During his last days, Billy Graham gathered together thousands of leaders to examine one crucial topic: What will it take to finish The Great Commission? The leaders got together and broke down the question at their specific tables:
What will it take to finish The Great Commission?
The following analysis comes from Table 71 where Mark Anderson and a couple of other leaders were seated. The group started by asking themselves, “If we’re going to reach this goal in our day, then we have to define it. So then we have to agree on:
- What is the church?
- What is evangelism?
- What is discipleship?
- What is compassion?
- Where are we at right now?”
This specific conversation at Table 71 led them to frame a defining context for what it would take for us to complete the Great Commission. Initially, it was assumed that there were over 300 unengaged, unreached people groups, but, as they put all of their numbers together, a consensus was reached that there are over 14,000 people groups, of which 40% are still unreached. This amounts to around 3-4 billion people on earth right now who are still considered unreached people groups.
During the course of the Call2All movement over the last 10 years, we’ve seen more work towards completing the Great Commission than in the last millennium, and great inroads have been made. We will be the first generation that will be able to provide a Bible in every single language group, all 7,000 of them, and the first generation that will have the Bible translated for every single people group. We are also the first generation that has every single people group on earth adopted, something that is unprecedented. And we are now working towards seeing discipleship-making movements within every single people group, in every single region on earth.
No one group can be credited with a work of such magnitude. This is the Holy Spirit working with some 60,000 leaders that have come together from all corners of the world, laying aside their differences to focus on the primary goal of preparing for Jesus’ second coming. It means bringing to the table all our ideas, skills, giftings and resources so that we can unite together and work unceasingly towards that imminent event.
In the Call2All vision, one of the ways that we granulate what is actually happening is to view society not just in descriptive terms, but also through the lens of strategic themes, such as spheres of society, population demographics and geographical locations. One of the most notable spheres is arts, entertainment and sport, which is powerful in terms of impact across the globe. One of the reasons for its impact is that 70% of people come to Jesus Christ before the age of 18. A closer look shows that 80% of that population comes to that decision from the age of four to 14. So there is this huge window of opportunity in the youth demographic where the majority make a decision to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of their life before the age of 18.
When we look at presenting the Gospel and initiating discipleship movements, we also have to differentiate between real and felt needs. One of the greatest felt needs is in arts, entertainment, and sport. One of the real needs is using that as an entry point to not only to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but to give the hearers the opportunity to respond and be plugged into an actual discipleship group that ensures growth through mentorship and shepherding.
That’s the broad strategy we can use to penetrate the sphere of arts, entertainment and sport to spur global movements to gain momentum and to consolidate. However, the vision and the execution of it are very different, when we’re studying the demographics in terms of different spiritual landscapes.
A very significant task of Call2All is to map out long-term campaigns over a 10-year duration with the top leaders of entire nations. The Philippines is one of the places where this has been implemented. Each campaign works in three phases.
The first phase is preparation, the stage where all of the core leadership is developed. Like-hearted and minded people are gathered to pool together their diverse skills, and contribute to the different types of influences needed across every sector of society and every geographic area we are targeting.
Following that, all of us focus our attention on strategic themes embodied in the Great Commission, namely, discipleship, evangelism, compassion, and unreached people groups, adopting the same method used by Jesus during His earthly ministry and executed by the apostles in the book of Acts.
We see a similar pattern to the movement started by Jesus towards a point of proclamation where the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed. We do the same thing in all of the locations together with the leaders that we’ve been partnering with, and through the core groups we have established nationwide. That granulates into smaller leadership teams across different regions in the nation, through whom we continue tracking progress as well as organizing and overseeing the movement.
Preservation or Multiplication
From proclamation, we go into the final phase of the ten-year mapping: preservation or multiplication. This is where we want to see unbelievers become believers, and then quickly turn into disciples of Jesus Christ. For this to occur, we need to have pastors; we need to have shepherds; we need to have mentors. And especially in this lost generation, a keyword is “fathers.” And so in every place that we build our campaigns, we want to make sure that we already have fathers with a net to take in the fatherless.
5 Keys to a Movement (Highlights)
In the discipleship process, we need to build a solid infrastructure based on the five keys to a movement. As you could see, one of the keys is to have common goals, which point to the spiritual finish lines that we envisage.
We also need a feedback loop so that what’s happening on the field is fed into the overall vision and movement, with nationwide collaboration.
And then, we have to build in a structure where we can effectively organize communication, leadership and oversight in alignment with what God is doing in the nation. In this way, we can continue unifying, catalyzing and creating momentum until we finish what we started out to do.
Arts, Entertainment, and Sport
Our vision for the arts, entertainment, and sports sphere is the same big vision that Jesus Christ gave the Church 2000 years ago with the Great Commission and the Holy Spirit. It’s an entry point to give us the capability of reaching out to the youth in a meaningful way. The essential goal is to create a community around the sphere (i.e. performance, dance, or basketball communities) and use it as a bridge to other Christian communities and discipleship communities. From this entry point we can start multiplying and expanding our movement nationwide.
How do we get all of this done?
The first thing is to establish an actual operating location, which would form a hub. And that’s what we’ve been establishing in the Philippines since 2010, starting in the Southern Philippines where we started with an office from where we worked our long-term campaigns. In 2018-2019 we acquired a bigger location for our growing staff and have been operating from there since. This campus of 29 acres, which will soon be donated to us, can accommodate 150 full-time staff for all of the work that we are doing nationwide, including the arts, entertainment and sports sphere.
We aim to develop this campus so that it could eventually accommodate 800 full-time staff and students for equippng. This will become our mission-sending base.
Where we are now
In spite of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have been developing local indigenous leaders is in keeping with our 10-year plan for the country. These leaders come from different people groups in various parts of the nation, and speak different dialects.
One of the things that we have seen is that, once the indigenous population have a grasp of the grand vision that God has given of reaching individual, they want to be equipped with the proper tools to disseminate the gospel. They will then be guided by the Holy Spirit to find a way to contextualize and multiply it.
As we reach out to them, we provide them with the resources, the tools, the infrastructure, the system, the organization, and also the leadership skills, which they can adapt for their indigenous population. This is something we need to address right now.
We want to ask ourselves:
- What tools do we have?
- What things can we do?
- What can we bring to the table for what the Lord has shown us?
Phases of a Missional Leader
The following case study is typical of what is happening nationwide. It is the classic pipeline of an unbeliever becoming a Missional Believer, then a Missional leader to someone that oversees Missional movements spearheaded through the use of sector skills such as basketball and the impartation of a discipleship lifestyle.
First stage – an unbeliever
Someone who does not know Jesus and does not have salvation. Such a person still belongs to the world, and has no desire to advance God’s kingdom.
Second stage – a believer
Once they hear the gospel and are mentored by a pastor or shepherd through various forms of outreach, they become a believer. The believer is identified by having a foundation that is being developed, rooted, and grounded in the word. The believer also has a community that has eldership, and is learning how to share the love of Jesus and become a witness for Him.
Believers can be developed in any number of ways from church planting movements, discipleship making movements, Youth With A Mission, discipleship training schools, as well as other organizations that nurture new believers.
Third stage – Missional believer
A Missional believer is someone who is continually being equipped in their sector skills as well as being grounded in their faith, someone who is deepening their relationship with God as well as developing skill-sets and initiating church planting movements themselves. These skills include how to evangelize effectively and relevantly, how to make long-term disciples, how to teach the Word, and how to at the right time shepherd many other disciples.
Fourth stage – Missional multiplier
At this point, the believer already knows how to form a group of disciples in any setting, whether a church or on a basketball court, government office, etc. and is now practicing that with multiple groups. The Missional Multiplier possesses the same traits as a Missional sector leader and has the foundation of a believer that is constantly being rooted and grounded in the Word of God and relationship with Jesus. They’re also developing and honing their Missional skills for multiplying more discipleship groups and forming other Missional leaders, specifically in their sector skill
Fifth stage – missional movement overseer
This is the rarest stage, and the most difficult for someone to mature into. In this stage, they will not only be able to operate with the culture of their sector, they are also transitioning into church planting movements. With their experience in multiple discipleship groups of raising up multiple leaders, now they are in the place of overseeing the spiritual health of the sector combined with multiplying movements across the nation(s) or region.
The majority of our key contacts come from phase five, where leaders are already overseeing multiple basketball movements in different locations or different regions of the Philippines. By partnering with sector leaders, our impact goes beyond individuals, to the sector and networks at the same time.
We have also seen much fruit when working with Missional multipliers. These may not be at the stage of overseeing movements, but are very close to forming leaders that already have the potential to form movements if they are supported by a discipleship and mentoring plan to get to the next level.
In other cases, we work with missional believers, who have not yet demonstrated leadership. At this point, they are not ready to form movements or raise leaders; if they do, it may take a long time. If they do not have the right environment or mentorship to get to the next level, they will often stay there.
Filtering long-term staff
When we look at filtering the ones who could potentially become long-term staff, the fact is any believer can aspire to become a Missional leader. That is where we begin mobilizing and training the churches to be part of discipleship-making movements and, where once we see potential, we help establish a structure there. Or we can continue building out our core team if they want to become full-time missionaries. From helping them lay a foundation, we will also help develop other technical skills in a specific passion or in a movement.
Empowering the Movement
Every movement begins with the core. The core is made up of full-time missionaries that help staff with the various tasks that are needed to continue overseeing multiple movements across the country. This involves administration, including financial and legal skills, and training in church planting, discipleship foundations, and leadership development, among others. The movement also maintains continuous networking and partnership with organizations, churches, and different sector leaders. A very big component in our achievement comes from our campaign coordinators or field leaders.
The field leaders help oversee everything happening on the field. They are responsible for maintaining contact with the churches involved with the discipleship movements, as well as tracking, innovating, developing more catalytic events to help various initiatives being developed, and also mobilizing more people to join our core team as well as the churches’ own core and discipleship movements.
Field leader/coordinator partner with a church
The next stage after the core is that of the field leader or the coordinator partnering with a church. Within this church, there already is a local missionary or experienced leader, who has been fruitful in a particular sector or demographic and is also running a successful discipleship group or movement. Within the movement, leaders are already being multiplied in the second or third generation.
After partnership with the church is established, we initiate an outreach. The outreach replicates the area of influence that the church has, so they can continue to grow their discipleship movement together. From there, the outreach will also have a proclamation of the gospel phase, which then leads into discipleship, with long-term discipleship as its goal.
Long-term discipleship can occur by the unbeliever becoming a believer and joining the discipleship movement within the church, the Christian local team, or Youth With a Mission Discipleship Training School. If they join the church, they become the core staff of the church to assist it in continuing with the discipleship movement. If they join Youth With a Mission Impact, they will be trained to become part of our core team, which will then help develop more and more movements across the country and internationally.
The strength of a campaign
With three core staff and ten people on an outreach team from a local church, we project that a catalytic event in a campaign will have a reach of around 100 people. This is typically how many people would show up at a basketball court in the majority of communities in the country. In more urbanized areas, the number could become as high as 1000, while in more provincial areas they might be as low as 25; but generally, an outreach averages around 100.
Averaging three to four outreaches per week gives us a total of 300 people a week per team. What we have seen after the campaign event is that there is usually a 5% level of retainment. So from the group of 300 people a week that is being reached in a neighborhood where a discipleship-making movement is already present, around 15 new people can be expected to join the groups. They will be sustained within the discipleship groups already set up with the church. Less than 1% of the disciples of the entire church join Youth With a Mission. So if the church consists of 100 people, potentially there would be one person that would join Youth With a Mission to help develop our core.
By contrast, going back to 777 (7 strategic themes, 7 geographic alls, and 7 spheres), the possibilities are vast. Many are occurring even now as I write. Catalytic outreaches can occur with every theme, sector of society, and geographic location in the world.
Now looking at the history of what we’ve seen with the campaigns, this is just one campaign team of three core staff. If we have 30 core staff, then we can host 100 people on our outreach teams, which can reach about 1,000 people a day with an event. In this way, it could be around 3000 people that we impact a week, which turns into something like 150 disciples a week that could be formed with the campaigns.
*Generalized for local movement leaders
In a smaller city of North Luzon, there was an area that we committed to for about a year and a half. They started out with a strong leader with a foundation in a discipleship movement that was not yet formed but could be the next push into an actual movement. We committed our outreach teams to have a presence there for a year and a half. They started out with 30; by the end of a three to six month period, they ended up with 300 and by the following year, they were able to gather 3000 people a quarter to continue working in the region that they were in. What they also did was they adopted every single public school and university in their vicinity. They had shepherds set up throughout the entire institution, and they continued to do outreach after our campaign ended. Now they have switched their mode to digital meetings and face-to-face meetings whenever possible.
In the southern most part of the Philippines is the area of our first campaigns in the country, 10 years ago started in Impact World. Initially, the church didn’t really believe in reaching out to the community, but after we stood with them, prayed, and worked with them, we were able to bring out the church communities to catalytic events in our campaigns, which gathered tens of thousands of Filipinos to hear the gospel.
Through such exposure, the churches started to develop a heart not only for their youth and the next generation, but also started to reach out to all the unreached tribes in the area. So now the church that we worked with is the largest church in the region along with their network. They still meet regularly in a unified fashion and explore different compassion and evangelistic events they could do. They continue developing them in their youth movement and their church as well as adopting various tribes that have not heard the gospel, and they send out missionary teams to them.
Now, they’re actually developing tribal leaders within these unreached tribes so that they can continue the movement.
Youth With a Mission did an entire outreach with Metro Manila, which was the impetus for the churches to unite under a neutral banner in one location. The ministerial team took on the entire region of a million people, where they prayed, evangelized, and discipled. They even worked out a plan with the mayor who was also a believer, and with the school district, which was in favor with Christianity. They implemented a blueprint or a master plan of developing 24/7 Christian counselors that would be available to all of the public schools in the city.
Some of these schools in this region have a student population of as many as 10,000, while your smallest school has around 3000. So after we began working with them, we were able to bring the gospel to the school district, while at the same time, the ministerial was discipling entire grade classes and making themselves available for 24/7 Christian counseling. Our next step is to develop the discipleship curriculum with them further. Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, school has now switched in digital, which still has good potential.
Unreached people groups
It is more complex with unreached people groups because you cannot have a church due to the persecution. So what they do right now is to have secular activities like different board games; ostensibly playing board games in public, but under the surface actually running a church. This can operate with other secular tools as well such as a soccer. We have seen in certain places how a soccer missionary can be assigned to an unreached people group, such as Muslims. So you’re playing soccer and instead of soccer team time, you’re also doing a discipleship group, which looks like a soccer group. This can be switched to another sport or secular activity, as we have seen in many other locations and countries where persecution is great. Where you can’t have an open church in these persecuted areas, as long as you put something on top of it and run the discipleship group like that, you can also thrive.
Developing the Core and Hub for the National Movement
The Hub where we are currently located is a piece of property of 29 acres that is in the process of being fully donated to us. Of this, about 10 acres consist of already developed land, which can house 150 people, who have been used as missionaries specifically. There are another 10 acres of agricultural land with around 200-300 fruit-bearing trees such as mangoes and avocados. The space can also be further developed for ponds for rearing about 5,000 tilapia, plus a small area to be developed for recreational.
The long-term plan of the hub is to fully develop the campus to hold around 600 to 800 people, who can be used for the campaigns, as well as train and reach out to the community for various events such as sports camps. We have used the property for camps in the past, and they’ve been very successful in developing partners, imparting our vision to local churches, and mobilizing them for the movement. The short-term teams we have hosted act as catalysts to different parts of the movement based on their skill-sets and goals.
The Core Staff
The core staff are part of a supply pipeline that normally comes from outreach or relationship we have built. They enter into a discipleship training school where we strengthen their biblical foundation and then expose them to campaigns and full-time missions. Foundational topics include the Word, global missions, evangelism, relationships, and so forth, as well as exposure and workshops on preaching the gospel, discipleship movements, underground church planting, and campaign coordination.
We have also exposed them to other areas such as performance in sports, arts and entertainment, music, and acting which can be leveraged in our field campaigns. On graduation from the discipleship training school, with an expected retainment level of 90%, they will continue with some type of long-term missional work in a nation that needs the gospel. Or they can remain with their local church to develop a movement, or stay with us and be further developed as core staff.
The next function of the hub and core staff will be for receiving short-term teams to whom we provide entry points onto the field based on their particular skill-sets. These international teams would have done work in various sectors of society from business to government, military, jails, compassion, orphanages, church planting movements, and unreached people groups. We follow the same strategy of a campaign where we do the necessary groundwork for the trainees to emerge at various points to proclaim the gospel or train or equip church leaders, church members or disciples.
The third stage usually takes place after they have gone. We continue to send teams to help in the preservation or multiplication of the movement if they show long-term commitment. Or they could cycle in more short-term teams. We continue sending them to the same specific movement that they were catalyzing or seeking to improve.
Different opportunities that can happen (Such as sports)
As a national and diverse movement, the national movement has contacts in many sectors of society, and many different leadership levels, to help carry out the vision of reaching the country.
For example, in sports, we have contacts that work with the Philippine Basketball Association that can connect us with churches that are already working with basketball movements within the sphere of basketball, and also in communities. We can help develop their basketball skill, while taking on the spiritual proclamation of Jesus Christ and the movements that are already active.
Since the short-term teams are normally international or leaders with a good track record, we’ve often seen more openness to the gospel among those they serve and the penetration of the gospel message to the next generation in a way we never thought possible in the realm of sports. And so Christ becomes relevant to the next generation as we’ve seen at different levels of society.
We have seen a number of compassion areas that lack resources, training opportunities and often leaders mainly due to a shortage of people that can get to them. So in our campaigns, we send short-term teams to give them more teaching, more curriculum, and more content. We also try to get the commitment of short-term teams to also allow these areas of compassion to have actual exposure to other believers in other areas, which helps mold them in their discipleship stage. This can help build their faith for them to evangelize, disciple, and use their talents for the gospel in a way that they couldn’t if they were limited to their area due to poverty and lack of opportunities and exposure.
Most of these people have not even been to a mall or outside of their neighborhood. So our coming down to them to give them exposure, hope and opportunity for higher things has had a great response. In this way many leaders who seem to lack potential have been raised up because God has a bigger plan for them.
Arts, Entertainment & Sports Tours
Another thing that we have set up is the arts entertainment and sports tours, whereby we strategically lock-in regions and target the movements there. We then put together a tour where we can proclaim the gospel to the next generation in different sectors of society. We also unite the entire church body in a specific region so that they are under one banner and one goal, instead of being territorial or not working alongside each other.
These events allow them to collaborate with other bodies in proclaiming the gospel, sharing in the fruit of discipleship, and continuing a long-term relationship with each other for the future. We have seen this to be very effective all over the world. The sphere of arts, entertainment and sports has been one of the main keys to unifying these regions.
Future Potential Opportunities
Potential larger-scale initiatives
These can be further developed as our hub expands with the same strategy we use with the campaigns, and tie them into bigger networks. One of these is our existing church network which has a reach of 100,000 churches. Not all of them would be open to being equipped with all the tools, but they do supply us with a large contact base where we could scout and filter those who potentially would want to collaborate with us in their region, their community, or school district. Even the government sector would be open to this as well as they can take it into their local neighborhoods and use it as community events.
There are around 600 campuses that the Philippine church works in right now from universities to high schools, in fact, potentially 800 campuses if we include the provincial areas. These are not as developed, but still have connections with the school districts. We can also start developing movements in these areas in due course.
Overseas Filipino Contacts
There are over 70 organizations that are partnered with the national movement, predominantly through overseas Filipino workers or full-time overseas Filipino missionaries. They operate in various nations such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, East Asia. This is a very promising network for the future as the core develops and as the hub expands its influence.
Short and Mid-term Timeline
In a two year timeline, we can look at contact mobilization right now, spreading the vision to contacts in other countries that are open and have the same heart, mind, vision and goals to combine our different skills and passion for the kingdom. When the Philippines opens up for travel in 2022, we expect to be able to take in short-term teams, giving them exposure to the movements that already underway, meet our core staff and develop relationships with the contact leaders at the hub, where we are coordinating all of this, and at the same time we could also help catalyze the movements that have already been accomplished.
After the first short-term trip, we can begin mobilizing more people, and developing more coordinators to send to more strategic regions, and continue what we’ve started over the last couple of years. This time it will have a professional skills focus within various sectors, various age groups, yet with the same goal of advancing the kingdom.