GCOWE 97 Advances A Church For Every People

By Luis Bush

During GCOWE 97 a list was unveiled of 579 ethno-linguistic peoples from the original Joshua Project 2000 list of 1739, who did not have a reported church planting effort underway. As a result of GCOWE 97, of the 579, only 172 remain unclaimed for any kind of commitment to church planting by December 31, 2000. This came after pledges made at GCOWE 97 by: 1) the African national initiative leaders who committed to church planting and 2) the mission executives who committed to encourage their mission agencies to church planting.

The list of the 172 peoples

Please pray for these 172 unclaimed peoples listed below, that mission agencies, churches and individuals around the world will be raised up to send and support a church planting team to be operative by December 31, 2000.

As of June 1997, AD2000 data reflected that, of the original Joshua Project 2000 list, 579 of the 1739 peoples were without a reported mission agency church planting effort in their midst. AD2000 data was based on the results of a survey conducted over the year ending June 1997, resulting in the submission of more than 25,000 pieces of information received from over 450 distinct mission organizations from over 80 countries.

This is an incomplete and an imperfect picture! However, it is a starting point toward ensuring that there is a church planting effort targeting the least reached peoples. The selected list of unreached peoples called "the Joshua Project 2000 list" includes those more than 10,000 individuals with less than 5% evangelical and 2% Christian. Several groups have smaller than 10,000 and others which exceed the percentages. As new information becomes available the list is being updated.

This in no way implies that these peoples have been reached or that the task is even close to being "done" among these peoples. From the beginning of the launch of the Joshua Project 2000 in December 1995, the goal has been to see, at a minimum, a church planting team and a church planting effort resulting in a life-giving church of at least 100 believers in one or more reproducing fellowships among every people on the Joshua Project 2000 list. This does not mean that the AD2000 & Beyond Movement is responsible for this progress. However, we can praise God that we are nearer to reaching that objective than imagined less than two years ago. Let us pray and work together to the end that there can be a church for every ethno-linguistic people by the year 2000. It can be done, it ought to be done, it must be done -- with your help.

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