John 15:9-17, taken from Jesus’ Farewell Discourse to his disciples. Included in this passage are the following major themes.
There exists a whole variety of church organizations today: traditional denominations, megachurches, house/underground churches and independent churches. If we are not careful, the Asian church will splinter into myriads of different groups without any sense of unity and accountability to each other. The result would be, as in the days of Judges, “everyone does what is right in his own eyes,” without accountability to the larger regional and national bodies. How can we take up Paul’s challenge “to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” rooted in the “one body, one Spirit … one hope …one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph 4:3-6).
This plenary will address the following questions:
Speaker: Dr. Yoshiyuki "Billy" Nishioka (Japan)
Over the past hundred years the Gospel has reached hundreds of millions in Asia. But the heartlands of the more established religions, especially Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Shintoism, have been much more difficult to penetrate. One of the key challenges for Christianity in Asia is the perception that it is a “white-man’s” religion with ways of thinking and action, church structures, worship, and ways of doing church and mission largely alien to Asia’s cultures and ways of life. Some keys issues that we need addressing:
Speaker: Dr. Calvin Ma (Hong Kong/Australia)
As a follow up from the plenary session on structures and accountability in the Asian church, this seminar explores practical models of ministry which are biblical yet contextual in terms of leadership and accountability. Are pastors to be charismatic CEOs of churches or servants of Christ attending to the spiritual needs of the church community? Are church leaders recognized as “holy men/women” (in the cultural sense of the term) or merely as organizational leaders and managers of religious groups? How can the church put into practice the idea that the fundamental paradigm for ministry in the New Testament is the call to servanthood and not necessarily to leadership?
Speaker: Bishop Efraim Tendero (Philippines)
The focus is on intra-Asian partnerships. What good partnership models are there between the different churches in Asia, between the older and more established and the younger and more vibrant, between those with more resources and those with less, etc.? How can we avoid paternalism on the one hand and the dependency syndrome on the other? How can we foster equal partnership which will help to produce mature indigenous churches which are self-supporting, self-propagating, self-governing and self-theologizing?
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Greetings in the name of our Lord! We live in unprecedent times with turmoil in our region under a sovereign God on the move. We look to the example of our Savior Jesus Christ as a healing suffering servant to the world.
Asia has around 4.4 billion people with 7.2% Christian. While we celebrate the growth of the Asian church and yet we understand the tremendous task ahead with a world in need of the gospel with over 5.2 billion to reach with 4 billion in Asia!
The Congress has come at an opportune time in history connecting Christian leaders together with the purpose of seeing a church and mission movement from our unique Asian context. While COVID has postponed and changed our original plans for the Asia 2020 Congress, we believe this is that under God’s providence as his ways are far higher than ours.
Our Asia 2020 Congress webinars, Asia 2021 Plenary, and Asia 2022 Conference are preparing us towards a Majority World Conference in 2023 and a Lausanne Congress IV in 2024 in Seoul. God willing, I look forward to meeting each of you in person.
May the gracious love of our Savior be with all of you.
Chair of Asia 2020 Congress