project would like to thank the following individuals and ministries for demonstrating a spirit of cooperation:
- Randy Beck at WORDsearch for his willingness to partner with us on this project, and Richard Perry for coordinating the details for WORDsearch
- The Lockman Foundation and Pike Lambeth for granting permission to use the Amplified, NASB, LBLA
- WingSpread Publishers for granting the rights to The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
- Rick Wood at Mission Frontiers, Keith Carey at Global Prayer Digest, and Christy Graham and Molly Wall for the use of The Blessing
- Dan Scribner for providing access to Joshua Project as well as technical assistance
- John Anderson at World Bible Translation Center, Colin Stott at Global Recording Network, and Fred Carpenter at The Hope
- Etnopedia and Liz Adleta at Ethne, Chris Deckert at Mission Atlas Project, Jonathan Lewis at World Evangelical Alliance, and Beth Jones for the use of Getting a Grip on the Basics
- Rigoberto Diguero at the Latin American Center for World Mission
- Rick Renner for allowing us to use Sparkling Gems
- Jim and Kathleen Kaseman and all of AFCM for your support
- And finally, thank you to our One World Missions staff, Jason, Anna and Lydia, as well as the many volunteers who made this project a reality, including Jonathan Heintzeman, Sam Reyes and Isaac Cortes