2014 MC Global Consultation plans are taking shape

IMG_5310 2The MC is convening a Global Consultation in Turkey in May (13-17) 2014 with the theme “Gospel – Church – Mission”. God has given the MC the unique capacity to convene key missional leaders and shape the participation of the global Evangelical movement in God’s mission and in the advance of His kingdom.

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The MC convenes Global Consultations  every two or three years.  MC Global consultations have proven to be among the most strategic “safe places” for reflective-practitioners of mission to focus on and grapple with global issues and challenges. Previous consultations have resulted in mutual encouragement, greater understanding of the challenges that make up successive “present moments” for following Christ in his mission, joint work and strategies, as well as new written materials for publication and wider distribution.
The next important opportunity for this dynamic meeting of leaders, representing mission movements from places that have traditionally sent missionaries as well as from the newer sending countries, will be in Turkey, in May 2014.

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The theme of the consultation, Gospel – Church – Mission invokes three essential elements in global mission. Gospel is the message, the good news for every people and every person on this earth and that speaks the whole person and that includes the whole creation. Church is the agent of mission, called to proclaim and to live out the gospel truth in and from every neighbourhood and beyond. A church is missionary by nature, otherwise its existence can be questioned. Mission is God’s mission, and we are all invited to partner with Him in order to advance His kingdom. We will look at gospel and church from a missiological perspective and examine the biblical and practical integration between them.

The MC is convening this consultation in preparation for the WEA General Assembly (GA) later in the year at Korea.  The theme of the GA, Following Jesus Christ into the World”  is deeply missiological. The MC Consultation is designed to be an important step towards fully unpacking its meaning.  Our plan is to offer materials from our consultation to the GA and for the delegates to take home with them.

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The WEA senior leadership has enthusiastically endorsed the  MC Consultation as part of the preparation for the WEA GA at Seoul, South Korea.  MC Associates will be more prepared to engage the WEA General Assembly in support of the participation of evangelicals from around the globe in the global mission of Jesus.

On behalf of the WEA senior leadership, Dr. Wilf Gasser writes the following:

“From a WEA perspective the General Assembly in Seoul holds two important opportunities for the Mission Commission. Firstly, the MC consultation in Turkey in May 2014 can be seen as an important stepping-stone towards the GA. Its focus on Church & Mission will help prepare so at the GA the MC can offer strategies and guidelines for a strong collaboration between mission movements and the local church. Secondly, the MC can profit from the GA being held in the strong mission nation of Korea and the Asian nations presumably being well represented at the GA.” 

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More detailed information will be made available in August regarding the venue and registration for the May 13-17, 2014 MC Global Consultation in Turkey.  Please pray for those of us who are planning the consultation.  Take advantage of the “Comments” section below to communicate with us about the consultation.

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The 2014 Mission Commission and the 2014 WEA General Assembly

The following communication from Dr. Wilf Gasser might help MC Associates to understand the role we MCA’s can play in the upcoming WEA General Assembly to be held in Seoul, Korea from October 18 to 26, 2014.  Please be asking God that this event will result in greater understanding of and participation of the global mission of Christ to make the the blessing of Abraham to all peoples.

The General Assembly 2014 of the WEA will have a different scope and size than in the past. With the backing of the Christian Council of Korea we hope to bring a much larger group of evangelical leaders to Seoul. The GA will focus on the theme of “Following Jesus Christ into the World” and will encourage the participants to reflect on their missional calling and the transformational power of the Kingdom of God. Special emphasis will be given to the networking and cross-pollination not only within but between the many national alliances and the different service arms.

We are therefore inviting national alliances to not only bring 2-3 delegates as in the past, but to attend the assembly with a team of national experts representing the different topics. These will then be able to connect the outcomes from the GA-consultations to the grassroots of the national alliance and ultimately to the local church.

 For WEA service arms like the Mission Commission it will therefore be crucial to not only consider how the working times at the GA could serve their own development, but how they can serve other parts of the body and especially what they can offer the local church. 

 From a WEA perspective the General Assembly in Seoul holds two important opportunities for the Mission Commission.

Firstly, the MC consultation in Turkey in May 2014 can be seen as an important stepping stone towards the GA. Its focus on Church & Mission will help prepare so at the GA the MC can offer strategies and guidelines for a strong collaboration between mission movements and the local church.

Secondly, the MC can profit from the GA being held in the strong mission nation of Korea and the Asian nations presumably being well represented at the GA. That will help the MC strengthen the ties to the Asian mission community.

 The afternoons from Monday to Thursday and Friday all day plus Saturday morning will to a large extent be at the disposition of our service arms. That will allow for much individual work being done within the commissions and service arms. It will allow for networking, consultations, cross-pollination between different topics, or offering workshops and trainings for members or representatives from national alliances and local churches.

 And on a special note I would like to invite the members of the mission commission to make an additional effort. It will be a challenge to bring the right people to the GA, including a good number of participants from the majority world, younger leaders and female leaders. As an MC member with a wide range of connections and partners in the majority world you can contribute a lot by checking through your contacts and define those people you think would need to be part of that GA experience. Partly because they have a contribution to make, or on the other hand because they could take away a lot and have a high potential for leadership in their nations or in their respective field. And at the same time your mission organization could perhaps partner with some less privileged organization or nation and could help finance their participation at the GA.

 In any case, we very much appreciate your collaboration and your prayerful participation in the process leading up to a memorable and life changing GA-experience. God himself will have to connect the many dots, but we honor him as the architect of his living temple, and we can expect HIS presence to make the BIG difference!

 Dr. Wilf Gasser
Associate Secretary General
World Evangelical Alliance

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New review of Sorrow and Blood Published

EMQ recently published a review of Sorrow and Blood.  sorrow-and-blood

The review was later re-published by Missio Nexus.  The review is available only to subscribers of EMQ and to members of Missio Nexus.  However the book is available to all.

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The church, globally connected?

The churches in Poland, Southern Europe, Brazil and Turkey are facing new missional opportunities that are outside/beyond our standard conception of mission.  Since we are connected with them in the same mission, we can think with them, support them in this challenge.

First image: The train in Poland carries quite a number of mainly young people from the South of Europe. Are they tourists? No, they are not on a sightseeing tour. They come from the  rather overbearingly called   “PIGS” countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. They are either already working in Poland or jobseekers in that country. For these immigrants the country is an economical refuge, even though the average wages in Poland are still far below European standard and many Polish people work in West-European countries to gain a more attractive salary.

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Second image: Brazilians enter the streets by the hundreds of thousands, originally as a protest against a price raise of the bus tickets. In Turkey a multitude occupies Taksim square, not agreeing with the president’s plan to change the place into a shopping mall. The Brazilians and Turks apparently feel related: In Rio some of the protesters carry a Turkish flag, Turkish youngsters in the crowd at Taksim square tweet to the people in Rio: “You are not alone! Turkey is with you! Love from Istanbul!”

In the first image globalization takes place from despair, with people being homesick, longing for their own food and missing their relatives. In the second image globalization happens  from a perspective of hope. Hope that social change can take place, that corruption can at least be lessened and power shared more equally.

Both images show challenging opportunities for the global(ized) church. Where many Christians speak about the church as being in the margin, here -and even on a global scale- the church is offered an occasion to be relevant for society: The global church telling – and showing-  the Polish church that they are not alone when they work on showing hospitality to their immigrants from the Southern-European countries to make them feel at home. But also the protesters in Turkey and Brazil, even in all their excitement, need the involvement of the global church as the catalyst for real social transformation.

What ‘tweet’ do we send to our brethren in the countries concerned to make them feel connected with the global church in this opportunity to be missional and relevant?

Kees van der Wilden

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MC Global Consultation 2014

Announcing
WEA Mission Commission Global Consultation 2014
Theme: Gospel – Church – Mission
Date: May 13-18, 2014
Place: Turkey

 

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Musings: how we talk about Jesus’ call to mission(s).

A time will come when is no need for missions anymore.  One day people in every nation, people, tribe and language will worship God because they have experienced saving transformation in Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9-17).  John Piper is right: “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man” (Piper, John, Let the Nations be Glad – The Supremacy of God in Missions, Baker Books, 1993:11).

Apparently, that time is not now.  Until that time comes, it is important for us to think about the ways we describe what the work is that he gave us to do, just as it is important to examine the way we do it.    Jesus told his disciples that they should not worry too much about the time.  Rather, they were to focus on being His witnesses in Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:7-8).

Over the years, in the MC, we have worked hard at developing an honest critique about how we are doing with the task.  We also need to work hard in our critique of how we describe the task.

Right now, some churches–at least in the West–are stuck in old ways of thinking about missions that are paralysing their willingness to send and threatening their fruitfulness.   Missional faith is dimmed by discouraging descriptions that Christianity is losing its vitality in some places and is overwhelmed by descriptions multiple thousands of “unreached” groups in others.   We run the risk of reducing Christ’s mission into a statistical problem to be solved.

In another example from my own country.  We Swedes have worked conscientiously to engage and understand followers of other religions in dialogue and witness.  In the process, though, many churches have adopted pluralistic views that “all roads lead to Rome.”  That may have been true in the Roman Empire but it misses the point when it comes to understanding the work of Christ as the crucified Messiah, his resurrection and call to gospel faithfulness.

When we think about the mission Christ gave us, we do it with God.  And he seems to be working to keep the mission from getting stuck and to keep his people from missing the point.  At the moment, his solution seems to be new leaders in new places.  The fruit that these new leaders are producing is not only that new missionaries are sent from new places. God is also using them, and the missionaries they send, to talk about what the calling requires, and sometimes they are describing the mission in new ways.

Can we think out loud, together, about new ways in which Christ’s mission is being described?  How do you feel about what you see?

Bertil

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Global Congress on Business as Mission, 25-28 April, 2013

Bertil Ekstrom, Executive Director of the Mission Commission writes:  “I recommend the Business as Mission Global Think Tank as an important and viable process for deepening the knowledge about and the use of this God-given tool for advancing His Kingdom.”

The Global Congress on Business as Mission (BAM), will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand – April 25-28, 2013 –a unique gathering of leaders and practitioners from all continents that will address key strategic issues related to Business as Mission. The BAM ThinkTank is announcing this congress as the culmination of a yearlong process in which they have engaged hundreds people from all over the world.  Over 30 national, regional and international working groups will present cutting edge BAM practices and models and bring strategic recommendations during the Congress. The global Congress will provide a unique ‘one-stop shop’ to meet and interact with BAM leaders from all over the world, on an unprecedented scale.

Visit http://bamthinktank.org/congress to find out more.

Quotes from key leaders in business, church and missions endorse the BAM Think Tank & Congress: http://bamthinktank.org/about/endorsements/

A digital post card and sample social media posts can be found here: http://bamthinktank.org/congress-media/

Mats Tunehag
Co-Chair | Business as Mission Global Think Tank

More information: http://bamthinktank.org/congress

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