Summary Report: Worship & Arts Network

Dear AD2-Announce Reader:

As the AD2000 & Beyond Movement moves towards its final closure date of early 2001, all of the movement's Tracks / Resource Networks and Task Forces have been requested to provide an overview summary of their specific realm of experience over the 5 - 10 years of their operational existence. These reports have been prepared for compilation of a "lasting record" of this movement and for all to see, as they are interested!

Please see the attached revised report on the Worship & Arts Network prepared by Frank Fortunato, Network Coordinator and International Music Director for Operation Mobilization. As you will read, this Network came into existence in 1995 and the Lord has greatly blessed! We thank God and praise Him for the tremendous efforts and leadership of Frank for spearheading this global initiative!

These reports will all be included along with other historical reports and data of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, including the AD2000 website, and much more on a CD-ROM being produced for distribution at Celebrate Messiah 2000. Further distribution of this CD-ROM will also be made after the conference. Please email info@ad2000.org if you<> are interested in purchasing one of these CD-ROMs.

NOTE: Celebrate Messiah 2000 will be held in Jerusalem and Bethlehem 27 December 2000 - 2 January 2001. Registration invitation is still open to those so interested. Please contact Lauri Dennis, Registrar, at Lauri@ad2000.org for more information.<>

The AD2000 International Office will be closing early in 2001. Click here for more information.

Thank you for your interest in the AD2000 & Beyond Movement and its spiritual and catalytic outworkings into the 21st century. Please continue to pray for the movement until our closing day! Thank you!

That all may hear!

Luis Bush
International Director
AD2000 & Beyond Movement


Brief Historic Overview of the
AD2000 & Beyond Movement Worship and Arts Network

By Frank Fortunato

BEGINNINGS: During final preparations of the program and worship activities for the Global Congress on World Evangelization (GCOWE 95) in Seoul, Korea, Luis Bush, head of the AD2000 Movement, asked Byron Spradlin and Frank Fortunato to form a new track or network for the AD2000 fellowship. He mentioned the need for a track devoted to music and the arts. The AD2000 Worship and Arts Network was birthed with Frank Fortunato as coordinator.

Joining Spradlin and Fortunato to form the executive team were music and missions mobilizers Gerrit Gustafson, Dave Hall, Dale Huff, and Grace Wiebe, and later Scott Wesley Brown and Paul Neeley. Jimmy and Carol Owens followed by New Zealanders David and Dale Garrett served as co-chairpersons. An advisory council with internationally known Christian leaders and artists also resulted.

INITIAL DOCUMENT: The initial document stated: "Recognizing that the goal of global evangelization is to present worshipers to the Lord from every people group, the Network seeks to serve existing ministries and initiatives by promoting an international network of information and resources on worship and artistic communication to the Body of Christ. The Network will aim to inspire worship musicians and artists to join church planting efforts to help enable musicians and artists in emerging congregations to develop their own vernacular worship and artistic expressions.. Where possible, the Track will set up recording studios where none exist to encourage the recording of indigenous worship songs."

NATIONAL LEADERS: From the earliest days of the Track, The SIL ethnomusicologists helped direct the focus on indigenous worship and ethnic artistic expressions. Before long we started to contact other worship and arts mobilizers in various parts of the world. Leaders in Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean became consultants for the Track. In the Philippines the Worship and Arts Track became a national entity with thirty full-time workers serving the Network there.

EMAIL AND WEB INITIATIVE: One of the first initiatives of the Track was to form an email forum to discuss cultural and cross-cultural issues related to worship and the arts. The forum also posted information on resources, helped mobilize artists to join music and artistic groups, and provided a means for people to connect. Soon a web page emerged, as part of the AD2000 Movement, followed by a second website that greatly expanded beyond the Movement.

LANDMARK COMMUNICATION: As we made early plans to launch a newsletter the US Center contacted the Track to help compile an entire issue of Missions Frontiers devoted to worship and the arts in missions with a special focus on the role that ethnic music would have as part of church planting strategy. Twelve articles were included in this special edition, followed by a second issue on the arts, and a third combined issue with sixteen articles. This focus on global worship and the role of the arts in missions provided a huge communications boost for the Track. These special releases of Mission Frontiers have great historical significance as they gathered together what may be the most comprehensive compilations of writings on worship and missions in print to date.

GCOWE 97 CONSULTATION ON WORSHIP AND THE ARTS: Another landmark event took place with the GCOWE 97 South Africa global gathering. This event had historical significance in that it was one of the very first ever global consultations devoted to worship and the arts in mission. The Consultation was summarized in the following Manifesto:

"To declare the supremacy of Christ by raising up a generation of godly artists committed to the task of seeing God restore all nations to his original intention by means of their unique artistic expressions especially among the unreached people of the earth so that all people might worship him."

GLOBAL WORSHIP WRITINGS: As those involved in the network continued to grow, the need for a communications vehicle surfaced to provide a regular global round up of what God was doing using worship and the arts around the world. This resulted in the email newsletter ("e-zine") called the Global Worship Report, with 10-12 reports each issue, along with listings of resources, mini-book reviews, quotes, etc. A second newsletter, Ethnic Worship and Arts Focus followed soon after, devoted mostly to worship and the arts in the Islamic world. Track leaders also had their writings published in Evangelical Missions Quarterly and other missions magazines, as well as a book devoted to Christian Music. Taking seriously what he wrote, one track leader decided to move his entire family into missions to practice what he preached and wrote about.

RECORDING STUDIOS IN THE 10/40: Realizing there were many places in the 10/40 area where worship musicians were hindered from recording in a commercial studio, Track leaders began setting up inexpensive, digital recording studios, firstly in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and later in Tunisia and other restricted areas of the world. Some of the worship tapes produced in Tajikistan were broadcast across the nation and other parts of Central Asia via Christian short wave radio.

GLOBAL WORSHIP SONGBOOK AND CD: Sensing the need that churches had for fresh missions music that celebrated the Lord's global reign and called people to finish the task of world evangelization, Track leaders compiled "Let the Nations Rejoice" a 32-song resource of new and classic missions tunes. A CD of twelve of the songs soon followed.

TRAINING: As track leaders became aware of the need for training materials for musicians and artists, a committee was formed "to develop a curriculum that empowers and mobilizes arts believers to communicate God's message cross culturally." The Working Title for the curriculum: "TILL ALL PEOPLES PRAISE HIM-fresh strategies for cross-cultural witness through the arts". One track leader was provided a tuition free scholarship to study graduate level ethnomusicology, with the intention of developing ways to influence mission organizations to use ethnic principles of music and art as part of their evangelism and church planting strategy.

Another track leader, sensing the need to train musicians in evangelism launched a prison ministry led by Christian musicians. Part of the training involved learning how to give a testimony and how to lead someone to Christ. Hundreds have come to Christ or made rededications through these efforts to reach prisons in the Nashville area.

Another track leader is involved in training ethnomusicology student interns overseas each year.

ARTISTIC RESEARCH: Realizing that many unreached people groups have a special affinity to music and arts, academic research on musical resources within the culture of several Islamic unreached people groups has been completed, with more to follow. The eventual goal is to provide such research resources to those working in all unreached people groups, so that the arts will provide a beachhead for the Gospel.

INTO THE FUTURE: As the Track heads into the future, the vision of the Network will be "to declare the supremacy of Christ by raising up a generation of godly artists committed to the purpose of seeing God build his church and release the unique worship and artistic expressions of all peoples. Therefore the Network exists to see a worshiping church for every people."

REFLECTION: Perhaps the major contribution of the Track these five years has been communications. God used the Track to heighten the awareness to the Body of Christ of the place worship and the arts have should have in missions. This was greatly aided with the help of Mission Frontiers magazine. Much of the behind the scenes efforts of Track leaders has been networking individuals to other people and other opportunities. One of the specific goals the track accomplished was setting up recording studios in the 10/40 area to encourage vernacular worship. The main thing we would have done differently was to identify a global network of national leaders sending in regular reports from their areas.

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