By David Empson
In November 2010, Restoration Revolution was started at the former National Missionary Convention—now the International Conference On Missions (ICOM)—in Lexington, Kentucky. For almost 18 months prior to its launch, more than 100 leaders representing all kinds of ministries among Christian churches and churches of Christ had been meeting to consider what could be done for the kingdom of God over the next 10 years. Here is a report on progress with these goals so far.
The four points of Restoration Revolution can be explained using the acrostic ACTS:
Ask the Almighty—We seek to be known as churches that pray.
Church Planting—We hope to see 1,000 new churches planted inside the United States by 2020.
We also hope to see 1,000 church planting movements outside the United States.
Tools and Translations—Bible translations, medical services, disaster relief, business as missions, clean water, and printed materials all fit this description.
Servants—Enlist 10,000 new full-time Christian workers.
What have the results been? Here are some of the achievements during the first full year, 2011.
Asking the Almighty/Prayer:
Fifty-four adopted unreached people groups—thanks to “Unleashed for the Unreached,” led by Team Expansion and the North American Christian Convention; and the ministry of Christian Missionary Fellowship.
Thirty-three weeks of around-the-clock prayer vigils—much of this is due to the work of Harvest Prayer Ministries.
Domestic—51 churches from nine different groups.
International—168 churches from eight different groups
Tools & Translations:
Bible Translation—Four new translations started and a 24 percent increase in translators. (Pioneer Bible Translators submitted this information.)
Book Publishing—50 books, 17 languages, 93,700 books in the year 2011. (LATM—Literature and Teaching Ministries)
Technology—The Pictorial Life of Christ is available on CD version and SD card under the title “The Global Gospel, a Visual Life of Christ” (Good News Productions, International). For more information go to http://theglobalgospel.org.
Disaster Relief—90 projects in Japan; Joplin, Missouri; Smithville, Mississippi; North Carolina; and Haiti. (IDES—International Disaster Emergency Service)
Medical Work—52 projects in India, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. (IDES)
Community Development—34 projects: water wells, bio-sand filters, sewing machines, school supplies, seed for crops in East Africa, chickens to start business for orphanage. (IDES)
1. The total number of decisions to enter full-time Christian service from Restoration Revolution’s launch in November 2010 through the end of 2011: 1,961. That figure includes 118 decisions at the 2010 NMC, 1,750 at Christ in Youth summer conferences, and 93 decisions at the November 2011 NMC/ICOM in Atlanta, Georgia.
2. Leadership Boot Camp, Phoenix, Arizona. Don Wilson and his staff hosted the first Restoration Revolution Boot Camp, which 65 emerging leaders attended. Other mentoring events have also taken place.
3. Crossroads Student International Ministry, Kearney, Nebraska.
In 2011, Greg Swinney began this ministry to equip churches, campus minis-tries, and Bible college leaders to effectively reach out to the estimated 900,000 foreign students who are in the U.S.
Here are just some of the indications I have seen to show the progress we are making:
Bible college leaders and campus ministers are meeting to learn how they can reach and minister to international students.
Domestic and international church planters are working together.
Preachers are putting forth time, effort, and resources to equip and mentor new leaders.
The words strategic partnerships are being heard all over the world.
Debuting this year at ICOM is the ACTS Initiative, an interactive exhibit designed to help viewers experience how God moves in each of these four areas.
In January 2013, this ACTS Initiative will be available for your whole church or college student body. It is also scheduled to be at the 2013 NACC in Louisville.
The dreamers of Restoration Revolution were not out to create a new program or campaign with goals attainable on our own power or ingenuity. Our hopes and desires from the beginning have been that individuals, families, church families, and whole student bodies would place their destinies and dreams into the hands of God and fulfill his intentions.
David Empson is executive director of the International Conference On Missions, formerly known as the National Missionary Convention.