Saturation Evangelism and Small Group
Leadership Development Resource Network
Dr. Victor Koh and Paul Eshleman
Our track was built around the objectives of attempting to ensure that the Gospel is being presented to every person in the world and that leaders are being developed to disciple the new converts who respond to the message. We set an initial objective that we wanted all people in the world to have an opportunity to hear the Gospel in their mother tongue, or in an understandable language, and as they respond to the message, become part of a local church in which they could grow toward maturity.
Following the AD2000 conference Seoul, Korea in 1995, we added some specific additional measurable objectives.
During the last five years, the SEL Track has sponsored several meetings to initiate plans to monitor the progress of numerous organizations in getting the gospel to the whole world. Some good initial development work was done by a committee representing Campus Crusade for Christ, The Network, Every Home for Christ, Christian Broadcasting Network, JESUS Film Project, World by 2000 Radio and others.
August 4th, 2000 saw the accomplishment of one of the primary goals of the last decade. After a presentation by Bruce Wilkinson of Walk Thru the Bible, he challenged the Strategist Task Group at Amsterdam 2000 to consider taking the responsibility for the remaining unreached people groups on the Joshua Project 2000 list. During the course of the next 30 minutes, those in attendance agreed to launch a church planting effort in the remaining unreached 253 people groups during the coming two years. Table #71 at the consultation contained representatives from Youth With A Mission, Campus Crusade for Christ, DAWN, and the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. This group committed to providing the infrastructure needed to help the enthusiastic pledges made to become a reality. They have met again since the Amsterdam 2000 event to take initial steps.
Saturation Evangelism coordinators were recruited for every country of the world and a plan was developed to ensure evangelism coverage in each country. As the year 2000 draws to a close, it appears that more than 100 major countries will have passed the goals of 100% saturation by the end of the year. Many others are very close.
Presentations of the Gospel through a variety of means have accelerated greatly.
The "JESUS" film has been shown to more than 4.1 billion people, encompassing every country of the world.
Every Home for Christ, World by 2000 Radio Ministry Coalition, Christian Broadcasting Network, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, The Network, and many other organizations have launched mass evangelism efforts in increasingly remote and unreached locations.
The Macedonian Project was formed in 1997 to help send people to every Million People Target Area to show or distribute the "JESUS" film and "The Story of Jesus" audiocassettes. Since its inception the group has sent more than 3,000 short-term workers to unreached areas.
Another goal that was encouraged by our track was the translation of the Gospel into more languages. There has been an increased effort on many fronts. Wycliffe Bible Translators has committed to complete some portion of the Scriptures in all remaining languages in the next 20 years. Hosanna Ministries have been producing new Audio Translations of the Bible which can be used for follow-up among the pre-literate. The "JESUS" film has now been completed in 630 languages, with 287 in process. There are now only 549 million people in the world who cannot see or hear the film in their mother tongue. Many of these can usually understand a working trade language. Gospel Recordings continues to expand its translations of Scripture and Scriptural portions.
It is extremely difficult to enlist mission organizations to send personnel to totally new areas. Most missions like to send new personnel to areas where they already have bases for ease of supervision and coordination. The result is that we continue to expand in the more-reached places, instead of the most neglected.
Many decision-makers charged with the allocation of both personnel and financial resources do not feel a personal burden for completing a task of world evangelization.
In order to ensure that the future will see every person having access to the Gospel, several things should be included on the agenda of the church.
There will always be a great need for networking groups, such as the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, World Evangelical Fellowship, The Great Commission Round Table, etc. These meetings give a platform for informing leaders about the neglected areas of the world.
Every Christian leader should have a very clear explanation of what his organization or denomination is doing in each of the 4 areas of ministry: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Uttermost Parts. Preparing for evangelistic ministry in these 4 arenas is essential.
There must be far more emphasis on bringing together those who are working to proclaim the Christian message via the media and technology to ensure that new methodologies and delivery systems are not being overlooked. There will be millions of messages delivered in the world in the coming years. We need to make sure we have done the best job in delivering the Greatest Story Ever Told.
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