Partnership within God’s Purposes!
A Brief Report on the World Evangelical Fellowship Missions Commission meetingsin Manila Philipines, June 16-20
The World Evangelical Fellowship (or WEF) is an association of national fellowships of churches from 70 or so different countries. These churches have 100,000,000 people associated to them.
The WEF has a global meeting every 6 years called the General Assembly. This just ended in Manila Philippines. WEF also has a number of specialized commissions that seek to assist the worldwide body of Christ on global issues that effect the whole church. These commissions meet just before the General Assembly as well as inbetween.
One of those commissions is the Missions Commission. The theme of their meeting this year was, "Toward Interdepandant Partnership." The focus was on what might be done to further enhanse the working together of the body of Christ on a global level. Various examples of partnerships--missions working with mission, national church working with missions,ect., were shared.
Many different aspects, problems and blessing of this subject were discussed. Dozens of models of of partnership--old and new--were presented. It is the hope of Bill Taylor, XX of the Missions Commission (an MK and former missionary in Latin America) to produce a book from the conference.
Another topic of the conference was international missionary training. That is--training missionaries who are from the two thirds-world. As many people know (but I believe don't fully realize), there is a fast growing number of these kind of missionaries. The estimates mentioned at this meeting was 40,000--some estimate even more--as high as 50,000.
Because of the need for these missionaries to have the proper kind of training and preparation, the Missions Commission of the WEF has focussed on the development and nurture of training centers around the world. A previous conference of the Missions Commission had the topic of Missionary Training as the theme and a book was published called, Internationalizing Missionary Training (call 1-800-Mission to order).
During the meetings I was impressed by the size of the missions force as represented by the leaders there and their churches around the world. I can see how looking at thingswith only a Western perspective can easily lead us to be pessimistic about what God is doing all over the world.
That is not to say that there are not problems and issues that need to be dealt with as the missions force grows internationally. Think about the needs of these two-thirds world missionaries just in terms of training their children. They have "MKs" also! One report at the meeting noted that an agency from Korea had to send 20 of their best missionary families home because there was no schooling options that would work for them!
Truly we have much to pray for when we think about world evangeliztion, but we also have much to praise for! God is working through organizations like the WEF Missions Commission to bring about His purposes to make His name know on the earth.