Dear Friends of the World Evangelical Alliance around the globe, dear fellow believers in Jesus Christ, and especially dear leaders, men and women in responsibility for National Evangelical Alliance and Regional Evangelical Alliances that together form the World Evangelical Alliance.
I greet you in the New Year 2022, and I ask God’s blessing upon you that you have wisdom and courage to do what is needed in this year.
I would like to look back to 1846 when the World Evangelical Alliance was started and from there even back into the New Testament to ensure that what we do in 2022 is in line with what God wants us to do.
I would like to quote Acts 6. In those days, it says, there was a problem that had to do with racism, with social questions. Some widows from the Greek background did not get enough to eat over to those from a Hebrew background.
The Apostles gathered, it says in verse 2, and said “it would not be right for us to neglect the Ministry of the Word of God and in order to wait on tables, brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. And we will turn this responsibility over to them. And we’ll give our attention to prayer and the Ministry of the Word.” The Apostles obviously put prayer first and then followed by the Ministry of the Word.
This is exactly what was repeated in 1846. The leaders gathered in London and the first thing they organized was a global week of prayer at the beginning of each year, which still is done today in many countries of the world. WEA always will stay a prayer movement. Out of this first step of unity followed the unity and world mission, in preaching the Gospel. For World Evangelical Alliance, mission and evangelism and distributing the printed Word of God as well as its message in as many languages as possible always will stay in the center.
But those leaders saw a world full of injustice. The Apostles did not put the problem, the social problem, the problem of hunger at the site they installed a full office. They made the Church responsible for this problem. And so our fathers and mothers in Christ in 1846 did not just pray and preach and say that’s it. They engaged in all kinds of social and political matters to transform society, e.g. fighting slavery and the male violence brought in through alcoholism. They gave the world one of the most powerful political principles, religious freedom, even though criticizing the mix of Church and state in state churches at that time was met by a lot of criticism and public discrimination.
Still today, the World Evangelical Alliance is involved in an incredible large number of public topics as the National Evangelical Alliances work for peace and justice in their nations and World Evangelical Alliance combines all this into global advocacy. I wish you all a blessed year 2022 and I wish us all that we in the unity that only Jesus Christ can bring, pray, preach the word, and transform the world around us according to God’s standards.
Secretary General / CEO
World Evangelical Alliance