Summary Report: Interactive Task Force
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 Interactive Task Force
prepared by Pete Holzmann, Global Coordinator of International
Christian Technologists' Association. Please be encouraged by this
good report! The Lord has greatly used this Task Force over many
years and with the cooperation of many worldwide. Great appreciation
and praises to God for Pete - and many others involved!
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 email@example.com 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!
AD2000 & Beyond Movement
AD2000 Interactive Task Force
The AD2000 Interactive Task Force (ITF) emerged in early 1995 from the
cooperative and collaborative nature of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement.
AD2000 leadership recognized that to cooperate effectively, leaders at
all levels from global to local praying churches, need timely
communication tools. Such tools would help them interact, working
together on a daily basis to avoid redundant efforts, share vision,
status and strategies, and work through current issues.
We also saw that traditional methods, such as postal mail, telephone,
and fax, while fine for one-on-one communication, become expensive
and inadequate to support frequent interaction among groups of
leaders. New electronic communication tools were seen as effective
for meeting the need in many parts of the world.
At the ITF launch, many significant challenges were recognized. ITF
was formed to bring some of the most quickly changing business tools
into global mission: the World-Wide Web barely existed back then!
Many leaders had no reliable telephone service, nor access to
commercial e-mail. Most leaders had little understanding of the new
tools. Many were culturally constrained, finding it difficult to
understand and deal with the new "cyber world"-not so much in the
technical sense as from a spiritual, cultural and interpersonal
With that context in mind, ITF was launched, with the aggressive goal
of ensuring that key leaders, no matter where in the world they are
located, are able to effectively communicate with each other and with
other supporting networks. At ITF's core was the team responsible for
creating the MAFxc communication network, most visibly known for
making possible the Brigada online mission discussions.
What God Did
As with secular "digital world" initiatives today, God accomplished
ITF's work in the 1990's through strategic partnerships and informal
relationships. In a climate of rapid change, we had very little of
our own infrastructure, instead depending on influential
relationships with other initiatives around the world (which were
also experiencing rapid change).
As with other AD2000 initiatives, ITF's impact can be viewed as a
rapidly climbing curve over time, especially as we enter the 21st
century. We celebrate with appreciation what God has already done,
- Gained a solid understanding of mission leaders' communication
capabilities and needs.
- Partnered with MAFxc and later eGroups.com in serving over 200,000
mission-involved believers through low or no-cost email discussions,
developing-world access to email, and web workgroup tools. These
services are used by a number of AD2000 initiatives.
- Started the International Christian Technologists' Association
(ICTA), with representatives serving global and national AD2000
initiatives in eight nations, and now working to multiply that effort
through linkage with other initiatives mobilizing human, financial,
technology, and prayer resources for the Kingdom.
- Partnered with our Singapore team and the Gospel Communications
Network (GospelCom.net) to provide no-charge web sites for a number
of AD2000 (and other) mission initiatives with servers in North
America and Southeast Asia. (In mid-2000 the global expansion
continues, with a new India-based hub.)
- Published an informative video and educational technology
newsletter for mission leaders, including a comprehensive series of
mission executive-oriented articles on effective use of email.
- Helped major donors better understand the need for resourcing
mission technology infrastructure, through a Briefing on Technology
and the Global Mission of the Church, accompanied by a process that
highlighted over 350 mission-technology initiatives from 43 nations.
These initiatives continue, with another Briefing in September 2000,
and ongoing development of a permanent global
information/relationship bridge between resources and ministry to be
announced this year.
ITF fully or partially met its specific National Initiative and
Joshua Project 2000 service goals. Some highlights:
A comprehensive survey of 300 [AD2000 National leader's] status
with respect to communication resources: over 1000 leaders were
Partner to provide E-mail access in 3 new remote areas
per month: By 1999, ITF partner MAF was serving over 3,000
missionaries in 21 remote areas.
[Quickly fulfill].e-mail discussion conference needs: ITF staff set
up and managed over 70 e-mail discussion areas. By late 1999, the
process was simplified so many leaders could do it themselves at no
Identify 14 ITF regional coordinators.and [hundreds of]
associates.to assist key leaders internationally: four regions have
been covered; over 650 volunteers have enlisted.
Ensure JP2000 list is available electronically: we provided some
assistance to AD2000 staff who did this.
Maximize cooperation.through electronic publication[s].and e-mail
conferences: ITF volunteers assisted with e-mail conference setup;
AD2000 staff, partners at GMI, Caleb project, and ITF volunteers
electronically published much information.
Ensure all people profiles can be accessed on-line: accomplished by
a number of groups.
Ensure timely prayer information is made available: general prayer
profiles are available (see above). However, our partnership with the
World Prayer Center (Colo Spgs) has not yet resulted in the
envisioned dynamic electronic prayer information network.
Administer private e-mail conferences for church planting strategy
teams: the Network for Strategic Missions has created a number of
these; ITF has assisted with security information.
Along the way, several insights radically changed the focus of ITF
- Applying professional/technical skills in mission is a new idea for
most (other than in medical and educational fields). Both ministries
and skilled professionals need education and time to become
comfortable with this concept.
- Professionals (especially in technology) need much time to build
relationships. Unlike other ministry-involved people, busy
professionals don't easily gravitate toward ministry
- All the resources of the Body (capital, skills, technology, prayer,
etc) have similar needs and issues for connecting with ministry. It
makes sense to combine efforts to link all Christian resources and
strategic global ministry.
- Resource providers and ministry have vastly different perspectives.
Bridging these cultures is far more difficult than we first
understood. They have different views on many things, e.g.: action
vs. reflection, view of resources (limited vs. unlimited),
institutional vs. entrepreneurial mindset, differing ways of
evaluating "effectiveness," and much more.
- Long-term measurable goals are of little use in a rapid-change
context. ITF was formed as the World-Wide Web was in its infancy. Who
could have predicted the rapid global penetration of the Web to its
current size and societally-integrated nature? (Free Web access is
trumpeted in Mumbai; low-cost web access is expected in rural India
within 1-2 years!)
20/20 Hindsight: If We Could Start Over.
In retrospect, it is not clear that we should have (or could have)
known in advance most of the important lessons listed above. In that
sense, there is very little we would do differently the next time.
This was a learning process in the midst of the high technology
paradigm: the most rapidly changing arena in history.
ITF has been subject to far more rapid change than the overall AD2000
movement, even though the rest of the movement has encouraged a
dynamic, entrepreneurial, momentum-building environment. We should
have better prepared ourselves and other AD2000 leaders for the
effects of this difference.
- Some have been surprised by the "low mass" (small staff) of AD2000.
We should have anticipated that ITF would function as an almost
invisible, completely "virtual organization," largely accomplishing
its goals through partner efforts.
- AD2000 encourages experimentation. ITF has pioneered an ongoing
series of experiments, some successful and many educational
"failures." We should have warned others to expect such results. High
tech investors are happy with 80 percent failure in their best
- Personally, this has been a rewarding yet often-difficult time of
change and growth. If I had known in advance more about the
competencies needed to be effective over the last five years, I could
have possibly obtained more specific preparatory education. I'm still
learning what it means to be a faceless servant leader, and can only
praise God for His graciousness in allowing me to serve Him.
Recommendations For the Future
The efforts of the Interactive Task Force are not coming to a close
in 2000; instead, our efforts are rapidly expanding as we enter the
new millennium. The following high-level recommendations inform our
own future efforts as much as they are offered as suggestions for
future mission movements:
- The Digital World is quite different from what we have known
before, in many deeply significant ways, yet it is now an essential
element of culture in many parts of the world. Future evangelical
movements would be well served to reflect on its implications for the
Harvest Force and the Harvest Field, such as the changing nature of
sharing, selfishness, scarcity, boundaries, community, and
- AD2000 (like other modern evangelical movements) functions
effectively in two dimensions: a topical orientation and a
geo-cultural orientation, with the latter being the primary focus. We
recommend integration of a third dimension in the future: resources
represented by the whole body of Christ. This third dimension should
see itself as supporting the other two in accomplishing the overall
goal. A simultaneous cautionary note: the Task of the Great
Commission cannot be accomplished without the resources of the whole
Church, yet too many resources can do as much harm as too few.
- Information is the lifeblood of any relationship. Paralleling
recent developments in secular industry, future mission movements
should act on the understanding that global information management
and networking is as important as any other resource for the Task.
Perhaps a network "CIO" position would make sense.
- Certain information elements are critical to every type of ministry
initiative, including lists that categorize different elements of
mission (e.g. geo-cultural, topical, and resource foci) as well as
summary research covering the status of the Task (Harvest Force,
Harvest Field, Harvest Yield.) We urge future mission movements to
support the ongoing development of innovative structures that allow
such information to be managed globally on behalf of the whole body
of Christ. This must be done in a very neutral way, with mature
global oversight from all three (resource, topical, geo-cultural)
dimensions. New "business-to-business" technologies may be of great
assistance in such efforts to accelerate the task of providing a
church for every people and the gospel for every person.
In His care and joyful service,
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