In this issue….

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A PROPOSAL FOR BRIGADA

(Version 1.0) A Networking Tool for Discovering & Tracking the Information, People and Resources on behalf of The United Prayer Track of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, John Robb, the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, and Viv Grigg & the Least Evangelized Cities Track, AD2000

 NOTE: This is a proposal only. It is being distributed to a very small group of people to ascertain input and advice.

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THE BACKDROP

All around the world, Christians are rising up side by side to pray like never before that God would bring salvation to the ends of the earth. God is clearly bringing together a unique array of people, tools, groups and movements so that all might come to know Him.

One such movement of prayer is the United Prayer Track of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement. Composed of dozens of prayer networks in literally dozens of nations throughout the world, the Prayer Track has displayed an ongoing ability to creatively mobilize prayer for the unreached through the World. The “Praying through the Window” campaign held during October of 1993 brought together over 20 million Christians in 105 nations to pray for 62 nations in the 10/40 Window. Some 256 intercessory prayer teams prayed on- site in these nations. The result was probably the largest global prayer initiative in the church’s history.

During 1995, the United Prayer Track is asking Christians everywhere to pray for The 100 Gateway Cities during a follow-up campaign being referred to as “Praying through the Window II.” These 100 cities, scattered throughout 64 countries in the 10/40 Window, represent spiritual, political, and economic centers in their respective countries. Most are mega-cities with populations over 100 million and capitals of their respective countries or provinces. Represented also are the centers of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Sikhism, and Taoism — religions which dominate this unreached region and hinder the growth of Christianity. Over 30 million Christians world- wide are expected to participate in the prayer focus this coming October.

(Several tools are available to help groups, agencies, and churches mobilize their membership for prayer, including everything from a simple list of the cities to books and videos describing them in greater detail. For more information about the 100 Gateway Cities and Praying through the Window II, contact Beverly Pegues at 719-522-1040.)

Meanwhile, throughout the past decade, John Robb has been researching, traveling, and writing about the manner in which strategizing along ethno-linguistic lines can give clearer focus to evangelizing the unreached. John is Coordinator of AD2000 & Beyond’s Unreached People Track. His book, Focus: the Power of People-Group Thinking, has been used by Christians everywhere to clarify and model strategic outreach in mission. Most recently, John has found himself at the forefront of helping consolidate a carefully compiled list of the world’s most unevangelized people groups. By working through church leaders, John hopes to facilitate the on-going ‘adoption’ of portions of this list so that all may come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

Bringing scientific and administrative genius to this purpose is the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Originally organized by top missions leaders at the US Center for World Missions in Pasadena, CA, the AAP Clearinghouse has as its sole goal the furthering of the world missions task by facilitating the creation and nurturing of strategic ‘adoptions’ of unreached peoples around the world. To accomplish this goal, the Clearinghouse has, down through the years, developed helpful films, books, unreached people profiles, and other resources and made them available to Christians throughout the globe.

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THE NEED

To help bring these streams into one easy flow for churches and agencies everywhere, we now propose the formation of a new networking tool to be known simply as, Brigada. In 1942, Stalin, then leader of what used to be the USSR, banished some 200,000 Crimean Tatars from their home on the Black Sea. They were not permitted to return to their homeland en masse until the early nineties, when the Soviet Union broke apart. Unfortunately, since their homes had been confiscated by others, the Crimean Tatars were forced to rebuild entire settlements during the cold winters of 1990 and 1991. While living in Crimea, we saw, at times, literally dozens of Crimean Tatar families working together in ‘brigadas’ (brigades), helping one another build homes in rapid fashion. They found, through experience, that working together produces synergy, i.e., the output is greater than the sum of the inputs. As Bill Taylor writes in Kingdom Partnerships, “… One draft horse can pull four tons. If you harnessed two draft horses together, they can pull twenty-two tons.” We need just this kind of ‘brigada‘ and just this kind of synergy!

As some have asked, will the momentum for The 100 Gateway Cities stop after October? Some say no and insist that God will empower Christians everywhere to take action and begin making a difference in these cities. Mark Wilson, one of the coordinators for “Praying through the Window II,” is interested in helping aid God’s people in the mobilization process. In a phone interview on January 10, Mark told of his hopes that the October prayer emphasis would become a launching pad for world outreach. “We want to make sure that October does not become an end in itself. We need some kind of vehicle that will allow the momentum to continue.”

For his part, John Robb is interested in all the help he can get in promoting the targeting of the list of the least evangelized unreached peoples that he and others are preparing. These opportunities need to be distributed by every means possible, especially during the coming months when the people groups that live within The 100 Gateway Cities can be receiving primary emphasis.

And what about the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse? Its challenge, as always, is to publish far and near the possibilities and potentials. The Clearinghouse can offer literally thousands of pages of research as well as a well- established membership of agencies and groups which desperately want to get the word out about the unfinished task. The most important priority is making sure those profiles are used by people who want to take action… and action is what Brigada would be all about.

Throughout the past decade, God has been quietly at work, convicting His church of this incomplete work. If He indeed does continue to raise up new movements of believers from nations around the world and if churches, groups of churches and agencies continue to rise up in their quest to make a difference in these cities and ethnolinguistic groups, how will they communicate with one another to avoid needless duplication? How will the “lessons learned” be shared with one another?

And suppose on opposite ends of the globe, there are Christians of varying colors who would be open to cooperate together in the common task of reaching a particular city or group for Christ. What process will serve to bring them together to work in concert? How will they come to know each other and to learn of one another’s respective gifts, skills, and available resources?

Global consultations, such as the one being planned in Korea in May, will make a tremendous impact on the creation of global partnerships and networks. Face to face meetings such as these are obviously the ideal for creating partnerships. But once the initial adoption and/or agreement is formed, how can that new network be fueled with additional resources of prayer, personnel, finances, ideas, and case studies? It goes without saying that none of us can afford to put together global conferences on a monthly basis. Not only would such conferences be expensive for the evangelical community, but in addition, to maximize effectiveness, these networks need specialized and focused on-going planning and evaluation for a specific strategy target city or group. What kind of catalyst can facilitate this on-going process?

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A POSSIBLE SOLUTION

On a monthly basis, thousands of additional individuals around the world are gaining access to what amounts to a global communications network, commonly referred to as the Internet. Through simple and low cost technology, computerized versions of letters and files can be virtually “mailed” to another site halfway around the globe for a mere fraction of the cost it would take to fax or air mail the same information. Further more, the information at the destination site is available within a few hours, in most cases, and in some cases, it is available almost instantly.

These electronic mail networks can also assist us with our problem of time zones. Believers in Korea can post messages during their normal work day, having been assured that those on the other side of the world will read those messages when they awake the next morning, at a time that is more convenient for them and their work schedules. Further more, if these news bits are polled together into a digest format newsletter, that same newsletter can be “broadcast” over the Internet to thousands of electronic mail addresses in practically the same amount of time it previously took to send one single fax.

The technology is available today, and thanks to the kind hearts at the “CrossConnect,” Project, it is available at a very reasonable cost.

What’s more, many of those without access to electronic mail (a diminishing number each month) at least have a fax machine at some business or office nearby. By creating relaying agents in key cities who will receive information via email then forward it to local fax numbers, we can wed new technology with ‘old’ technology and distribute news all the more widely.

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THE SUGGESTED FORMAT

We propose to create a series of “electronic newsletters,” available to anyone with an Internet connection (including those with compuserve, America Online, Delphi, etc.), and, via Relay Agents, to faxes. We would start with one simple newsletter, which would, as a minimum, carry news about mobilization for the 100 Gateway cities and the people groups that live in them. Those wishing to subscribe would simply send a subscription request to the CrossConnect main frame computer. In an automated process, the individual’s name and e-mail address would be added to the subscription list. At the same time, those with news or resources would mail them via e-mail to a compiler or editor who would create the digest mentioned above and send it to a very special password protected address at the CrossConnect system. The CrossConnect computer, acting as a “list server” would then automatically broadcast this newsletter to the subscription list.

Obviously, since some of the cities lie in restricted (or creative) access countries, the editor will need to be very sensitive to the kind of information allowed to go out through the newsletter. As a result, we propose special training and protocol for this role.

Once the momentum for the project grows, we anticipate the need for branching out into regional (geographic) newsletters and perhaps someday, a unique electronic newsletter for each of The 100 Gateway Cities and/or for each major block of unreached peoples. (Decisions regarding future expansion would best be left for the future, once we have an established user base.)

At the same time, some areas of interest will carry across several or many of the cities and their respective networks. For example, sometime in the future we might come to the point where we create a special newsletter specifically for those who are using a specific strategy, tool, or approach among a target groups or groups. This might include those who are using the Jesus Film, those who do Bible translation, those who operate medical clinics, and/or many other possibilities (again, depending on the user base). Thus, there probably be a need for “vertical partnership newsletters” (dealing with specific cities or groups) and “horizontal partnership newsletters” (dealing with approaches or tools).

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IMPLEMENTATION

Doug Lucas is willing to serve as a facilitator to launch and oversee the formation of the Brigada project (but would also welcome God leading someone else to take the initiative — we just want to see the project go forward). We would ask Pete Holzman and Jonathan Marsden to oversee the technology area. We propose that Doug would be accountable to a steering committee composed of John Robb, Mark Wilson, Pete Holzman (or Jonathan), Viv Grigg and Terry Reilly, with John serving as Chairman. Doug would submit progress report summaries on a mutually agreed upon basis, as John and the steering committee desires. Doug would seek volunteer or seconded staffing for all other necessary responsibilities, including:
  • editor compiler for each electronic newsletter
  • marketing/promotion coordinators
  • “help line” volunteers to help users answer questions regarding how to subscribe and/or unsubscribe, as well as answer other “user support” questions (to help keep the load off of Pete and the staff at CrossConnect)
  • “reporters” who will seek information items for each particular newsletter
  • “agency, church, and group contact personnel” who will, on a regular basis, submit items from sources they represent

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SUGGESTED TIME LINE

If God permits, we propose the following:
  • Plan submitted by January 25, 1995
  • Plan reviewed and approved, with any necessary changes by Feb. 1, 1995
  • Detailed technology design in place by February 7, 1995
  • Phase one (initial Gateway cities newsletter/list server) ready for action by Feb. 15, 1995
  • Pilot issue(s) for experimental use throughout March
  • Premier issue on April 2 after two weeks of evaluation
  • Other phases and growth as evaluation and technology permits

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REQUEST FOR INPUT

Responses to this proposal may be sent to: Doug Lucas DLucas@TeamExpansion.org …. For the project to succeed, many skilled volunteers with a heart for missions will be needed on a regular basis. Volunteers or suggestions for volunteers can also be sent to the address above.
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INPUT FROM PATRICK JOHNSTONE

The following was rec’d from Patrick Johnstone, author of Op. World We’d better take his messages to heart…….

Dear Doug,

Thank you for your proposal. I wish I had time to give a full evaluation of your proposal, but I am in the misdt of getting married – on Sat. and this will be followed by a honeymoon and I will be off the air for a month!

I have your letter, and also a copy sent to me by John Robb, and I also have Bob QWaymire’s rely to you.

The facts:

  1. A rising tide of interest in prayer for world evangelization globally. PTL.
  2. Dissemination of key prayer information is a major bottleneck – both in the mechanics of production and transmission of that information.
  3. To use electronic networks is a real option (of a number) We should develop a workable system, and maybe your proposal could lead to that.

The problems

  1. The number of glowing proposals for Christians getting together which fail is high – probably not far short of 100% from my limited experience. The eager beavers who are E-mail literate don’t realize how complex and time-consuming learning and operating the system actually is. Then the E-mail literates are rarely the missiologists, practitioners and front-liners who have the knowledge, but not the time, security systems, or computer familiarity to make it work.
  2. I receive one broadcast mailing of prayer requests from a brother serving in Belgium. He sends out a monthly list. I cannot use it – I don’t have the time to both read it and also incorporate those prayer requests into my prayer life, for they are not within my responsibility. I have to wipe it off my system after a glance. I do not see that any system that tries to collect, collate and disseminate info – even on the 100 Gateway Cities and 130 Gateway Peoples (for a start) can work. The burden on all will bring it rapidly to the point of overload.
  3. Security is still, for me, a jungle. Am I prepared to make the effort to have so many secure systems in operation. Who services and even copes with the multiplicity of passwords and software packages? Yet security is vital – especially on Internet.

Suggestions

  1. The multiplicity of Forums and Special Interest Groups on the various networks indicates that specialization is the ONLY way. This is not something that can later emerge – as you imply in your proposal, but should be part of the design from the beginning. My original concept for URPs was for a disseminated network of intercessor groups which are self-serving. No one center (AAPC, or whatever] can cope with all the info. I would see Brigada to be more effective as a network of networks. The key role would not be to collect or provide information, but information of networks that do provide this. To provide a monthly update of existing prayer/information networks and their E-mail addresses could be a vital service, and this service could also monitor the activeness of networks and ensure that momentum is maintained if one hub for the special interest group fails.
  2. Security would best be handled at the SIG level, and not from the co-ordinating center. You could not do this.
  3. The fewer people you need to service the system and the lower the cost of operation the more likely it is to succeed. I think your present plans are almost certain to founder on the lack of the right personnel and adequate finance.

May the Lord Jesus guide you!

In Him,
Patrick.

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INPUT FROM DAN SCRIBNER AT AD2000

Just rec’d this from Dan at AD2000 & Beyond’s Int’l Office in Colorado…

Dear Doug

Warmest greetings in the Lord. Brigida sounds like a wonderful plan. I hope AD2000 can contribute / assist in any way possible. At the moment we are up to our ears in aligators planning the GCOWE conference in May. We only have about a dozen staff here in the International Office.

Please keep me in the loop of communications regarding this and if there are any specific AD2000 related questions I certainly will try to give my input.

Warmly in Christ,
— Dan Scribner
Tel: (719)576-2000 AD2000 and Beyond Movement
Fax: (719)576-2685

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INPUT FROM JOHN SIEWERT AT MARC

Just rec’d this from John Siewert at MARC: Here are my thoughts on the items below:

Sounds like a good idea. It could certainly place vital information in the hands of those praying much quicker than conventional means.

However, if the communications need to be secure, electronic mail should not be used even though it is in almost all cases more secure than fax or regular mail, i.e., sensitive matters are best communicated on a person to person basis. An elaborate coding scheme could be set up for any of these means but that’s not too feasible on a mass basis.

My experience in serving as discussion leader for one month in the e-mail MISSION forum is that any e-mail-based undertaking takes more time than expected if responses are going to go back to those who ask questions, etc. Therefore Doug and the editor need to have some prime time set aside for this project.

.. John Siewert

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INPUT FROM BOB WAYMIRE

The following just arrived from Bob Waymire…

Dear Doug, et alia.

I hasten to reply to your message which I see arrived a few days ago (26th). I just got in from a conference and am out the door for a trip, so hasten to jot down some quick thoughts re your Brigada proposal. Generally, I believe additional and effective communication is needed in this subject area. Please draft up a model (or provide the first issure prior to release) of both the newsletter, and the telecommunication protocol and run it back past a few of us for review. That may prove as much or more helpful than the following. Hard and some sad experience tell this may be fruitful.

Brigada is: “A networking tool for discovering and tracking the information, people and resources on behalf of the United Prayer Track of the AD2000 Movement, John Robb of Unreached Peoples Track, the AAPCH, and VIV Grigg of Least Evangelized Cities Track.”

E-Mail

Need education and easy way to obtain needed addresses. Take the best of several different networks (Internet, Compuserve, America Online, Envoy, etc.) and come up with some that is very efficient and user friendly. I haven’t seen it yet, and I’ve been involved for over 30 years in telecommunication. I’ve had more promises of easy to use systems and procedures than you can imagine, and some from the people you are working with!!!!

Electronic Newsletter

Don’t assume too much in the beginning. Provide samples/models/tests–using the newsletter.

Send out 2 questionnaires–one with initial copy. One about 4 issues later–for fine-tuning and feedback after people get an opportunity to see what you are really publishing.

In addition to general education material, people are interested in status and information on specific cities, areas, peoples. Make sure there is something of particular interest in the same formand place in each edition….so busy readers can turn to their section of interest and find something. For example, a block statusing one or more cities/groups, or cities/groups in an area, etc….or a portion (reduced page) of a profile, that is informative but also let’s readers know what materials are available. A block/segment for prayer–etc.. A newsletter which is totally narrative with a couple of articles isn’t what is needed.

4 different readership levels:

  1. Hard core that will read everything, and are involved in the tracks/movements. Some may want to contribute materials, prayer requests, etc..
  2. Those being mobilized–churches, agencies, individuals who will use materials for specific activities and programs, both for guidance and updating.
  3. Laymen, some leaders, etc. that want to stay up on what’s going on in a general sense, and will look for their “interest corner” in each issue. May want reference library on some specific elements in the letter.
  4. Will receive, go into files, and may read something, and may scan to see if there is anything of interest. They want a good reference library of materials in a general sense.

Implementation

  • Steering Committee–is one of these people involved in the Prayer Network–officially?
  • There will be a need for info/data accumulation and storage (library). You’ll probably find you will need a dependable and qualified “info manager.” Perhaps that’s yourself.
  • Secunded persons may serve well, provided the F&R is well spelled out. This also applies to volunteers. As wonderful as volunteers can be, often you are at the mercy of their schedule. It’s best to spell the needs and expectations out–in writing. This saves a lot of problems later on. This written word is objective, and can minimize subjective confrontations.
  • You might want to contact Dr. Gene Davis in Tigard, Oregon regarding his and my experiences with the AAP Clearinghouse in and for India. He has some good procedures for recruiting UP support here in the US…and has it diagrammed out.

Time line

Since I didn’t receive this until Jan 26, and then couldn’t get to it until Jan.30, I realize this may be too late for any consideration, but may prove helpful somewhere along the line.

Philosophically and Strategically re the future.

Reading on through the “backdrop” I was prompted to put down the following regarding UP’s:

We will increasingly realize, upon reaching the point that most all of the people groups have heard and have responded to some degree with churches among them, that other huge portions of population not classified as part of “unreached peoples” but currently considered Christianized, will have to be re-reached/churched, because of a) there never really was a successful people group movement among them that continued, and b) new generations in formerly reached peoples are completely unreached/churched as regards a self-perpetuating church growth movement, and many have not even heard–even though the opportunity may have been or is there.

Also in the establishing of “beachheads” and initial churches among a people group we encounter and must conquer certain spiritual strongholds. However, as the “occupation” proceeds additional and numerous strongholds will be encountered and must be dealt with. So the theme is “always occupying” and “always growing” because we have never achieved a lasting victory this side of the end of the age. (Joshua would probably say, “We must invade and occupy (or possess) the land–that God has given us.”) All the new generations being born, make up new waves of the unconverted. They are born into new cultures that must first be understood in order to see penetration and contextualization. The past 30 years in the United States of America is a case in point. The “hippy”, “baby- boomers”, and “Jesus’ Movement” generation(s) present new challenges to older traditional strategies and methods of evangelism and church-planting and nurture. For the main part the Church is been ineffective in reaching them. The good medicine must be wrapped in a new, appropriate, palatable cover.

Summary: While new peoples and societies are being reached, old societies are producing unchurched generations.

The Grand Offensive

Unreached peoples and saturation church planting must be part of the same overall coordinated strategy. On the battle field (and we’re certainly involved in a battle in every field), the invasion and occupation strategies are all part of the same general strategy. Establishing the beachhead must be part of a larger strategy, or else it will soon revert to the enemy, or if it holds it will never accomplish the overall campaign objective of seeing the war won.

Well, Doug, you’ll have to determine the relative worth of all this. It’s done hurridly. I’m looking forward to meeting you at some point. Who are you with? Where do you live? What is your background? Where are you going? Why? All I have is an E-mail address.

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