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Has the Window of Opportunity Closed for 2000?

While mission leaders hear encouraging trends in Third-World missions, few reports at the GCOWE’95 Congress of Evangelicals dealt with the diminishing chances to reach the world for Christ by 2000, claims Jay Gary.

Due to unresolved issues, the Global Consultation on AD 2000 in 1989 ended expectantly. Rather than create an “AD 2000” global task force, the steering committee unexpectedly resigned, convinced that the Holy Spirit would foster an AD 2000 movement in some other way.

The kernel which died and was buried soon began to bear fruit, through multiple off-shoots.

A simple “AD 2000 Global Service Office” was formed by an ad-hoc group from the consultation to keep the network active until later that year. By the Spring of 1989 an “AD 2000 Monitor” trend letter was started by Jay Gary to track and evaluate new developments.

By summer of ’89, Thomas Wang raised the sail of the “AD 2000 & Beyond Movement” at the Second International Congress of the Lausanne Movement.

By fall, David Barrett and Todd Johnson had formed the “AD 2000 Global Evangelization Movement” to forward work on the Global Action Plan they brought to GCOWE 2000.

It is the second off-shoot of GCOWE 2000, the “AD 2000 & Beyond” movement led by Thomas Wang and Luis Bush which spread widely among conservative evangelicals. By the summer of 1990 they announced a plan to hold a “GCOWE ’95,” a mid-decade global strategy check-up.

This notion for mid-decade Congress had its roots back in 1988 with the assumption that a mere “window of time” existed until 1994, or 1995 at best “before there might be global collapse of hope” that the task could be completed by 2000. This “window of opportunity” concept, first expressed by Ralph Winter, is a common idea in the secular marketplace. Consider the following quote by Nicandros, President of Conoco:

The competitive marketplace is strewn with good ideas whose time came and went because inadequate attention was given to moving rapidly and hitting an open window or opportunity. The same marketplace is strewn with the broken glass of windows of opportunity hit after they were being slammed shut.

Is the window of opportunity still open to fulfill the double goal of the “AD 2000 & Beyond” movement by the year 2000? Knowledgeable researchers and Christian statesmen like Dr. John R. Stott, say “No.” Some AD 2000 enthusiasts, though, continue to bubble with optimism.

While GCOWE ’95 delegates heard encouraging trends in Third-World missions and national iniativies, few reports at this global congress of evangelicals dealt with the diminishing chances to reach the world for Christ by 2000.

This series of articles in this GCOWE ’95 Commentary web section deal with this subject. They were distributed by Bimillennial Press from the fall of 1994 to 1995 to coincide with the GCOWE ’95 Congress.

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