The top representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance extended the term of Geoff Tunnicliffe, the WEA International Director, for three more years to a total of five years, during their annual gathering on Dec. 1, 2005.
Members of the International Council, the WEA's board of representatives, made the decision as part of a longer-term strategy to build the global voice of the Alliance and to initiate strategic partnerships for Christ-centered transformations within society.
"The extension of Geoff's appointment as the International Director for the next five years is a significant move, which we hope will continue the momentum that has been building in the World Evangelical Alliance," said Ndaba Mazabane, chairman of the International Council. "Our goal is to solidify the Alliance's governance and operational structures as it builds its strategies for growth and wider representation."
According to Mazabane, the decision was influenced by a study which revealed that while there are 380 million people directly related to the WEA through its national and regional alliances, there are at least 800 million people around the world who embrace global evangelicalism and the mission of the WEA. These 800 million include Christians from Reformed, Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions, who believe in the need for Christ-centered transformations within society.
"There is a realization that the values we stand for can be embraced by these 800 million Christians," said Mazabane. "Geoff will continue to build bridges to ensure that these common values we share as Evangelicals are broadened.
Tunnicliffe, who began his term as International Director on May 2005 and will now serve through May 2010, said he was grateful for the opportunity to extend the reach of the WEA.
"I feel honored and privileged for this task to strengthen the voice of the WEA and to serve in this capacity." said Tunnicliffe. "My hope for the next five years is that the WEA will foster Christian unity and become a truly global voice for the 800 million Evangelicals and Pentecostal Christians around the world."
"We hope to send a message that we are embracing the wider Evangelical community, which includes the many Pentecostals who are not officially part of us," Tunnicliffe added.
"We are recognizing that this strategy will take more than another 18 months" said Tunnicliffe, whose initial two-year term was set to end in May 2007. ?We are building a long term strategy and going on the record to say that we are seeking ways to foster unity within the 800 million global evangelicals."
The three-day International Council meeting was held at the German Evangelical Alliance retreat center in Bad Blankenburg, Germany from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2005. The International Council serves as the WEA board of representatives and sets the policies and governance of the alliance.