Jim Montgomery passed away a few days ago. I was told of his struggle with cancer quite a while ago but his family did not want a lot of publicity. He was one of America’s greatest missionaries of last century, a man went through some paradigm shifts in the Philippines and, like others before him (Newbigin, McGavran) came back to his country to launch out with something new. He started DAWN ministries, along with two South American friends, as a ministry that would help entire countries implement a nation-wide strategy for saturation church planting, through clear goal setting and finding the key person [the John Knoxer] for each region. This kind of thinking helped millions of churches get started, first in the Philippines, and then globally.
Jim’s 8 books are available as free downloads from Dawn Ministries. His most famous book “DAWN 2000: 7 Million Churches to Go [pdf]” totally blew my mind when i read it – the guy was a BIG thinker and, deep down, I yearned to be a part of something like the movements he talked about. I eventually met him in 1996 at Fuller School of World Mission at a class taught by Viv Grigg. In 2000, I joined forces with DAWN ministries as a part-time Associate for Emerging Generation – along with Wolfgang Fernandez (who helped launch DAWN with Jim) and was able to spend some time with Jim in Colorado Springs. He was very enthusiastic about the emerging church movements and told me about a house group he has started in his own home that was attracting young people – teens actually.
He was an incredible man and history will remember him fondly, perhaps more in the future than the present. There is still a lot of protest against the excesses of the American church growth movement from the 80’s that Jim was a part of. His name is sometimes associated with the number-crunching and overly pragmatic approach [David Bosch is often critical of Montgomery in Transforming Mission] but I expect the future will look back at Jim Montgomery with gratefulness and appreciation for helping us to think bigger and to get serious about finishing the job Jesus gave us to do.
From Jim’s daughter, Sheryl:
“Our dear Great Commission Update Readers,
At 1:19 AM on October 29, my father Jim Montgomery passed away, entering the Lord’s presence for eternity.
We will have two memorial services for him, the first in San Jose, California on Saturday, November 4th. The second will be in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday, November 18.
See below for the times and venues. We look forward to seeing all those who are able to come, and also appreciate those who will be with us in spirit. With love in Him, Sheryl Montgomery Wingerd
San Jose, California Service: Saturday, November 4, 2006 Church on the Hill (First Baptist Church of San Jose) 500 Sands Dr. 12:30 pm Reception following at Hilltop Manor, next to the church
Colorado Springs, Colorado Service: Saturday, November 18, 2006 Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel 4285 N. Academy Blvd. 11:00 am Reception following”
ALso – see marcs messages for another post