Those who follow trends and movements in Christian missions are well aware of what has been called the 10/40 Window. This window can be defined quite simply:
The 10/40 Window is an area of the world that contains the largest
population of non-Christians in the world. The area extends from 10
degrees to 40 degrees North of the equator, and stretches from North
Africa across to China. Here is what the 10/40 window looks like on the map.
This 10/40 focus is upon finishing the call of Scripture to reach every tribe and nation and thus to plant the church of Jesus Christ among all people groups. I cut my teeth, spiritually speaking, on this missional model. I still embrace it.
But a new initiative is gaining interest among missionary leaders, one that I have been privileged to share in personally. This initiative is called the 4/14 Window. My friend Luis Bush, a strategist-activist and international facilitator of Transform World Connections, based in Singapore, was the author of the 10/40 Window. He is also the author of this new initiative. His plan is to raise up Christ followers from the largest generation on the planet in order to transform a new generation of people into followers of Jesus.
The 10/40 Window embraces a geographic frame; the 4/14 Window describes a demographic frame—the life season of ten years between ages of 4 and 14. I confess when I first heard this idea that I was not altogether sympathetic. My ignorance was soon removed, especially by listening to Luis talk about it, and the vision now excites me very deeply.
There are 1.2 billion children and youth in the 4/14 Window. Transform World proposes a way to reach the hearts and minds of this new generation so they can be transformed and mobilized as agents for spiritual transformation throughout the world. Writes Luis Bush, "Our vision and hope is to maximize their transformational impact while they are young, and to mobilize them for continuing impact for the rest of their lives." To accomplish this requires the church to address the spiritual, mental, physical, relational, economic and social issues these children face. We must address their poverty for sure, but as Bush says so aptly, we must also address their "ministry poverty." There is little opportunity for this group to exercise their gifts and achieve their potential in the ways that truly honor God and advance his kingdom.
Bush believes the time is now to re-prioritize and re-direct great energy and vision to the 4/14 Window. To do this we must first become deeply aware of what is actually happening to the young throughout the world. Informed awareness, joined with prayer and action, can give us the "window" that we need to reach this huge group.
I have participated in discussions, both in private and in small groups, with Luis Bush. I will be saying more about the 4/14 Window in the days ahead. I have been invited to have a very small part in a September meeting about this vision to be held in New York City. I believe it is a strategy that is rooted in biblical theology and the present demographic reality of planet earth. If you are interested at all please visit the Web site of Transform World.