(Image: Mission America Coalition)
A coalition of Christian leaders in the United States who are part of the worldwide Lausanne Movement have launched a national campaign to call on Christians and the Church to show the love of Christ to every person in America by the end of the decade.
"We pray that by year-end 2020, every person in America would be authentically loved by at least one Christian," says Paul Cedar, chairman of the Mission America Coalition (MAC).
The LOVE2020 campaign, which aims to engage ministries, churches, whole denominations, and individual Christians in the effort, was announced at the MAC annual leadership consultation in Denver last week. The response of partner churches and those that the group wants to participate in was overwhelming, Cedar said.
"I'm amazed at how many leaders have caught the vision for prayer-care-share, and have expressed their desire to be involved in LOVE2020," he said.
Cedar describes Love2020 as a grass-roots movement of Christians adopting a "prayer-care-share lifestyle. "This lifestyle involves praying for those who do not know Jesus, to show them love in tangible ways through acts of kindness and meeting needs, and to share the gospel with them."
The overall vision of the Mission America Coalition, which is also the U.S. Lausanne Committee, is to see "the whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole nation and the world."
The worldwide Lausanne Movement began when in July 1974 some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, for ten days of discussion, fellowship, worship and prayer. Given the range of nationalities, ethnicities, ages, occupations and church affiliations, TIME Magazine described it as "a formidable forum, possibly the widest ranging meeting of Christians ever held."
"Sharing the gospel can be as simple as inviting someone into a context to hear the message of Jesus – to attend an event or watch a movie or read a book in which the gospel is shared," the MAC stated.
"The Holy Spirit works in a heart that has been prayed for, cared for, and shared with," said Susan Brill, MAC's director of communications.
Cedar points out, "If only 10 percent of professing Christians in the U.S. would adopt and put in practice the simple, yet powerful, prayer-care-share lifestyle, this vision and mission could be fulfilled.
"We are not asking you to become involved in another short-term program," he emphasized. "We believe it is time for us to change our long-term lifestyles by becoming praying, caring, and sharing followers of Jesus."
MAC has created a new website to support the initiative, Love2020.org, which launches Nov. 15. The site is planned to be a place where online visitors can read stories and see video clips about prayer-care-share efforts underway around the country and also for participants to submit stories of God's work through their own prayer-care-share lifestyle. MAC will also help track commitments to Christ and follow up with new believers and their involvement in a local church.
Organizers say the initiative is unprecedented for the coalition, whose 500 partners and members come from 85 denominations, every size of ministry and church, and many individuals.
"This movement will not belong to us or any other single ministry," Cedar clarifies. "But we will serve it and will help facilitate the hundreds of specific outreaches that will be part of the movement."