20000702 Brigada Today

In this issue….

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WILL LAST WEEK’S ISSUE BECOME A COLLECTOR’S ITEM?

Brigada Logo :-) I doubt it. But if you were sharp, maybe you noticed it was dated June 29 which is a Thursday! Brigada Today issues have been dated with Friday dates (regardless of when they’re actually mailed :-) ) for … like… years. (Ever since one reader complained about the way the initial issue dates kept jumping around from one day to another!). So… with last week’s mistake, we wonder if the “2000/06/29” issue will become… a collector’s item??? :-) Maybe it’ll even double in price! :-)
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JUICY REPORT FROM AD2000 UNREACHED PEOPLES NETWORK

ad2ksm Whoa. Patrick Johnstone and John Robb must have sharpened their pencils prior to pulling together a candid (and sometimes stinging) assessment of the AD2000 & Beyond “Unreached Peoples Resource Network.” As they looked in the mirror of the past decade, they milked some pretty sacred cows. Read on if you’re interested.
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ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE AD2000 UNREACHED PEOPLES NETWORK

Some of the accomplishments they listed included…

  1. Hundreds of new networks focused on specific people groups
  2. Many of those people groups were adopted by Western churches
  3. New videos like “The Challenge of the Unfinished Task” were produced and distributed
  4. The Joshua Project 2000 list was created and distributed
  5. “The profile of URPs immeasurably raised to be the touch-stone of the unfinished task – what a change to 25 years ago.”
  6. A “large increase in national and regional research into the least reached in many, but sadly not all, countries.”

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ROBB & JOHNSTONE: “LESSONS LEARNED”

They also listed several “lessons learned”. (I’ve noticed that we use that term — “lessons learned” — when we sometimes mean “dropped balls.” :-) ) Here are a few summary excerpts…

  1. Difficulty finding the right leadership
  2. Difficulty coordinating across “tracks”
  3. “Brilliant and exhilarating leadership by the international office for the first 6-7 years of the movement, including encouraging annual progress meetings, gave way to a more uncertain (perhaps exhausted) stance as the year 2000 deadline neared and its commitment to go out of business loomed.”
  4. “On the research side, we had to go for a selected list to compile the JPL [Joshua Project List] which brought us into significant problems”
  5. Simplistic definitions of peoples and artificial divisions of the world into the 10/40 Window and non-10/40 Window countries led to over- response and seeming exclusion of vital countries
  6. “The Adopt-a-People program has not really taken off to the extent we hoped. Were we too optimistic about the enthusiasm we would find?”
  7. “The 10,000 population and 5% / 2% Christian / Evangelical helped us to make the JPL viable and was right for the resources and info then available, but it did create too much argument and dismay!”

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JOHNSTONE & ROBB: “RECOMMENDATIONS” FOR NEXT TIME

Finally, they offered several “recommendations for a new movement.” Here’s where, in parts, it gets rather “juicy.”

  1. Next time go with a more “complete list of peoples”
  2. Focus on the holistic mission rather than only church planting
  3. “The last 20 years has been a race to find the URPs and start ministry among them. The next 20 years will change the task from quantifying the task, to quality of ministry in the task.”
  4. Any future movement should be closely tied with Lausanne, WEF and the new Great Commission Roundtable, not an independent, autonomous effort which duplicates efforts and damages relationships among leaders as happened with the birth of the AD2000 Movement.”

I think it’s commendable that Brothers Johnstone and Robb were able to be so . . . frank. Perhaps it’s even more commendable that the report has been released directly by the AD2000 International Office — a tribute to the office’s willingness to subject itself to objective assessment. See the flashback below.

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FLASHBACK TO GCOWE ’95

gcowe95 There were times that I thought that AD2000 & Beyond would help us shape a global strategy. Now that we have the ability to look back, I guess I’d have to say that the skeleton was indeed there . . . but there were too many bones. :-) In other words, the task was, perhaps, just too overwhelming for any human staff, even if it’s headed by a Luis Bush!

I took a walk back memory lane and glanced at an item I wrote in the “26 of May, 1995” issue of Brigada Today. It was titled, “GCOWE 95 NOW HISTORY.” The item went like this: “They came together from all over the world — 186 nations to be exact. It was called the Global Consultation on World Evangelization — and global is right! Our count revealed 3293 delegates plus a total of 827 guests, intercessors, staff and volunteers resulted in 4120 individuals gathered for one and only one purpose — to glorify God and hasten the evangelization of the world in which we live. May 17-25 won’t be soon forgotten, whether in Korea or in parts far flung. What themes will be remembered???

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DOUG’S SUMMARY OF GCOWE ’95

Back in May ’95, I wrote… “Among the themes remembered will be …

  1. Reconciliation — Japanese with Koreans, Arabs with Jews, Russian Orthodox with evangelicals, denominations with other denominations.
  2. 10/40 Window — From the sermons and presentations to the planning and even the singing… we won’t forget the imaginary rectangle stretching from ten to forty degrees North of the equator, from West Africa to East Asia, where the greatest concentration of unevangelized people reside.
  3. Int’l participation — Not only were two-thirds of the participants from Africa, Latin America and Asia, but the majority of the consultation’s funding came from those nations as well. Western missionaries took notes as African, Asian and Latin American leaders presented their successful methodology. They had become full partners in the task.
  4. Prayer — At the great evangelical consultations (Lausanne I, Lausanne II in Manila, etc.), prayer has always been an ingredient. But some — even the “old-timers” — said they couldn’t remember a time when prayer permeated every component so thoroughly. Who can forget the Cities Track closing, where Viv Grigg organized separate, targeted prayer for each region being reported on? Who will ever forget the Concert of Prayer during the plenary? Prayer in the hallways, prayer in the national meetings, prayer here, prayer there…… prayer as a major weapon or tool in our confrontation with the enemy. It was clear that prayer had finally “arrived” — and was seen as a superior “weapon” in the international worker’s tool box, along with less powerful tactical strategies or scientific church growth approaches.
  5. Networking — Some said that the most valuable times came not during a main plenary session, or even the tracks, but rather in the hallways, over the dining tables, and on the buses, where international workers from around the world met up with mutually helpful contributors from continents around the globe.
  6. Promise — From all the media accounts and reports from the International Office, you’d think this would be the consultation to end all consultations! Well it just might be! As strategies are completed and partnerships gel, God just might raise up international forces that would reach parts of our world that have never been reached before.”

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THE PART WE LEFT OUT

I continued in that May ’95 item… “In the end, however, what was GCOWE 95 not about? From all appearances, it was not about a global plan. Perhaps it was never meant to be. At one point in the conference, I wrote, “Today, I’ve been sensing a special burden for the fact that there are only four days left of this conference. I’m only one participant — but as for this participant, I was very concerned about the fact that to me, it seemed we hadn’t been told exactly what part we were all supposed to play in this giant tapestry that is supposed to be called, the AD2000 & Beyond movement. In other words, how will we honestly pull it off…. the goal of “A Church for Every People, and the Gospel for Every Person by the year 2000.” I was feeling that there was no “global master plan.” I was feeling as if it was being left to chance. I was asking myself, “Can it be done by Dec. 31, 2000?” I was answering, “Unless someone spells out a strategy in the next four days, I’m not sure there would be any earthly means. It would be totally in God’s hands.” Then it occurred to me, maybe that’s exactly what the leaders of this conference want us to realize. They’re hoping we’ll take this goal and apply it to our own network, be it country-wide, region-wide, or wider. They’re hoping we’ll carry it to our ‘track’ — be it “Saturation Evangelism”, “Denominational Leaders”, or whatever. As a result, it feels…. less “organized.” (OM Director George Verwer says “Where two or three are gathered together, there you have a mess!”) It feels kind of as if we’re leaving something to chance. On the other hand, the AD2000 & Beyond movement’s leaders are probably asking themselves, “How can we presume to forge a global plan among so many varying participants?” And you know what? They’re probably right. Even if they tried… it probably would never work. Maybe the world is too complex to divide up into a mosaic of people groups and expect various parts to “claim” various segments of the tapestry. Maybe it won’t feel as tidy — but maybe it’s for the best. ……… And, after all is said and done, maybe they’re thinking that we toss out the bold goal that would be impossible through man’s efforts — then we all go to our knees knowing that it all depends on God. If God accomplishes it, we will celebrate. But even if He doesn’t, we will still have formed a church that looks more like his prayer in John 17. And maybe that, in and of itself, is worth all the energy invested!”
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WAS AD2000 WORTH THE EFFORT?

I doubt that anyone would answer “Naaahhhhh.” :-) Too many good things have come out of it. If you don’t believe that, look at the latest copy of Mission Frontiers. (It’s on the web at http://www.missionfrontiers.org. Click on the “read latest issue” button and check out the “free charts and maps” link near the bottom. You’ll be amazed at what you can see in PDF format!) But Robb and Johnstone certainly help us see the past decade in perspective. I’m afraid some will say, “We told you so.” Me? I guess I tend to side with those who would say, “I like AD2000’s way of doing world evangelism better than others’ way of not doing it!” :-) Because however it all shakes out, lots of Great Commission Christians prayed for and met lots of previously untold people. As for me . . . I like that. :-)
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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITE?

WebWatch Patrick Johnstone is at this time working diligently on the 6th edition of Operation World. Michael Jaffarian, a missionary researcher with CBInternational (formerly Cons. Baptist For. Miss. Soc.), is helping him with a few things. One of them is a new feature for this edition: an appendix of websites that Operation World readers might find useful as they seek to learn about, pray for, and evangelize, the nations and peoples of the world. So what websites should be included? Please send any and all ideas to Michael MichaelDawnaatcompuservedotcom  (MichaelDawnaatcompuservedotcom)  . He is interested in secular, religious, Christian, and missions sites, in informational, denominational, and organizational sites, and especially in websites that are specific to individual countries – he hopes to list helpful sites for nearly every country in the world. Send they his way and we’ll try to get the final list here at Brigada Today so you can “click and go” instead of having to type them all in from the book. What do you say, Michael? :-)
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NEED TO EXCHANGE MONEY? TRY PAYPAL

Paypal logo My son recently wanted to purchase some soccer “collectors’ cards” (like the baseball cards of old) and in the process, I learned about PayPal. You can sign up for free, send money for free, request money and even receive money from other PayPal clients — all for free! I registered and paid the guy — and it worked like a charm. You can even do electronic funds transfers to your bank account… and withdrawals . . . all for free. I’m thinking… this would be a terrific way to arrange a “low-tech” electronic payment setup for missions support. Businesses are supposed to pay a 1.9% commission, but I’m presuming that non-profits would be considered “non-business” customers… and I know individuals are okay — for free. Your account is insured up to $100,000 and you even get a $5 sign up and referral bonus, if you convince others to join. There’s email-based customer service — and they even answer! :-) So like they say, you could use PayPal.com to settle restaurant tabs with colleagues, pay friends for movie tickets, or buy a baseball card at an online auction – all with the click of a mouse! PayPal charges the money to an existing credit card or bank account. It’s faster, safer and easier than mailing a personal check. As soon as you sign up, register your credit card and verify a bank account (small fee), PayPal will automatically send you $5! Signing up is quick, easy and you can download the money to your bank account at any time. No strings attached. So if you need a quick and easy electronic payment approach, try it — you just might like it. And if you’re going to try it anyway, why not click on the link below to sign up and see for yourself. Yup — it’s supposed to credit our Brigada account with $5 … but would you believe I would have recommended it anyway? (Okay — so I’ll admit — the $5 would be nice. :-) But I’m serious — it’s a great service for free.)

https://secure.paypal.com/refer/pal=DLucas%40TeamExpansion.org

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