This summer we convened more than 180 leaders from 46 countries around the world for a week of learning and refreshment in our commitment to Christ and spreading the Gospel. Since our last convention nearly 6 years ago, attendance more than doubled requiring monumental outlay and logistics for this event.
But the investment was critical to the mission of OneHope. If we truly wish to see every child on the planet reached with God’s Word by the year 2030, we can’t do it alone. There are children in countries where political borders andsocial unrest prevent us from reaching. There are language barriers. There are religious wars and dangerous places. But God has made a way to go into all the world and evangelize those hard to reach places. It is up to local churches around the world to answer the call to “go” and reach out to their communities.
OneHope was founded on a specific, God-given vision; so this gathering of global influencers was just a step in continuing to carry it out.
OneHope was birthed through a vision given to my dad. God showed him the children of the world coming under Satanic attack—here’s how Dad described it for Charisma magazine:
“…[and then I] saw child soldiers, child sex slaves, poverty, violence, diseases, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide.
For days I was weeping over what I saw and asking God, ‘Why have I seen this? What I am to do?’” recalls Bob, who was then president of Life Publishers, one of the largest Bible publishers. “During a time of fasting and prayer, God spoke to me. He said, ‘The only thing that will rescue this generation are the truths found in My Word. I want you to take My Word to the children of the world and you’ll do it through leaders.’”
I am so thankful that God didn’t leave dad distraught at the revelation of the ongoing Satanic attack against children. True to His character, He had made a way for rescue; to take God’s Word and give it to every child on the planet. This seemingly impossible commission came with specific instruction on how to spread God’s Word; it would happen through leaders.
One of the main objectives behind this year’s global congress was to gather those leaders we believe God has put in place and called to be conduits of the Gospel. We are strategically aligning to extend reach through leaders so that by the year 2030, the 4.2-billion children who live on planet earth will have heard about the hope found in God’s Word in an understandable way.
As I stood in front of the room of leaders, I joked that it looked like the United Nations. But really, I was choking back tears. I was looking at the beautiful face of Christ’s bride in that moment, blown away by the enormity of the calling He has given to OneHope, and overcome by this prayer:
Lord, who do we serve? We serve You, and that means we also serve each other. How do we serve the Global Church? How can we do this together?
As I stood in amazement in front of a group of people I could not have imagined convening just 6 years ago, more realizations struck. That if we acted in faith, we could hand a very different world to the next generation. When we decide to work together to affect destiny…
- You begin to do things that have never been done before.
- You begin to partner with those you’d never before thought to partner.
- You begin to realize that God will bring extraordinary relationships and people into your life.
- You begin to have a new understanding of how these all interplay in accomplishing the vision.
So five years into this journey, we now have baseline data on the reach of the Global Church. We’re studying what’s working effectively and where there are gaps. And we will adapt to stay on target.
We can quantitatively and qualitatively see how kids are most effectively being reached with God’s Word, and that it truly is through leaders. Whether it’s local churches heeding the call to go into their community like Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach, FL organizing local missions for marginalized children or Alan Platt who founded Doxa Deo—empowering churches around the world to take responsibility for the spiritually and economically disadvantaged youth in their cities. Whether it’s us partnering with Scripture Union in Burundi where they’ve been making inroads for decades and simply needed good resources. Or it might look like reclaiming digital space through partnership with YouVersion, which will also expand reach in places where the written Word is not welcome.
In that global congress, more than ever, even with all the different skin tones and accents and affiliations and attire, deep down we all wanted the same thing: to see the next generation of lives transformed for Christ.
I’ve already addressed them, but I also want to speak to you. We’re entering a new phase of Vision 2030 and catalyzing a movement of leaders who desire to be the church and help lay track for generations to come.
I charged the group of leaders before me that day the same thing I’m asking of you reading this now:
Will you take the responsibility to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and take steps of boldness that you’ve never attempted before?
You’ll benefit from reading: