A Church for Every People and
the Gospel for Every Person
Several thousand years ago, a group of people stood on the brink of seeing God's promises fulfilled in ways they had never imagined. As the children of Israel gazed across the Jordan River, they knew God had given them the lands beyond the horizon as their own inheritance. His promise had sustained them through their long journey from slavery in Egypt to the edge of the Promised Land. They had glimpsed the abundant harvest that awaited them there. All that remained was the taking stepping out in obedience to make the promise of God a reality. The book of Joshua is filled with the stirring accounts of their triumphs and their defeats as they moved forward in obedience to God's direction.
Nearly a decade ago, a group of Christian leaders began to sense that the church, like Israel of old, was on the brink of another tremendous work of God.
Since the time of the apostle Paul, the Gospel had spread from the East to the West and from the major cites of the coastlands to the interiors of the continents. In the early part of this century, separate people groups within each nation and the growing megacities began to be the focus. But with the approach of the new century - the third millennium since Christ - these Christian leaders began to see the enormous need of those people concentrated within the boundaries of the 10th and 40th parallels in a rectangle of land stretching from West Africa to East Asia - what we call "the 10/40 Window."
The vision through that window is heartbreaking. Within it's frame lie lands rich in biblical and historical significance. All the events of the Old Testament and the majority of New Testament history occurred inside its boundaries. The oldest civilizations in our history rose and fell there. And today, nearly two-thirds of the world's population live in its 61 countries. Three of the world's dominant religious blocs - Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism - have their strongholds there. The poorest of the poor are there, 80% of them existing on less than $500 per person per year.
These Christian leaders began to see that if we are truly to follow the example of Jesus in coming "to seek and save what was lost" (Luke 19:10) and in proclaiming His message to the poor (Luke 4:18), our primary focus must be the 10/40 Window, where 99% of the world's least evangelized and poorest peoples can be found.
Since 1990, the AD2000 & Beyond Movement has been a catalyst in focusing the attention of the church on this crucial and needy area of the world. Our emphasis has been on casting the vision for a specific goal: "A church for every people and the Gospel for every person by the year 2000."
As we have seen the vision spread, we have learned something very important: no solitary Christian, church, denomination, mission agency or organization can hope to complete the task of world evangelization alone. We need one another. Over the past five years, we have seen a marvelous movement of God in bringing together churches and agencies from around the world in praying and planning toward that goal. For the first time in history, Christian from virtually every continent and country have begun to work together in a great global advance of the Gospel. They have seen the vision. Their hearts have been broken. And now they are ready to move out in obedience to the clear command of Scripture to make disciples of every nation.
That is why, in early December, 1995, Christian leaders from 77 countries met in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to launch Joshua Project 2000 - a five-year initiative to help establish church planting movements in strategic places around the world. At the heart of Joshua Project 2000 are approximately 1,700 peoples whom mission leaders have agreed are most in need of a church planting effort. Of these 2.2 billion "Joshua Project Peoples," nearly 90% live in the 10/40 Window.
As a direct result of that December meeting, plans are being made in countries around the world to enable individual believers, entire churches, denominations, organizations and mission agencies to actually begin church planting efforts in all of the people groups. There are three primary ways this will be done, based on the model from the book of Joshua.
The first time the Promised Land was seen by God's people, spies were sent in to survey the land and assess the situation. Only two of the twelve were bold and courageous enough to see the possibilities rather than the hazards. And if you remember, they were the only two God allowed to enter the land.
Already, plans are being made to send short-term research teams from churches and mission agencies to each of the Joshua Project 2000 peoples. Each team's findings (including maps, photographs and videos) will be used to provide a prayer profile and other essential aids for each people group. These profiles will be used by individuals and churches who are ready to take the next step.
The city of Jericho was strongly fortified and firmly held by the enemy of God's people. It took God's miraculous intervention to break that stronghold. It is no different today. All 50 of the world's least evangelized megacities lie within the 10/40 Window. Only prayer can crumble the walls of resistance to the Gospel that surround these places.
In October of 1995, millions around the world joined us in "Praying Through the Window" - a month of prayer and fasting focusing on 100 strategic cities we called "Gateway Cities." In October of 1997, we will pray through the Window again, this time for the 1700 least evangelized peoples targeted by Joshua Project 2000. There is no substitute for the fervent prayers of God's people. The work cannot be done apart from His power.
Each tribe of Israel was assigned a position from
which to advance as well as a portion of the land to subdue and
claim as their own. Because the AD2000 vision of a church for
every people (Matthew 28:19) and the gospel for every person (Mark
16:15) was given to every follower of Jesus Christ, we believe
each individual, each church, and each ministry today has unique
gifts to contribute in this coordinated, systematic, step-by-step
advance to "take the land." We cannot do it alone.
Each must take the place assigned him by the Holy Spirit. Only
then ca we see these lands claimed for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thousands are already joining forces under the Joshua Project 2000 banner.
Students are responding to the challenge. In the early 1900s, a student volunteer movement swept churches in the Western Hemisphere into a mighty surge of missions involvement. Today, a student volunteer movement has also begun in the non-Western world, promising the same kind of serious outreach. On May 20, 1995, over 60,000 students gathered in Seoul, Korea's Olympic Stadium and signed a student declaration which included a willingness to: (1) devote one year of their lives to establish the church in a foreign land; and (2) mobilize other students in universities throughout the world. Within the next two years in both Brazil and in South Africa, approximately 50,000 students will convene in each country to mobilize for world missions.
Local churches are becoming involved. The River of Life congregation of Kansas City has adopted China's Nakhi people from Yunnan Province, sending a short-term team there to pray and to do research. This church also has produced a video on the Nakhi, has made plans for it's pastor and his wife to visit them, and has offered a special gift of prayer at Christmas for this people. This model of adoption is being activated in other congregations across the world.
Christian organizations are making major plans. As part of Joshua Project 2000, Every Home for Christ is setting the goal to reach - by house to house evangelism - one billion of the least evangelized peoples. The AD2000 United Prayer Network will recruit at least 17,000 local churches and 17,000 home cell groups which will commit to pray for a specific people group through 2000 A.D.
Mission agencies are assuming a role. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has challenged 70 of their North American bases to each send out at least two Joshua Project 2000 teams within the next year, with the goal that those team members will either become full-time church planters or full-time mobilizers for their people groups.
As you can see, opportunities to join in Joshua Project 2000 mobilization abound. What can you do?
|Have you or your church adopted a Joshua Project 2000 people? Please complete an ADOPTION REGISTRATION, using the<> People Commitment Registration Form (Located at the Joshua Project II website.) to share your contact information with others involved with this people.|
"As International Director for the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, I stand in awe of what I see God doing in these exciting years leading up to the year 2000. I serve a movement that has now spread to almost every country on earth. Now it is our desire to see this move of God sweep the globe. The unreached peoples of the world need your help. Will you commit yourself to finding your role in this great movement of God's Spirit?"
For the Lord of the Harvest,
AD2000 & Beyond Movement
AD2000 & Beyond Movement
2860 South Circle Dr., Suite 2112
Colorado Springs, CO 80906 USA
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