MAY 25, 1995 SUBJECT: WIN THE WORLD FOR CHRIST but first... a healing of the nations
SEOUL, KOREA--Nearly 4,000 Christian leaders representing 186 nations came to Seoul, Korea, to strategize about world missions. In the process, many found themselves being reconciled with each other. The Global Consultation on World Evangelization was held May 17 - 25, 1995, at the Korean Center for World Mission. Delegates shared perspectives and developed strategies to establish churches in every ethnic group and to see the gospel presented to every person by the year 2,000.
But meetings on every level departed from their original agendas as reconciliation broke out like a holy fire. Japanese knelt before Koreans, Arab Christians embraced Jewish Christians, Russian Orthodox Christians apologized to evangelicals and Pentecostals of the former Soviet Union. Christian unity reigned supreme as people from vastly differing backgrounds spontaneously clasped hands as they prayed for the dream to become a reality.
At the conclusion of the consultation, delegates adopted the GCOWE '95 Declaration, which declares a primary, but not exclusive focus on the "10/40 Window," an imaginary rectangle stretching from ten to forty degrees North of the equator, from West Africa to East Asia, where the greatest concentration of unevangelized people reside.
The Global Consultation on World Evangelization marks a radical shift from the days of American/European-only missions. According to Luis Bush of Argentina, International Director of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement which organized GCOWE '95, the consultation became "a rite of passage." Not only were two-thirds of the participants from Africa, Latin America and Asia, but the majority of the consultation's funding came from those nations as well. Western missionaries took notes as African, Asian and Latin American leaders presented their successful methodology. They had become full partners in the task.
To show its commitment to the task, the organizers of the consultation, the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, intends to dissolve on December 31, 2001. With international headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, the movement includes regional affiliates throughout the world, and includes denominations, mission societies and churches. Rather than being a formal structure, AD2000 & Beyond brings together like-minded individuals and groups under the banner of "A church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2,000. Building on the relationships developed at GCOWE '95, regional and "track" consultations have developed a variety of plans to continue working together.