Clarifying Some Misconceptions – Part 1
– By Tim Martin and Stan Parks –
1. 24:14? Who are you?
We are a coalition of like-minded individuals, practitioners and organizations who have made a commitment to a vision: seeing movements in every unreached people and place. Our initial goal is see effective kingdom movement engagement in every unreached people and place by December 31, 2025. We do this based on four values:
- Reaching the unreached in line with Matthew 24:14 – bringing the gospel of the Kingdom to every unreached people and place.
- Accomplishing this through Church Planting Movements, involving multiplying disciples, churches, leaders and movements.
- Having a wartime sense of urgency to engage every unreached people and place with a movement strategy by the end of 2025.
- Doing these things in collaboration with others.
2. Why do you use the name 24:14?
Matthew 24:14 forms the cornerstone for this initiative. Jesus promised: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations (ethnē), and then the end will come” (NIV). Our focus is to have the gospel go to every people group on earth. We long to be in the generation that finishes what Jesus began and what faithful workers before us have given their lives to. We know that Jesus waits to return until every people group has had an opportunity to respond to the gospel and become part of His Bride.
3. Are you setting 2025 as the year that all nations will be reached?
No, our goal is to engage every unreached people and place with an effective kingdom movement strategy by December 31, 2025. This means that a team (local or expat or combination) equipped in movement strategy will be on location in every unreached people and place. We make no claims about when the Great Commission task will be finished. That is God’s responsibility. He determines the fruitfulness of movements.
4. Why do you feel such urgency in moving this forward?
2000 years have passed since Jesus spoke the Great Commission. 2 Peter 3:12 tells us to “hasten the day of his return.” Psalm 90:12 tells us to number our days. A group of 24:14 founders waited on the Lord and asked if we should set a deadline or not. We felt Him telling us that by setting an urgent deadline, we could make wiser use of our time and make the sacrifices needed to fulfill the vision.
5. Are you trying to get all missions organizations to align around your strategy?
No, we recognize that God has called many churches, mission organizations and networks to specialized ministries. The 24:14 Coalition consists of people and organizations focused on catalyzing movements. Some have already done and are doing this; others are working toward that end. Various organizations and workers have unique methods and tools but we all share many of the same CPM distinctives. These are strategies based on applying in modern contexts patterns of disciple-making and church formation we see in the Gospels and the book of Acts.
6. There have been other attempts to get people to collaborate on finishing the Great Commission. What is different about 24:14?
24:14 builds on these other good initiatives. Some of the previous ones helped the global church reach certain milestones (e.g. adopting people groups). 24:14 aims to finish what others have started by catalyzing movements. These movements can reach entire people groups and places in a sustained manner. The 24:14 coalition partners with other networks such as Ethne, Finishing the Task, Global Alliance on Church Planting Multiplication (GACX), and Global Church Planting Network (GCPN). 24:14 is unique in being led by church planting movement leaders. And experience in movements (particularly among the unreached) has increased substantially in recent years. This has resulted in much-improved “best practices.”
7. What is a “Church Planting Movement?”
A Church Planting Movement (CPM) is defined as the multiplication of disciples making disciples and leaders developing leaders. This results in indigenous churches planting churches. These churches begin to spread quickly through a people group or population segment. These new disciples and churches begin to transform their communities as the new Body of Christ lives out Kingdom values.
When churches reproduce consistently to four generations in multiple streams, the process becomes a sustaining movement. It may take years to begin. But once the first churches start, we usually see a movement reach four generations within three to five years. In additional, these movements themselves often reproduce new movements. More and more, CPMs are starting new CPMs within other people groups and population segments.
8. What is your definition of church?
There are a variety of definitions around the world. Yet most of these movements would agree on core elements in a definition of church. These are found in the description of the first church in Acts 2. In fact, many movements lead a newly baptized group of disciples to study Acts 2. They then begin to pray and work out how they can become this type of church. We encourage you to do this exercise with your own church.
These churches go on to study and apply many more aspects of being church from the New Testament. We encourage you to have a definition of church, no more and no less than the New Testament gives us.
In part 2 we will address five additional questions related to frequent misconceptions.
After a career in international oil and gas where Tim served as VP of International Exploration and Development, in 2006 he became the first missions pastor at WoodsEdge Community Church in Spring, Texas. His role became more focused in 2018 when he became the “Pastor of Disciple-Making Movements.” Tim has been a student and trainer in biblical movements for several years and has a passion to see Matthew 24:14 fulfilled.
Stan Parks Ph.D. serves the 24:14 Coalition (Facilitation Team), Beyond (VP Global Strategies), and Ethne (Leadership Team). He is a trainer and coach for a variety of CPMs globally and has lived and served among the unreached since 1994.
Edited from an article originally published in the January-February 2019 issue of Mission Frontiers, www.missionfrontiers.org, pages 38-40, and published on pages 323-326 of the book 24:14 – A Testimony to All Peoples, available from 24:14 or Amazon.