When God's Children Play Together Nicely: Table 71

Sometimes I think God has just been waiting for His children to learn to play together nicely.

Jesus was pretty clear in the expectation:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.… that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

He wants the world to know that Jesus came to redeem them.  The evidence, the proof of that:  oneness among His followers.

In my early years of ministry (it’s been almost 50 now), there was not much of that oneness.  Ministries and churches were more often marked by competition and suspicion.  When I was writing an article about another ministry for our magazine, the leaders questioned my motives:  was I trying to criticize or disparage them?  No, I wasn’t.Gratefully the Spirit of God has done some wonderful transforming in recent years, and God’s children have truly learned to work well together, bringing their different strengths together to accomplish so much more than they could individually.

One of the most remarkable examples of this kind of oneness is Table 71.

What, you ask, is Table 71?  Perhaps you’ve never heard of it.  Yet this group of Christian leaders have come together to accomplish some amazing things in the Kingdom.  Partners include: Youth with a Mission, International Mission Board of Southern Baptists, Walk Thru the Bible, Wycliffe Bible Translators, The Seed Company, The Jesus Film, Campus Crusade for Christ and others.

The primary focus in on ZERO.  That someday soon there would be ZERO unreached, unengaged people groups in our world.  Each partner commits to do their part to make this happen.  Translation and evangelism have been accelerated.  Orality and storying strategies are getting the gospel to those who don’t read.  Thousands of new missionaries and church planters have been sent to places that have never heard of Jesus.

In the dozen years since the Table 71 partnership formed, more than 90% of the unreached, unengaged groups of over 100,000 people now have someone committed to going to introduce people to the Savior, make disciples and plant churches.

This brief video tells the stunning story of how this began.  My sweet husband was there—and tears come to him every time he watches this.   I think it will astonish you to see the humble cooperation among God’s servants.  And oh the stories that have emerged as a result.

I know it makes Him happy.

The History of Table 71 | The Lausanne Global Conversation.

What about you?  Where are you partnering for the Kingdom?

c2013 Judy Douglass