Lausanne and WEA are partnering for stronger workplace engagement
(Budapest) Participants from more than 20 countries attended the co-hosted Europe Eurasia Workplace Forum, April 08-10 in Budapest. There, the Lausanne Workplace Network and the Business Coalition of the World Evangelical Alliance emphasized the desperate need for a paradigm shift in the interaction between workplace, ministries and churches.
Dr. Jerry White (USA), Chairman of the Lausanne Workplace Network, was delighted about this 1st joint conference’s emphasis on the vital role of Christian engagement in the workplace for building God´s kingdom.
Timo Plutschinski (Germany), Director of the World Evangelical Alliance´s Business Coalition, said: “The conventional division of labor in church in which church-paid “full-timers” are responsible for all the spiritual formation and business people are just there to provide the funding has never been either biblical or effective. This relationship has to be reconsidered.”
And Mark Greene (England), Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, added: “God’s people in the workplace have a unique opportunity to transform those workplaces and show and share Christ with their co-workers. We, pastors, workers, theologians must all work together to empower them to do it.”
In preparation for the Global Workplace Forum taking place at April, 05th-08th, 2017 in Manila the forum in Budapest also worked on a shaping a distinctive European contribution. Dr. Arleen Westerhof (The Netherlands), Coordinator of the European Economic Summit, emphasized the need to address the core societal challenges of long-term unemployment, deepening income inequality and political instability.
One of the sobering highlights of the program was the presentation by Dr. Jany Haddad (Syria), a surgeon and pastor who is still living and working in Aleppo, Syria. It was heartbreaking to hear stories about people who could have gone free, but who choose to die for their faith rather than to deny Christ.
Overall the Europe Eurasia Workplace Forum was a multifarious call to courageous living and leadership and strategizing for the Church of Jesus Christ in order to take the Kingdom of God into every workplace.