In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
International Leadership Forum participants from across the world met in Seoul with local pastors. Table discussions about Bible engagement, Evangelism and Discipleship, Women and the Church.
Some 90 leaders from 40 countries participated in the 2016 International Leadership Forum (ILF) of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
Seoul was the place where the annual meetings were held this year. The conference (February 29 – March 4) was hosted by the Christian Council of Korea (CCK).
“Being in Korea allowed us to strengthen our relationships with the vibrant Christian community of this country”, WEA Secretary General Bishop Efraim Tenero said. “We are grateful that we received an overwhelming positive response from both, the participants from all over the world and the churches in Korea.”
“Partners in the Gospel: Building His Church” was the theme for the meetings.
“The theme was applied to WEA’s threefold strategy of ‘connecting for common action, equipping for global impact, and representing with a global voice’ in order to more effectively advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for God’s glory”, the World Alliance said.
Table discussions and issue-based groups helped the interaction between WEA executive leaders, regional leaders and some national alliances representatives.
Topics like Bible engagement; Evangelism, discipleship, healthy churches and missional lifestyles; Women and girls and the Church; A Christ-like response to persecution; and Intra-faith and inter-faith relations were discussed in the sessions. Refugees, family, creation care, female genital mutilation, and other issues were also discussed in spontaneous discussions.
More than 700 Korean church leaders and other guests participated in the ILF Opening Ceremony.
Later, a delegation of the WEA leadership was invited to attend the Korean National Prayer Breakfast with President Geun-hye Park where Bp Tendero offered a prayer on behalf of WEA.
VISIT TO NORTH KOREAN BORDER
The participants also had the opportunity to visit and pray at the Demilitarised Zone, where they witnessed first-hand the tension that has existed in the country for many decades. Rev. Ndaba Mazabane, Chairman of the WEA International Council, led participants in a prayer for peace on the Korean peninsula and for reunification of the one nation.
Later the conference participants sent “A Message of Goodwill from the WEA to All the People of Korea”. The text says:
We, the participants at the 2016 International Leadership Forum of the World Evangelical Alliance, meeting in Seoul, Korea, come with goodwill towards all the Korean people who live in this peninsula. Each day millions of evangelicals around the world pray for the Korean people on both sides of the DMZ.
We share a common humanity with you. We are all made in God’s image. God, our creator, yearns for all of us to reflect His love and care for one another. In that we all fall short.
In the spirit of reconciliation that Jesus entrusted to us, we pray for all the Korean people and the leaders of both governments that throughout this peninsula there will be peace and harmony.
All our nations bear the scars of history and strife of previous generations, which we all regret and none of us would have chosen. We want to be those who heal the wounds of the past and leave a lasting legacy of peace for our children and future generations.
We pray that the governments both in and outside the peninsula may be guided by God to undertake peacemaking initiatives in a spirit of mutual respect, not of condemnation. We commit ourselves to pray that the God of peace will be with all those who undertake these difficult tasks, which appear to be impossible in our own strength but with God’s help we can achieve lasting peace.