Saturday, March 24, 2007

A church for Every People and the Gospel for Every Person

According to AD2000 and Beyond:

"The Great Commission is a two-fold command. In Matthew 28:19,20 Jesus commands us to 'Go and make disciples of all nations (peoples)'. The focus is to establish disciples in mature fellowships among every people group. In Mark 16:15 Jesus gave the task of preaching the gospel to every person. The focus here is to present the Gospel to every individual. The watchword of 'a church for every people and the Gospel for every person' sums up this two-fold command."

The Joshua Project list of 'least reached peoples' was developed as a tool for measurement and mobilization. It establishes those peoples over 10,000 in number, and below 2% Evangelical or 5% Christian adherents, as most likely to need a church planting initiative. Approximately 1600 least reached peoples fit these criteria. The Joshua Project list has helped draw the attention of the Church to the neediest, most ignored, least resourced, and most challenging part of the unfinished task of world evangelization.

Praying Through the (10/40) Window initiatives were followed by specific commitments of church planting agencies to focus ministry on these peoples. Over the years the list became shorter, and at Amsterdam 2000 this year all the remaining peoples were embraced. About 99% of the world's population live in a people group that has a commitment for church planting team in the near future.

The vision is for a mission-minded church within every people. A goal was established as a basic minimum of a vital, witnessing congregation of at least 100 individuals within each people group. There are reports of such congregations in nearly 1/3 of the Joshua Project peoples.

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