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The Early History of AD 2000

Long into the 21st century, church historians, missiologists and graduate students will look back to the late 20th century to understand the roots of a movement to evangelize the world by 2000.

Here are some lines of inquiry for future researchers in interpreting the innovations which GCOWE 2000 pioneered.

  • Global Planning in Evangelization.
  • Cooperation in Evangelization: regional, global, ecumenical.
  • Missions Research and Monitoring Evangelization.
  • The Use of Evangelical Watchwords.
  • The Unfinished Task of World Evangelization.
  • The Early History and Leaders of the AD 2000 movement.
  • Millennial influences on Evangelical movements.
  • The “Fin de Siecle” of the ’80s and ’90s.
  • Psychology of Mission Interpretation.

Any student of world evangelization by the year 2000 should be familiar with a short list of books which shaped the main frame of the AD 2000 movement. Some where influential in creating the movement, others raised cautions–which went unheeded.

Barrett, David & James Reapsome.
Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World:
The rise of a global movement.
Birmingham, AL: New Hope, 1989. 123 pp., $7.95
–How have the 700 plans to evangelize the world, launched since Jesus’ day, succeeded or failed? The original research behind the AD 2000 movement. IBSN: 0-936625-55-4.

Barrett, David & Todd Johnson.
Our Globe and How to Reach It:
Seeing the world evangelized by AD 2000 and Beyond.
Birmingham, AL: New Hope, 1990. 136 pp., $7.95
–Looks at the AD 2000 race to fulfill the Great Commission through starting-line statistics, finish-line goals and a 100-point action plan. Authoritative and indispensable! ISBN: 0-936625-92-9.

Bush, Luis.
AD 2000 and Beyond Handbook, 3rd. ed.,
Colorado Spgs: AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, 1993. 75 pp.
–This is an in-house manual covering the scope, structure and goals of this conservative evangelical movement. It lists who belongs to the network, its consultations, and aims for the decade of evangelism.

Bush, Luis, Jay Gary & Mike Roberts.
Toward AD 2000 and Beyond:
A reader.
GCOWE 2000, 1989. 42 pp.
–This was the pre-consultation reader for GCOWE 2000 in 1989, containing 18 articles. It led off with Thomas Wang’s influential 1987 magazine article, “By the Year 2000: Is God Trying to Tell Us Something?”

Gary, Jay & Olgy, ed.
The Countdown Has Begun:
The story of a global consultation.
Rockville, VA: AD 2000 Global Service Office, 1989. 252 pp., $8.95
–In a journalistic style, this book tells how Christian leaders joined hands to touch the world for Christ by AD 2000. Includes the addresses and documents of GCOWE 2000, “the meeting of the century” in 1989.

Johnson, Todd.
Countdown to 1900:
World evangelization at the end of the nineteenth century.
Birmingham, AL: New Hope, 1988. 73 pp. $7.95
–Documents the rise, peak and decline of a generation to reach the world for Christ by 1900. Understand their story and unlock yours. ISBN: 0-936625-69-4.

Montgomery, Jim.
DAWN 2000:
Seven million churches to go.
Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1989. 230 pp.
–Describes the personal story of the “Discipling a Whole Nation Movement” developed in the Philippines, a church planting movement which forms much of the national backbone of the AD 2000 movement in 50 countries around the world. IBSN: 0-87808-220-4.

Synan, Vinson and Ralph Rath, ed.
Launching the Decade of Evangelization.
South Bend, IN: North American Renewal Service Committee, 1990.
–Shares the unprecedented cooperation among Charismatic Christians to evangelize the world by 2000. 163 pp., n.p.

Wang, Thomas, ed.
Countdown to AD 2000.
Pasadena: AD2000 Movement, Inc. 1989. 236 pp.
–This compendium was published as an international record of what happened at GCOWE 2000 in 1989. ISBN: 0-87808-223-9.

Bush, L. K. (2006).
Catalysts of world evangelization.
(Vol. 4). Missiological Classics Series. Bangalore: Centre for Contemporary Christianity.
–This publication from India contains Luis Bush’s 2002 doctoral dissertation from Fuller Theological Seminary, which sought to generalize the AD 2000 experience into principles.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Jay Gary on the history of the AD 2000 movement, contact Bimillennial Press. In April 2007, Wheaton’s Billy Graham Center Archives received the files of Dr. Gary on AD 2000, primarily from 1988 to 1990.

[Note: as of 2012, Doug Birdsall completed a PhD dissertation on the 1990s history of the Lausanne Movement, World Evangelical Alliance and the AD 2000 & Beyond Movement]

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