We started with a video on mission and partnership with some moving testimonies.

David Ruiz

Latin America is open to the work of God.  It has turned the world upside down.  The mission from the West is finished, welcome to the mission of the world from everywhere to everywhere.  Growing up in Guatemala less than 1% of the population was Christian, as a student it was 12%, as a pastor it was over 20%.  Sending missionaries has become a big theme – 51% of the budgets are spent on mission.  More recently 33% of the population is Christian.

The church of Jesus Christ is as close to equilibrium as we can ever make.  As in Acts, the church is our fountain of hope providing spiritual and physical hope – but especially future hope – the gospel of salvation.  There is hope for all, the church has an opportunity to change the world.

However there is division in the church, in Acts 6 we see the first issue of division, which the apostles dealt with quickly.  Paul’s letter to the Corinthians also highlights the issue of divided church bringing some challenges:

  • Humility is needed – what makes you stand out, what do you have that you have not received, and if you receive it, why do you glory in yourself as you were one who had not received it?
  • Humiliation will happen – Paul shares three examples of himself (1 Cor. 4:8-15)
  • Treated without any respect

We must work for unity as if it were a personal commitment to God.  The epilogue of the letter reminds us to:

  1. Stand firm and let nothing move you
  2. Always give yourself completely to the Lord’s work
  3. Remember that your labor for the Lord is not in vain

Let us work hard to maintain our unity.  Being willing to pay the cost.

To conclude, a dream of unity:

We all consider ourselves members of the same body with equality of possibilities and opportunities to contribute together to world evangelization.

Participating together in world mission and evangelization, with money being the last question, trusting in God.

The world doesn’t need more congresses when you only up with words like “cooperation”, “accountability” and “esources”.  Instead let’s focus on maing the gospel available to all.

That this congress will change our minds, that we become aware that the world once knew no longer exists.  The Lord is working in new ways with new partnerships and younger leaders.

 

Video of example of partnerships in Algeria, Mongolia (4 believers in 2.5 million people, now hundreds of churches with potentially 100,000 believers and more!)

 

Leslie Neal Segraves & Chad Neal Segraves

Dedicated their life to ministry on their wedding day.  Three big steps since:

  • Inter-denominational mission group
  • Facilitate partnerships between the West and indigenous people groups
  • Partnership of male and females based on gifts not gender.

It is the fall the changed the roles and responsibilities, but post-Jesus we go back to the original mandates.

They are giving lots of examples of equipping women (and men) around the world in ministry. They speak very honestly about the challenges and benefits of co-operative ministry as a couple.

 

Now a drama on differences but how we’re the holy temple, the dwelling place of God.

 

Patrick Fung

Partnership is about God and the way that the church belongs to God.  We should be cexcited because what we do together has a cosmic purpose.  Face a struggle with the world “equilibrium” in the the title, suggests trying to equalise the power, which would suggest that partnership is our final goal.

God’s power

Mission is not primarily about equilibrium, if anything it is about the imbalance of power, the power of God upon His people who are the recipients of His power.  The early church seemed powerless, but God changed it.

Glad that LCWE stands for Lausanne Congress for World Evangelism for Lausanne Congress for World Equilibrium.  Seeing disciples is always the number one priority.  In pursuing God’s mission, unity is more important than equilibrium.

God’s redemption

John Stott’s commentary on Ephesians in 1979: “for the sake of hte glory of God and the evangelisation of the world, nothing is more important than the church shuld be, and should be seen to be, God’s new society”.  The new community is characterised by reconciliation.

The Spirit of God is on all people, it breaks Patrick’s heart when he hears people who can’t understand/work with others.  Example of a Japanese women who passed away and gave all her money to mission in China!

The message of reconciliation is to be lived out by God’s new community which  the fragmented world needs to see.  Reconciliation is a position that Christ has achieved for us through the cross.

The biblical model of Christian partnership is not  a “win-win” model as the world promotes but always requires a sacrificial partnership.

God’s sovereignty

Edinburgh 1910 was exciting, but the delegates were overwhelmingly from Western countries.  Very few came from the younger churches.  Today the picture is different, with over 50% of leaders here today from the Majority World.

Whilst rejoicing Patrick still has a nagging restlessness.  People see Asia, especially China as the next big revival.  But are we not repeating the same mistake that our Western brethren might have committed in the past – that is, to equate economic and political power with advances in the spreading of the gospel.  There is a sense of Asian triumphalism that is not helpful.

Arrogance and self-pity are the key barriers to pursuing world evangelisation.  There is a rich heritage of the modern Western mission from which the non-Western Christian community can learn.  Stories need to be shared so we have a better understanding.

Deep friendship is important in our partnerships for world evangelisation to reconcile the world to God in Christ.

 

Femi and Brenda talking about new things to take from their congress:

  • Got to hear the voices of the people at the margins as the margins always speak to the centre, e.g. native American.
  • The day of the single superstar is over – the day of partnerships is coming to the church.  Partnership is what we do with people in our organisation/denomination/group whereas collaboration is with people outside.  We need to go from global partnership to local partnership – meeting our brothers and sisters at home together.
  • Need to see more local (regional) partnerships, e.g. African-Americans with Africa, Latin America with the Caribbean.

 

Drama team is going to highlight the Triune God – the best example of partnership.

Femi and Brenda talking about new things to take from their congress:

  • Got to hear the voices of the people at the margins as the margins always speak to the centre, e.g. native American.
  • The day of the single superstar is over – the day of partnerships is coming to the church.  Partnership is what we do with people in our organisation/denomination/group whereas collobaration is with people outside.  We need to go from global partnership to local partnership – meeting our brothers and sisters at home together.
  • Need to see more local (regional) partnerships, e.g. African-Americans with Africa, Latin America with the Carribean.

Following Table Group time we’re hearing from the Theology Working Group by 18 theologians – from whom 8 were brought together to write the final document.  Part 1 is our core mission beliefs which we’ll be using tonight.  Part 2 is based on The Congress itself.  There will eventually be a Cape Town Compendium but Part 2 will be more focussed on the resulting challenges for the 21st century church.

Chris
cskidd1983@gmail.com
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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