The unfinished task raises three important questions. Why can it be done? What ought to be done? And how must it be done? One thing is to be convinced that it can be done. Another thing is to know what ought to be done. However, it is an entirely different matter when you try and ask that question How? How must it be done? As we consider the question how, we need to ask what is it that God is already doing through His people and then go for it. It is to cooperate with what the Holy Spirit is already doing and cooperate with Him.
For each of us there are four primary dimensions of focus. These represent the four areas in which we can cooperate with what the Holy Spirit is doing in mobilizing the church. Each constitutes a major challenge. As we respond by faith, action, and obedience, offering our personal gifts, our ministry gifts, our corporate gifts of the ministry, country and region we represent, we will be amazed to see it happen.
It was William Carey, father of the modern world evangelization era who said: "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." Prayerfully, under God, let us plan for a five year initiative from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2000 for our ministry, our country, our continent, and our world.
God is "not wanting anyone to perish" (2 Pet. 3:9). Certainly these will happen as life giving churches are established in every people. There is a cause/effect relationship. Church planting is our best method. Beyond that, let us support these tracks and organizations that are committed to this goal... the Bible Translators, World by 2000 and radio transmission efforts, audio recordings, the work of evangelists, the Jesus Film, electronic media and the TV.
The core of the spiritually and materially neediest people of our world live in a rectangular-shaped window! It is a belt that extends from West Africa across Asia, between ten degrees north to forty degrees north of the equator. If we are serious about providing a valid opportunity for every people and city to experience the love, truth and saving power of Jesus Christ, we cannot ignore the reality that we must concentrate on this region of the world, which has been termed: "The 10/40 Window."
Our single greatest challenge of the next five years, as it relates to the goal of a church for every people by the year 2000 is to establish, as a minimum, a pioneer church planting movement within the approximately 2,300 significant ethno-linguistic peoples in the 10/40 Window by December 31, 2000.
Several hundred cities have been working on strategic plans around the world. This fits the intention of God for the city: God Himself intercedes with man not to give up on the city (Genesis 18:23-33). Each city of the world deserves a five year plan.
However, among the spiritually and poorest cities in the world are 100 Gateway cities of the 10/40 Window. Consultations and strategic networks are occurring across the 10/40 Window such as the Indian Urban Consultation next year bringing together leadership from some 40 Indian cities.
In October 1995 the 10/40 Window prayer focus will be on the 100 Gateway Cities. Thirty to fifty million Christians around the world are expected to pray. Over 10,000 intercessors on more than 400 teams are being mobilized to pray on site in the Gateway Cities. One Argentinean Church alone plans to send a team to each of these 100 cities. Consultations followed by strategic partnerships are being planned to reach these 100 cities.
The term affinity bloc may be new to you! An Affinity Bloc is composed of one or more ethno-linguistic families of people that have other commonalities of religion, culture, history, politics and geography which have to be considered in planning for their evangelization and discipling. These Affinity Blocs represent a strategic starting point to the peoples of the 10/40 Window.
Each continent and region is unique. There are continent-wide AD 2000 declarations that have been developed out of regional consultations for Africa, S. E. Asia, and South Asia. We need to continue to develop functional resource networks or tracks as building blocks for these continent initiatives.
Many national leaders have developed AD 2000 country strategies providing excellent models of what can be done. National initiatives mobilizing denominations and local churches; mission agencies and Christian organizations with specialized resources must become the hall mark/backbone/distinctive feature of the AD 2000 & Beyond Movement.
Many of the major denominations have developed their own AD 2000 vision. This began with the Southern Baptists in 1975 and carried the objective that every man, woman and child have the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ by AD 2000. By the early '80's they realized they could not do it alone. Working cooperatively ushered in a new era. By the time of the AD 2000 denominational summit in December 1993, most of the large denominations came to this conclusion and made a joint declaration of commitment to seek a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000, urgently calling the worldwide Body of Christ to join openly in linking hands, hearts, minds and spirits in this grand cause of Jesus Christ.
Likewise, major Christian organizations and mission agencies who had specific goals focused on the year 2000 recognized the need to work together. Many local churches have set goals focused on the year 2000 and seek cooperation with the wider body in fulfilling those goals.
Prayerfully, we call upon God to lead and inspire us as we go through the times prayer and planning. Let us go forth in the unity of Christ, knit together in cooperation and true partnership under His Lordship for the tasks that lie ahead. To exalt the King and advance His Kingdom with the dream that "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea" in our hearts, we go forth into the days of tomorrow. Praise the Lord!.