The Millennial Manifesto:
Covenanting for the 21st Century

We, the 1,700 registrants representing 106 nations, intended to gather in Jerusalem at the turn of the millennium to celebrate Jesus the Messiah. Although divine wisdom prevented us from meeting together with believers in Israel, the land of promise, including Messianic Jews, as well as Arab and Israeli Christians, we rejoice that the gospel of the kingdom has now spread from Jerusalem to all parts of the world. God now receives glory and praise from more peoples, nations, and languages than at any other time in human history. Furthermore, we rejoice that the day is within sight when a reproducing church movement will exist within the social structure of every people group on earth, providing every person in his or her own language with a clear and culturally sensitive witness to the gospel of Jesus. ( Hab 2:14; Ac 1:8)

FOUNDATIONAL VALUES

1. FOUNDATIONS

In seeking to obey the Great Commission, we humbly and gratefully acknowledge those who have gone before us. We adhere to the divinely inspired Holy Scriptures as the ultimate authority for godly living, sound teaching, and fruitful service. We value the classical creeds of the Ancient Church and the confessional statements of the Reformation. We affirm the theological and missiological documents of the modern evangelical movement, including the World Evangelical Fellowship Statement of Faith (1951), the Lausanne Covenant (1974), the Manila Manifesto (1989), the Global Consultation on World Evangelization Declaration (1995) and the Amsterdam Declaration (2000). We do not aim to amend these documents but to make use of their insights as they apply to our time and task. (2 Ti 3:16-17; 2 Pe1:20-21)

2. THE TRIUNE GOD

We covenant together to worship the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We affirm that mission flows from the nature of God who alone deserves to be worshipped by every person of every culture and language. The mission to which He calls us is His mission. The Father, having sent the Son and the Spirit, now sends His Church to live and proclaim the gospel among all peoples, thus fulfilling His covenant of grace. (Mt 3:16-17, 12:28; Lk 1:35, 24:49; Jn 3:16-17, 14:2, 15:26, 16:7, 17:18, 20:21; 1 Co 12:4-6; 2 Co 13:14; Gal 4:6;.4:6; 1 Jn 5:7)

3. THE GOSPEL

The gospel is good news of the Kingdom of God which includes the forgiveness of sins, new life in the community of faith, the gift of the Spirit and eternal hope available to every person and for all peoples. Therefore we covenant together to proclaim a holistic gospel. We refuse to divorce the spiritual from the secular, our relationship to God from our relationship to our neighbor, our eternal salvation from our temporal existence. And we reject any dichotomy between church growth and church health, evangelism and social responsibility. Yet we affirm the priority of evangelism that reconciles people to God. While social concern and compassionate service are essential parts of our mission, the primary goal is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, disciples who enter the Kingdom of God through faith and live as His followers now and forever. (Isa 52:7; Mt 4:23, 9:35, 16:26, 28:19; Lk 24:19; Ac 10:38; Ro 1:16;1 Co 15:3-5; Gal 3:26)

4. MISSION

God wants all persons to have the opportunity to become true disciples of Jesus within their own social, cultural, and language context. Therefore, as the Church enters the new millennium, we covenant to work together for a worldwide mission movement that will give every person in every segment of the human mosaic an opportunity to hear, understand and respond to the gospel during his or her lifetime; to be incorporated into the life of a local congregation, to grow in ongoing intimacy with God, to manifest the life of Christ and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as salt and light in the world; and to be empowered to minister effectively both in the Church and in the world. (Mt 5:13-14; Ro 16:26; 1 Co 12:13; Gal 2:20, 5:22-23; Col 1:28; 2 Pe 3:18; Rev 5:9-10)

5. EQUIPPING

As the gospel reaches more places and peoples and the Church grows in numbers, we covenant together in seeking to build up believers in nurture, discipleship, faith and knowledge. We support every effort to provide various levels of training so that every church may have equipped and maturing evangelists, pastors and teachers, and that every mission may have adequate pioneering leadership. We recognize the importance of solid missiology in world evangelization. Therefore, we appeal to churches, organizations and institutions to place evangelism and cross-cultural missions at the very core of the total curriculum of Christian education and missionary training. We call for a balanced theological understanding of the church that includes not just congregational structures, but also missional and educational structures as well. (Eph 4:11-13; 2 Ti 2:2; Jude 20)

6. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

Christian mission includes both spiritual conflict and truth encounter. The secular notion of a purely material world has been discredited as millions return to old and new forms of religion, animism, magic and witchcraft. Many thus live in fear of and bondage to evil forces. We covenant together to affirm and announce the power of Jesus Christ to liberate those who suffer under oppressive beliefs and powers. We commit to pray for such persons, and to oppose every manifestation of evil operating in individuals, social structures, philosophies, ideologies or religions. In doing so, however we uphold firmly the absolute authority and power of Jesus to free and protect all His followers from spiritual harm as we renounce the devil and all his works. We will guard against Christians themselves being molded by non-Christian worldviews in their thinking and practice, and thus succumbing to the same fear that is overcome through faith in Jesus. (Jn 8:31-32, 36, 17:17; 2 Co 10:4-5; Eph 4:27, 6:10-18; Jas 4:7; 1 Pe 5: 8-9)

7. PERSECUTION

We are aware that in the twentieth century there has been more persecution, harassment, discrimination and killing of Christians than ever before in history. We acknowledge that persecution and suffering are not only part of the Christian life, but also an opportunity for bold witness to the gospel in the power of the Spirit. We affirm the right of the Church to proclaim the gospel in word and deed to everyone everywhere. We reject all forms of coercive proselytism and manipulative pressure, but uphold the right of persons to become followers of Jesus in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We covenant together to endure persecution and hardship for the sake of the gospel, to support prayerfully and defend persecuted Christians, and to use every opportunity to relieve their sufferings. (Mt 5:11; Mk 13:13; Ac 4:19, 5:29; Heb 13:3; 1 Pe 4:12-13)

8. UNITY

We know that God desires that the Great Commission be fulfilled by Christians in the North, South, East and West, as they partner together by sharing resources and giving a common witness to the entire world. Therefore, acknowledging that Christianity's center of gravity has shifted from lands long considered Christian and has become a global phenomenon, we celebrate "the great new fact" that mission increasingly is from all peoples to all peoples. We pledge to facilitate this partnership of equals at every level of leadership and initiative and to support new churches and ministries as they develop culturally appropriate forms of church life, theology, witness and mission. Renouncing competition, duplication, domination and isolation, we seek to be ambassadors of reconciliation as illustrated by the partnership of black and white South Africans in the leadership of the Global Consultation on World Evangelization, 1997 and of Messianic Jews with Arab Christians at Celebrate Messiah 2000. We embrace efforts to create a common platform for ongoing cooperation in mission, such as the newly formed Great Commission Roundtable. We believe in diverse ministries in one universal Body and covenant together to make every effort to demonstrate the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ( Ezr 3:1; Ps 133:1-3; Ro 12:5, 15:5-6; Gal 3:28, 5:26; Eph 4:3-5)

CONTEMPORARY REALITIES

9. HISTORY

Standing on the brink of a new millennium and in this decisive hour of mission, we covenant together to build upon the labors of the pioneers who have gone before, including the faithful among the Jewish people. We dare not boast against the roots that support us, the tree into which we have been grafted. We celebrate Jesus who gave his life to unite members of all peoples in one, redeeming all that is precious and unique in their culture. We honor the Apostle Paul who provided for us the most enduring model for transplanting the faith from one culture to another without compromising the gospel. We remember the martyrs whose shed blood nourished the seed of the church through the centuries. We recognize the monastic communities, scholars and missionaries who advanced the light of the gospel down through the ages. We esteem highly men and women who crossed barriers both in the Church and in the world by entering new lands, penetrating cultural frontiers, and forging new paradigms of missions in a changing world. We are aware that they like us have had their defects and shortcomings but this does not in any way minimise our sincere gratitude to God for using them to awaken the twentieth century Church to the reality of the unreached peoples and to open our eyes to the fact that we were in the sunrise of Christian missions. (Isa 51:1; Ac 7:59 - 8:1, 10:44 - 46, 17:22 - 32)

10. THE BIBLICAL HEARTLAND

The turmoil that continues to trouble this region where we intended to gather also troubles our hearts. Yet we take courage from the words of two amazed disciples from Emmaus: "It is true! The Lord has risen!" Now at the beginning of the 3rd Millennium, Israeli Jews, Muslims and nominal Christians in the Biblical heartland are receiving this Good News and bearing genuine fruit. We honor the many churches that have sown the seed and served the peoples of this land over the centuries. We rejoice that, in the latter part of the 20th century, many Messianic congregations have been established. Muslims have shown increasing interest in the Gospel and international assemblies have flourished. All this has occurred despite opposition, threats and restrictions much like those the first-century church faced. In these and other ways, the church in the Holy Land is a microcosm of the Church worldwide. Therefore, we covenant together to pray for the church of the Biblical heartland in its Messianic Jewish, Palestinian and international Christian expressions that it may grow richly and proclaim with power this amazing message to the ends of the earth: "Christ is risen, indeed!" . (Ge 12: 1- 3, 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:33-34, 47-48; Ac 3:25; Gal 3:8)

11. WORSHIP

Worship is both a life to live and an event in which to participate. In and through worship, we, by grace, center our whole being on God, humbly glorifying Him in response to His attributes, His acts and His Word. We covenant together to submit our entire being to God, asking Him to awaken our conscience by His holiness, nourish our mind with His truth, purify our imagination by His beauty, open our heart to His love, and enable us to surrender fully to His purpose. We affirm that unity and cooperation are necessary to complete the task of establishing worshipping communities of Jesus' disciples among every people. Furthermore, we affirm the privilege of each people group to employ all worthy elements of their mother tongue and culture as they worship the Triune God both individually and corporately, in spirit and truth.( 1 Ch 16:29; Ps 33:3, 95:6, 100:2; Mt 4:10; Jn 4:24; Col 3:23,24; Rev 7:9-12)

12. PRAYER AND REVIVAL

We embrace God's biblical promise and purpose to exalt His Son as Redeemer-King among all people through His awakened Church. In this day of unprecedented opportunity in world evangelization, we draw confidence from God's purpose to advance Christ's Kingdom in the world. We covenant together to pray and prepare for personal and corporate revival. We believe that revival is a divine pattern evident throughout Biblical and church history. God is faithful and consistent in all His ways: what He has done before, He is able and willing to do again in our generation. We recognize that Revival in the Church can uniquely transform her and make her equal to the extraordinary mission challenges facing her. We rejoice that the Spirit is granting throughout the Church on behalf of the nations a remarkable prayer awakening, often accompanied by fasting. Knowing that God Himself is committed to hear and answer our prayers, we resolve to join enthusiastically in this worldwide prayer movement, trusting God for the visitation of His Spirit that will move individuals and churches to fulfill the Great Commission. ( 2 Ch 7:14; Job 16: 20 -21; Ps 80:3, 7,14-19; 85:4 - 7; Isa 64:1-12; Joel 2:12-17; Hab 3:2; Eph 6:18; Rev 11:15, 12:10-11)

13. THE MAJORITY CHURCH

At the dawn of the third millennium, most of the world's Christians live in Asia, Africa and Latin America. We rejoice at the spiritual vitality present in these continents that are home to most of the people currently turning to Christ for the first time. Yesterday's great harvest fields have become today's great harvest forces, with the majority church now sending out more than half of the world's Protestant missionaries. In recent decades, excellent leadership in the majority church has arisen to serve global evangelical movements, and to generate national initiatives and whole nation church planting movements with notable results. Many international mission agencies have moved their headquarters to the great cities of Asia in order to draw upon the vast human and material resources of the churches in that region. The churches of South Korea and South Africa successfully hosted two major global consultations, GCOWE `95 and `97 respectively, providing accommodation, meals and excellent logistics. The most successful partnerships and networks for reaching the unreached are functioning within the regions of the majority church, where technology and finance blend with spiritual fervency, faith, resilience and numerical strength. We, who represent the churches in the east, west, north and south, therefore covenant together to recognize each other as equals, to esteem one another highly, and to work together for the advance of Christ's Kingdom among all peoples. (1 Ch 12:32; Mt 9:36-38; 1 Ti 3:3:1-13; 3 Jn 5-9)

14. THE POOR AND NEEDY

We rejoice that God's people are becoming more and more sensitive to the needs of the poor even as Jesus, the Peasant of Nazareth, showed deep concern for the poor. Today the majority of the Church is itself poor. Ministry to the poor will therefore be a ministry by and with the poor. We rejoice in the emergence of organizations and networks that promote holistic, incarnational and community-transforming ministries, especially in the economically deprived areas of the world. We are, however, keenly conscious of the enormous social and spiritual ills affecting millions of the poor and needy. We acknowledge that both rich and poor are guilty of covetousness, injustice and indifference leading to sins of commission and omission. In deep repentance, we covenant together to join with the poor in breaking the chains of injustice and oppression, sharing with all the resources that God has given us, and spreading the gospel of the kingdom which is good news for rich and poor alike.(Isa 58:6-7; Ps 69:33; Pr 14:31; Mt 5:1-12; Lk 4: 16-20; Gal 2:10, 6:10; Jas 1:27, 4:17)

15. THE ROLE OF WOMEN

We rejoice that women all over the world are experiencing God's special visitation. They are awakening to their birthright and inheritance as they trust God to fulfill all His purposes in and through them. They are learning to follow the leading of His Spirit, as they discover their intrinsic value, not in cultural, geographical and generational imperatives but rather in knowing that they are made in the image of God. The Creator, who designed both male and female to reflect His likeness and glory, calls men and women to serve together as equal partners in His purpose. We therefore covenant together to pursue reconciliation and justice extending not only to race and class but to gender also. As we men and women learn to walk and work together in mutual and godly respect, we are once again free to serve God's plan and purpose in terms of our own special contribution. (Jdg 4:4; Ru 1:16 - 17; 1 Sa 1:11; Joel 2:28 -29; Lk 2:36, 8:3; Jn 20:11-18; Ac 9:36; 16:13-14; 21:8; Ro 16:12)

16. EMERGING LEADERS

Over the past 50 years, courageous young leaders have birthed many churches and mission agencies, that have sent tens of thousands of missionaries around the world. These leaders are now in their senior years. Some have graduated to glory. The mantle of authority is passing to a younger generation of leaders who are boldly rising to their responsibility. The unified voice of these emerging leaders overcomes barriers of nationality, language, culture, gender, denomination and theology. Through multiple channels of communication and interaction, a clear set of values and priorities has surfaced among these young leaders. They find their identity more in vision and calling, than in organizations. Intimacy with Christ coupled with praise and worship are core values. A deep longing for unity among the entire Body of Christ compels these young leaders to overcome denominational, and doctrinal differences within the evangelical tradition. They desire mentoring and input from mature leaders as they work in unity to complete the great commission. We, therefore, covenant together to support the emerging leaders, whom God has raised up, to encourage them in their dreams, and to make room for their gifts, ideas, and initiatives. (Da 3:16-18, 28; Joel 2:28; 1 Ti 4:12, 5:1; Tit 2:6; 1 Pe 5:5; 1 Jn 2:13, 14)

17. UNREACHED PEOPLES

We praise God for the epic progress in researching, listing, and profiling unreached peoples. We rejoice that all the unreached people groups of over 10,000 persons have now been profiled and adopted. We appreciate deeply the responses by churches and agencies in mobilizing prayer, leading national initiatives, and commissioning teams to establish indigenous churches among many unreached peoples. As a result the number of peoples without a single indigenous congregation of 100 members is getting smaller and smaller. On one hand, we lament that the goal of a church for every people and the gospel for every person was not fully achieved by the year 2000. We regret, too, the minimal attention which has been given to children in our research and formulation of strategies for world evangelization. But on the other hand, we celebrate the accomplishments of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement and commend this task to those who follow. We covenant together to press on towards its fulfillment.(Ge 22:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 19:25; 52:15; Ro 15:20; 2 Pe 3:9)

18. NATIONAL INITIATIVES

We rejoice that, during the past decade, churches in many countries have developed national strategies and processes for mobilizing the Body of Christ toward completing the unfinished task within and beyond their borders. Visionary servant leaders have facilitated national initiatives that affirm existing structures and foster cooperative commitments to saturation church planting and to the goal of a pioneer church planting movement within every ethno-linguistic people. We praise God that, in this past decade, united efforts of His people have borne much fruit. And yet much work remains. Therefore, we pray for the hastening of the day when all persons will have a valid opportunity to experience the love, truth and saving power of Jesus in fellowship with other believers of their own people. We encourage God's people everywhere to do their part in establishing a mission-minded church planting movement within every unreached people. We covenant together to seek and discover God's role for each of us in His purpose, regardless of the cost. (2 Sa 24:24; Jnh 3:7-9; Ac 13:43-44; 18: 9-11; Ro 1:8, 10:18, 16:19; 2 Pe 3:9;1 Th 1:8; 1 Ti 2:4)

19. COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION

As we cross into the new millennium, we bear witness to the work of the Holy Spirit. In cities throughout the world spiritual breakthroughs are occurring. His presence and power are touching and transforming every sphere of human life-spiritual, political, economic and social - with visible, measurable change and multitudes coming to salvation in Christ. Focused, fervent, future-oriented, faith-filled, persevering prayer led by humble, likeminded persevering leaders who dare to believe God for the "immeasurably more" He has for the city are key for community transformation. Beginning with His church, God is shaking old structures and shaping new patterns of ministry to meet the challenges of a fast-changing world. Diagnostic research enables the Church to profile communities and discern needs. Spiritual action plans include bonding among the spiritual gatekeepers of the city through annual prayer summits, catalytic corporate prayer events; ongoing grassroots prayer involvement; servant evangelism through acts of kindness and social reconciliation. An infrastructure of prayer evangelism cells or small groups in homes, workplaces, schools, or campuses "pastor" the community. Public power encounters and citywide harvest events involve every willing individual and institution. Therefore, we covenant together to see our cities through the eyes of Christ and to serve our cities with the heart and humility of Christ. We will work together to repair our communities, restore the dignity of persons, to renew hope, revive spirits, and redeem lives in the power of Christ's love! (Ps 110:3; Isa 59:16; Eze 3:17; Dan. 10:12-14; 2 Co 4:4; Eph 3:20-21; Eph 6:12; Jas 5:16)

20. GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP

We affirm that partnerships are an important part of world evangelization. We build relationships of trust so we can work together in partnership, to see fellowships of believers in Christ among all peoples that will worship Him. A fundamental question in mission must change from `What can I do?' to `How do we fit in, in relationship to what others are doing?' Partnerships can help us answer this question and provide a forum for practical collaboration. In the past two decades we have seen a new day dawn among God's people everywhere to worship and work together with God's people from everywhere. We rejoice in the many dozens of international partnerships emerging and operating among and for the good of the unreached peoples. We believe this effort is pleasing to God, true to His character and to the mission of the church. However, a major challenge is still before us. These partnerships will not emerge or operate without people who have the vision, skills and commitment to both the partnership purpose and process. We, therefore, covenant together to encourage the global Church to identify, recruit, train and support partnership facilitators. (Ex 17:12; Jdg 20:1;1 Sa14:6-7; 1 Ch 12:22-38; Ne 3:1-32; Mt 18:19-20; Lk 5:17-20; 1 Co 12:12, 20 - 27; Lk. 5:17-20; 3 Jn 8)

At the conclusion of this historic event and in response to God's grace, we now recommit ourselves to the incarnate, crucified, resurrected, ascended, exalted and returning Messiah. We abandon ourselves unreservedly to Him and to His cause. In doing so, we know that we will risk incurring the wrath of a world that rejects us even as it rejected and crucified Him. Yet His Great Commission is not merely an option to be considered but a mandate to be obeyed. Therefore, in the light of His second coming, we covenant together, by God's enabling grace, to strive toward the goal of the whole Church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world. We will in this century aim to establish a reproducing church movement among every class and kind of people and within practical and relational reach of every person so that every segment of society will be permeated with the love, compassion, truth and saving power of Christ, the Messiah. May the whole earth be filled with the glory of the Triune God! The bride of Christ along with the Spirit, says to the One who is coming soon: Come! Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.(Ps 96:3; Mt 28:18-20; Jn 12:24, 13:34-35, 15:18 - 19; Ro 6:13, 12:1; 1 Co 6:19 - 20; 2 Co 5:20; Rev 22:20)

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