Over the past 2,000 years, there have been more than 2,000 plans to evangelize the world. These plans, cataloged in research books from "788 plans to evangelize the world" to the World Christian Encyclopedia, have ranged from "ideas" to "highly centralized plans." Though many have helped us make progress toward the goal, none have massively succeeded, and many had budgets they spectacularly exceeded and deadlines which they spectacularly failed to meet.
"We" (by which I mean mostly Westerners) love big global plans, and deadlines, and charts, and resources, and budgets, and things we control. But we don't need them. Not really. Not for this.
Ants don't need a master plan, yet they can grow to fill whole areas, and span large regions. Although we don't operate by instinct, complex problems can be tamed with simple algorithms and processes done at scale. We can do what ants do, by acting "swarmishly" with four simple rules:
If these four actions were done on a yearly basis - e.g. the understandings of the segments were updated yearly, and new workers commenced, rather than once every 10 or 20 years - it wouldn't take long to have presence in every place that Christians can access. This leaves the challenge of places that we cannot easily access - places and peoples within Afghanistan, North Korea, Yemen, Somalia, and even Pakistan and India and China that outsiders just can't get to. That's a reality we face.
The goal of this pattern is to go everywhere we can, trusting that the nearer we get to a place we can't get to, the more likely it is we'll find someone who can get to the places we can't.
For more on the definitions of church and agency, see discussion at:
The approach described above does not require a global plan, budget, or much in the way of a coordinating body! All that is required to "start" is for any single individual ekklesia to have (1) a knowledge of its immediate surroundings, (2) a knowledge of it's greater context (e.g. neighborhood vs total city), (3) the desire to pick a near-distant place and send workers, and (4) the willingness to collaborate with other like-minded workers.
... but some coordination and collaboration will infinitely improve this process. Many plans have failed because they either have (1) not enough structure or (2) too much. Centralization of control can lead to rigid structures that strangle or move far too slow to respond to threats. Not enough structure means too little information flow: lessons learned and threats observed go unshared, and eventually we are killed by something that surprises us. Getting the right level of collaboration is therefore important.
Ants (and bees, another great model) operate by instinct, but they do have a certain amount of collaboration in their members. For example, when an ant discovers a source of food, it will carry it back to the nest, leaving a scent-trail along the way to mark the path. Other ants, detecting the scent trail, understand it means "this leads to food" and automatically turn and follow it. Each ant likewise leaves a scent trail. The more ants on a trail, the stronger the scent, which is an indicator of how much food remains. When once an ant arrives at the end of the trail and finds no food there (because it has already been processed), he goes back to foraging, and the scent trail slowly disintegrates. Collaboration with others, by way of very simple communication systems, makes it possible to accomplish big tasks.
Ants (fortunately) can't collaborate at a global scale, but humans can. The Rules imply successively greater degrees of collaboration as we move from the global to the local. The global level needs to know a little about a great many places ("these are the places that have no workers; let's send people there; what are the barriers to our doing so; what lessons have we learned that suggest how we might overcome them"): enough to know where major threats and opportunities are, and where we should encourage workers to be sent. The local level needs far more collaboration - all the "how do we survive daily," "how do we find food," "there are threats," "there are opportunities," etc. The global level need not concern itself with the daily local operations in individual places.
Global, regional and national coordination are made possible through curated lists and maps that can be, in some cases, open-sourced and crowd-shared. The Internet is perfect for this. We have a number of good lists of places already, and good mapping tools; these need not be "perfect," nor do we need "one master database" to rule all. Simple search-and-discovery algorithms can uncover relational connections. Requiring obedience to a plan can eliminate a lot of locally perceived possibilities; the offer of collaboration and communication can reveal more opportunities and shared resources while leaving local sites flexible.
That's my "master plan." It can be sustained over generations, with little or no major budgets, and can withstand persecution. The beauty is, budgets are small and localized: we spend billions (trillions?) on the Internet globally, but there is no single master budget or centrally planned body. That's why the Internet works. It's the way mission to the end of the task will work, too: if each of us takes responsibility for our part.