Youth With A Mission recently discovered the potential benefits and impact of an important tool for international ministry in a new venture they call Project 4K. With the Global Ministry Mapping System, designed by Global Mapping International (GMI), YWAM’s Global Leadership Team 4K Task Force is developing process of implementation, monitoring, and review to track YWAM’s “4K growth” regularly for the next 15 years.
Project 4K is built upon two basic concepts. The first is breaking the world up into zones of similar population size by using geo-political divisions of the world that already exists such as countries, states, and districts rather than creating new borders. For example, one 4K zone is the country of Jamaica, while another is the district of Yavatmal in the state of Maharashtra, India. Both are similar in population size.
The second concept is to emphasize “unreachedness” when choosing divisions of the world. YWAM Chairman Jim Stier explains, “In the most-reached world, these zones include a population of up to nine million. In the moderately-reached world, they will have up to six million and in the unreached world they will contain up to three million people.” This created proportionally more zones in the least-reached parts of the world. Using these two concepts, the 4K team has come up with a total of over 4000 (4K) zones, called “Omega Zones.”
A key to these concepts lies in geography, for all ministry has a geographic expression whether it involves evangelism, discipleship, or mercy ministries.
YWAM”s Global Leadership Team 4K Task Force is working hard to ensure that the program will be practical, measurable, and workable. David Hamiliton, Associate Provost of YWAM’s University of the Nations and lead researcher for 4K, reports on their monitoring grid that contains “over 160 demographic distinctions. We’re plotting all unreached people groups into it, so we will know exactly where we stand and can get to whole new levels of specificity.”
In the YWAM structure, each of the several hundred base leaders must regularly decide where to send short-term ministry teams. By showing immediately where work by other ministries is underway, Project 4K maps allow leaders to send their teams to areas with the greatest need.
Project 4K has reportedly given mission organizations an opportunity for clearer focus and stronger collaboration. Several agencies are also exploring the possibility of adapting 4K as their own strategic framework.