CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The 10th World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission Convocation closed on Saturday, June 24, 2006, with the installation of new leadership, strengthened networks, and a hopeful vision for the future.
“The Lord has been speaking to us throughout all of the meetings and devotions,” said Bertil Ekstrom, the newly elected Executive Director of the WEA-MC. “The Mission Commission has been a meeting place for mission leaders, a forum where we can strengthen each other and form deep fellowship among colleagues. We want to extend this partnership to even more representatives worldwide, and to those in the mission community that do not usually attend these gatherings.”
Ekstrom was officially appointed as the new Executive Director on Wednesday evening – one of several leadership and staff changes featured at the weeklong conference.
The conference featured seminars, plenary sessions, and reports of new and ongoing developments in the field of mission. The sessions and workshops touched on a variety of topics, ranging from the serious “Islam from an African Perspective” and “Ministry in the Context of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic,” to the more unusual “Christian Response to the Avian Flu Outbreak.”
A spotlight was also placed on diversity: attendants ranged from ages 18 to 85, and traveled from 54 countries to attend the meeting.
“For me, one of the greatest things has been the richness of sitting on the table with a diversity of voices, nations, and generations,” said Joanne Good, Associate Director of Christian Locators in the United Kingdom, and one of five featured speakers at a panel on young mission leaders. “Coming to a gathering like this, you’re able to realize how narrow your world can be, even in the field of global missions.”
Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, also applauded the diverse make-up of the convocation.
“During this event we heard robust, creative and focused dialogue from mission practitioners from around the world,” said Tunnicliffe. “It was particularly encouraging and challenging to hear younger leaders who share ideas about new strategies of mission, the need for being mentored and older leaders to be more transparent about their own failings.
“All the participants will leave this consultation better equipped to engage in extending the Kingdom of God,” he said.
WEA-MC convocations are held once every three years, and give international missions leaders and pastors the opportunity to fellowship, learn, and network with each other.
“This has been a fantastic experience,” said Colin Banfield, a South African pastor. “Although it is broad, there is a like-mindedness here that unites us. It has been the best place to connect with the right people who have the same concern for missions.”
This year’s convocation was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from June 18-24, 2006.
The Mission Commission produces resources for mission movements around the globe. Free books and other print materials are available from www.wearesources.org.
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 127 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.
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Dr. William Taylor,
Mr. Bertil Ekstrom
Mission Commission Executive Director