The leading supporter for church planting in the twentieth century was the late Dr. Donald McGavran. In DAWN REPORT, Jim Montgomery tells of the following incident:
“During the last months of Mary McGavran’s illness, my wife Lyn would frequently spend time with her. Donald McGavran would be there, too. He would disregard his own painful cancer while taking care of his beloved Mary.
“‘You can be sure Jim and I will continue our commitment to church growth after you are gone,’ Lyn said to Donald one day.
“‘Do not call it church growth anymore,’ was his quick response. ‘Call it church multiplication!’
“Two weeks before his death, he said, ‘The only way we will get the job of the Great Commission done is to plant a church in every community in the world.’”
THE A.D.2000 AND BEYOND MOVEMENT
The A.D.2000 And Beyond Movement is gaining momentum all over the world. Its objective is to mobilize the Body of Christ to work directly toward fulfilling the Great Commission in our time.
It is a vision that is being adopted by churches, missionary organizations and denominations all over the world. There is more interest today in missions, world evangelization and church planting than ever before in history.
The following chart shows our progress in completing the Great Commission.
Non-Christians per Believer
Ratio = 360 220 69 27 21 11 7 ?
Year = A.D.100 1000 1500 1900 1950 1970 1990 2000
Dr. Ralph Winter is the founder of the U.S. Center For World Mission. Concerning this chart, he says, “In the last 20 centuries the meek have quietly been inheriting the earth!”
As you study the chart above you will note that nineteen hundred years ago there were 360 unsaved people in the world for every born again believer. This is a ratio of 360 to 1.
By the year 1500 this ratio had been reduced to just 69 to 1. By the beginning of this century the ratio was all the way down to 27 to 1.
Now see what is happening. Just since 1950, the ratio of non- Christians to true believers has been cut by 67%. It has gone from 21 to 1, to just 7 to 1!
Just as Jesus predicted, His Church is irresistibly penetrating all the earth. We’re getting closer to the time when truly the “earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord” (Hab 2:14).
CHURCHES IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD
Jesus commanded the Church to go into all the world and disciple all the nations.
The word “nation” in the Bible means people-group, or group in which the people share the same culture and language. According to missionary leaders, there are about six thousand nations, or people groups, that still do not have a church.
It will take more than a few churches to disciple a nation. The only way to disciple a nation is to plant many churches within that nation.
This will require a strategy of SATURATION CHURCH PLANTING, which means planting churches in every neighborhood with a population of 500 to 1000 people.