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YWAM 4K Rationale

8 2002, David Joel Hamilton

Nothing Less than “All”

God's forever dream is for every individual to be redeemed and every society to be transformed. The Great Commission is always described in the most universal of terms, nothing less than “all” or “every” (see Genesis 12:2-3; Joel 2:28-32; Habakkuk 2:14; Matthew 28:18-20; Mar 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:7-8; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; and Revelation 7:9 among others). Whereas the “all” factor is unchanging, what the all describes varies from one passage to another. The above verses include all individuals... all families... all tribes... all peoples... all nations... all languages... all... all... all... Each expresses a portion of God's multifaceted desire for His creation. His redemption will run its full course and history will culminate with Him becoming the “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

As we consider the future of missions it is crucial for us to reflect upon the “allness” of the Great Commission. God does not state His will in a series of five year plans, each reflecting an incremental growth over the prior period. In Revelation 7:9 God holds before us an unwavering, all-encompassing image of the future, urging us not to see the future as a modified extension of the present, but to modify the present so as to be conformed to the future. We are given glimpses of the fulfillment of His plan so that we can pull that vision of the future reality into our present day existence. Thus God's foresight is the foundation for our present strategic planning.

Toward a Focused, Comprehensive Framework

In missions there is no one paradigm to see every individual redeemed and every society transformed. Redemptive transformation occurs through a wide variety of ministry strategies. Our unity lies not in methodological uniformity, but in a passionate commitment to follow the God who is passionate about reaching this world in its entirety. Because God's heart is not confined to narrow agendas or mono-dimensional issues, we must recognize that there are myriads of opportunities for compassionate service in a Biblically holistic, non-dichotomized approach to Gods' world.

Still the question remains. How do we find a cohesive overall corporate framework to maximize our efforts to reach the world? A key lies in geography (as indeed Jesus words in Acts 1:8 suggest), for all ministry has a geographic expression whether it involves evangelism, discipleship or mercy ministries. It is carried out somewhere between here and the ends of the earth. Therefore, we must look at the empty places, the unreached zones, those areas where we are not and devise a simple but clear form of keeping that image before the emerging generation of leaders. They will then be inspired to a new Spirit-led, pioneering thrust until all the empty places are filled with living expressions of God's love and care.

However, when considering a geographic framework for strategic vision it is unhelpful to build a grid upon the 238 recognized countries of the world. For this taxonomy puts the few dozen inhabitants of Pitcairn on a par with Chinas' nearly 1.3 billion citizens. We obviously need a framework that breaks the world down into similar sized units. We need to do this not by imposing an artificial grid, but by using the natural administrative units utilized by the peoples of the earth.

A Grid of Natural Geo-political Unites

Based on this reality, Youth With A Missions' Global Leadership Team has embraced a strategic framework of natural geo-political units of similar size to better pursue the unfinished task. In this framework larger countries are sub-divided into their major civil divisions (e.g. India into 37 states and union territories). When these are still large (e.g. Uttar Pradesh, one state of India with a population exceeding 171 million) they are in turn broken down into the next level of administrative units, and so forth. In order to emphasize the mission purpose of the church, this framework takes into account where the church is not, by emphasizing the least reached areas. So we subdivide World A (distant unreached) areas until no zone exceeds 3 million; World B (near unreached) areas until no zone exceeds 6 million and World C (majority reached) areas until no zone exceeds 9 million. This simple grid subdivides the world in four thousand-some zones, thus the name Project 4K.

This framework gives us a fresh approach to the missions challenge before us. While it is simple in its formulation and comprehensive in its scope, it encourages focused attention on the areas where the church is least present, and speaks of people in terms that they are most familiar with. This framework can readily serve any missions agency to identify where they are and where they are not. Project 4K gives all of us an opportunity for clearer focus and stronger collaboration. For indeed, this intentional grid encourages pioneering initiatives to zones that have been overlooked in the past. If this helps us reach more cities, more tribes, more unreached peoples, plant more churches, care for more of the needy and equip more of those called into extending the kingdom of God as we seek to reach the "all" of the Great Commission, then we will have been faithful stewards of the trust placed in our hands.

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