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GCOWE '97 - Nine Mission Consultations in One

by Luis Bush - International Director, AD2000 & Beyond Movement,
and Willie Crew - Director, World Mission Centre, South Africa

Some 5000 key Christian leaders, representing 100 countries of the world, will meet in Pretoria, South Africa from June 30 to July 5, 1997, for a Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE '97). Affiliates of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement will attend.

The Purpose

The purpose of GCOWE '97 will be to encourage and assess the mobilization and implementation plans of key AD2000 Global Initiatives towards the fulfillment of the goal of "a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000," with a special emphasis on Africa's involvement.

GCOWE '97 is strategically positioned three and a half years (or 42 months) before the end of the century. This is a critical time to assess what still needs to be done as we embark on our final major drive to complete the task of world evangelization. GCOWE '97 will be a working consultation with the program of the conference built around nine consultations.

The planning team has asked three questions while waiting on the Lord concerning GCOWE '97. 1) Is it possible for the leaders that God has placed in key positions all over the world to come together to inquire of the Lord what the next step of world evangelization should be? 2) Is it possible that the Lord is asking these leaders to give up a week of their precious time for this purpose? 3) Is it possible for these leaders to come to a strategic meeting in humility, without much recognition, for a time where God will do a deep penetrating work in the hearts and lives of attendees and their ministries?

We believe the answer to these questions is yes and want to give the Lord room to change paradigms and directions and the focus of our ministries where needed and to offer a sobering reality check. This will help us to stay on the cutting edge and gain momentum in world evangelization. We also need to lay vital foundations for the next generation to expand the Kingdom of God in the 21st century.

Nine Parallel Consultations

Plenary Sessions will be held at Hatfield Christian Church on Monday, June 30th, and Friday, July 4th, 1997. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the delegates will split up to attend working meetings held in nine different venues. For the most part, these consultations represent meetings of like-minded leaders that have never met together before with such a focus on completing the task of world evangelization.

Members of the nine different consultations will be asked what contribution as a whole and as individuals they can make to Joshua Project 2000, a vision developed from within the world-wide AD2000 and Beyond Movement. Joshua Project 2000 objectives are threefold: 1) to identify unreached peoples, 2) to research, produce people profiles and enlist prayer for those identified, and 3) to mobilize church-planting teams for each prioritized people. Joshua Project 2000 works cooperatively through many churches, agencies and individuals: supporting plans in progress and encouraging and educating those who are making plans which fulfill Joshua Project 2000 objectives.

Each consultation will be also be asked what contribution they as a whole and as individual participants can make to National AD2000 Initiatives around the world. A National AD2000 Initiative is a country-wide strategy focused on mobilizing and deploying the national Church. Deployment means to penetrate every least evangelized people within the nation by 2000 AD, to be significantly involved in reaching the least evangelized of the world, and to be aggressively involved in national saturation church planting with the ultimate goal of a gathering of Bible-believing Christians within practical and cultural distance of every person in the nation - "A church for every people and the gospel for every person...."

The nine different parallel consultations will be held for the following groups:

  1. Mission Executives consultation. Avery Willis and George Verwer will chair this meeting of the heads of mission agencies and denominational mission sending agencies. These leaders will work through such issues as how agencies can properly divide up the remaining task so that all unreached peoples receive missionaries rather than dozens of agencies targeting the same people group.
  2. Business Executives consultation. Gunnar Olson will chair this meeting of successful business people who will work through such issues as how to use their business skills to gain access into restricted access countries or to help find creative financing opportunities for frontier mission endeavors.
  3. Meeting the Needs of the Poor and Needy consultation. Brother Daniel will chair this meeting of people who are working amongst the poor. They will work through such issues as how to meet the huge physical need that often accompanies those most in need of the gospel message.
  4. African National AD2000 Initiatives consultation. Ross Campbell and Johan Combrink will chair this meeting of mission leaders from almost every African country who will work through such issues as how the national Church can reach out to its country's unreached peoples.
  5. Training for Church Planting Movements consultation. Christo De Wet will chair this meeting of missionary trainers to work through such issues as how to train workers in successful church planting that leads to multiplying indigenous churches.
  6. South African Local Church Pastors consultation. Danie Vermeulen will chair this meeting of South African pastors (including 100 international pastors) who will work through such issues as how to see a coordinated and racially integrated approach to missions mobilization and sending from South Africa to the needy parts of the world.
  7. Theological Institution Presidents and Academic Deans consultation. Phil Steyne and David Kim will chair this meeting of heads of seminaries and training centers who will work through such issues as how to make sure that the missionaries who are going to the remaining unreached priority peoples receive proper training in Bible, theology and cultural sensitivity.
  8. University Students and Youth Leaders consultation. Cassie Carstens will chair this meeting of leaders of youth movements who will work through such issues as how to harness the energy of youth in reaching out to those most in need of the gospel.
  9. Performing Arts and Missions consultation. Leon and Naomi Boshoff will chair this meeting of gifted Christian artists and heads of like ministries who will work through such issues as how to use ones giftings in the arts to gain access to a restricted country and win a hearing for the gospel message through a non-threatening artistic presentation.

Each of the above consultation coordinators is selecting leaders pertaining to their conference theme and are mailing invitations to those individuals. GCOWE '97 is not seeking to have large numbers of participants but rather to bring together a manageable number of men and women who have demonstrated leadership in missions, have years of such experience and are in a position to mobilize hundreds of others when they return to their home countries. All participants are responsible to raise their own airfare and consultation costs. If you have questions, the GCOWE '97 registration address is: World Mission Centre, P.O. Box 11423, Columbia, SC 29211, USA. Email: WMCENTREUS@AOL.COM

An African Experience in World Evangelization

For years Africa has been seen as a mission field. However, with the expansion of the Church on the continent, Africa has become part of the mission force that will complete the task of world missions. We believe that GCOWE '97 will give momentum to this potential in Africa and that thousands of African missionaries will be activated to reach to the 10/40 window and the unreached peoples of the world. GCOWE '97 is the first time that a conference of such magnitude will be held in Africa!

On Saturday, July 5th, at the conclusion of the conference, a massive missions rally will take place in the city center of Pretoria. The theme of the rally will be "an African experience in world evangelization." Various South African organizations or entities will demonstrate what they are doing to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in Africa. A wide variety of Christian ministries which are involved in the reconstruction and development of South Africa will be displayed, e.g. ministries to the poor and needy, ministries involved in skills training, etc.

On the Sundays before and after GCOWE '97 (June 29th and July 6th), 1000 of the international leaders attending the conference will minister in various churches across South Africa - 500 leaders on the first Sunday and the other 500 on the second Sunday. This will introduce South African churches to contacts in various parts of the world and give them exposure to world missions.

The 67 South Africans attending GCOWE '95 saw the contribution of the Korean church and said, "We can do the same in Africa in 1997!" As you read about the goals and purposes of GCOWE '97 in this edition of Mission Frontiers, please be in prayer for this significant consultation. We have seen God move greatly in the past at AD2000 consultations. The first GCOWE consultation was held in Singapore in January 1989 with more than 300 participants from 50 countries. Momentum increased and GCOWE '95 brought together some 4000 Christian leaders from 186 countries of the world. Now as we head into GCOWE '97, the AD2000 Movement is in full implementation mode, and we know that this is the time the enemy would most try to stir us up and sidetrack us. Pray that the objectives stated in these articles would be realized. Pray for the anticipated 5000 mission leaders that will be in attendance. Pray that the right leaders will attend and that by attending each person will be making their unique contribution to a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000.

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