A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

AD 2000: Passing Fad or Enduring Movement?

World evangelization at the kickoff of a new decade? What is the AD 2000 movement really? Where is it headed? Jay Gary offered an editorial on the eve of the Lausanne II Congress. 

by Jay Gary, AD 2000 Monitor Editorial: June 1, 1989

World Evangelization by AD 2000. Each of us brings our own meaning to these words. To some it is a dream of grandiose proportions. Some see it as a fad that will bottom out, others see it as a trend that will catch on widely. To others, it’s about computer projections gone mad. And there are those who perceive it simply as the latest innovation from mission entrepreneurs who brought us church growth, unreached peoples, power evangelism, and non-residential missionaries.

None of these notions, of course, speaks to the heart of what “world evangelization by AD 2000” means. There is nothing magical about the year 2000. Most futurist have long since moved on past interest in the close of this century as any kind of terminus. But for a growing number of Christian activists, world evangelization by AD 2000 has suddenly become a reachable goal.

Since 1987, most of Christianity’s biggest denominations have proclaimed the years 1991-2000 to be dedicated to world outreach. The Assemblies of God term it the Decade of Harvest, the Roman Catholics call it the Decade of Worldwide Evangelization, the Anglican Communion refers to it as the Decade of Evangelism. Others call it a Decade of Decision, a Decade of Destiny, etc. Some groups such as Southern Baptist or giant mega ministries such as Campus Crusade refer to AD 2000 by program names such as Bold Mission Thrust or New Life 2000.

David Barrett, Anglican missions researcher, documents more than a third of Christianity’s global evangelization plans now carry AD 2000 target dates, with many of these plans emerging from the Third World. He refers to the emergence of this $40 billion dollar AD 2000 “mega-magnet” as one of 19 global trends which have emerged since 1980, and one which was completely unanticipated up until 1986.

What’s in a Name?
Often the name of something empowers it or disenfranchises it. When organizers of the 1989 Singapore Consultation on AD 2000 framed a title for their event, they consciously termed it the “Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond.” As far as that group was concerned, no prophetic significance needed to be attached to AD 2000, therefore the phrase “beyond.” They could just as easily have talked about a Global Consultation by 2003 and Beyond.

AD 2000 has bred images in some quarters of “skimming the globe to reach our own milestones” or of “leaders rallying towards their retirement.” Of course when the smoke clears, the thunder dies, and the screen pulls away, AD 2000 is none of these things. At least not yet!

Thirteen years ago when the early framers of AD 2000 programs set their sites on the turn of the century, they harmlessly meant “by the year 2000” to refer to giving every person on planet earth an opportunity to say “yes” to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They felt that if under the power of God the world could be evangelized by Dec. 31, 2000, then it would also have to be evangelized the day after that and the next year and the next generation.

So what does world evangelization by AD 2000 mean? To activists, the phrase refers to the importance of calling the church to world evangelization both as we approach and as we enter the 21st century. It is more than mere speculation.

AD 2000 also refers to a spontaneous movement of great commission leaders who are discovering others who are serious about cooperation. As each mission, confession, or country set their own year 2000 goals for world evangelization, potentially millions of Christians could work and pray with a common focus towards the turn of the century.

Clear thinking about AD 2000 is essential in order to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches today.

Share Button

Comments are closed.