Member churches of the World Council of Churches can expect that the first mission statement by the group in more than 30 years will provide a fresh understanding of prophetic missiology and a focus on the mission of the Holy Spirit, according to a group official.
Bishop Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism said in an interview released by the WCC that the statement seeks to give a renewed understanding and practice of mission and evangelism amid changing global landscapes.
The WCC's Executive Committee approved the statement, which is about 12,000 words in length, last month. Bishop Coorilos says the CWME will ask churches and affiliated mission bodies to share in ways of reflecting and implementing the statement in their local context.
He said the reflections and followup actions on the statement will be shared in the International Review of Mission ahead of next year's 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan, South Korea, where church representatives will vote on whether to accept the statement.
Creative Reflection, Renewed Appreciation
Bishop Coorilos said the statement aims to stimulate "creative mission reflection and encouraging discernment and action by member churches and related mission agencies of the WCC."
"It is also expected that the new affirmation will promote a renewed appreciation of the mission of the Trinity (missio Trinitatis), especially the "mission of the Holy Spirit", the "life-giver", he added "Differently put, it aims at articulating a fresh understanding of a prophetic missiology that affirms "life" in its fullness, in relation to justice, inclusivity and integrity of creation."
He said he expects the impact of the statement to address the shift of the center of gravity of world Christianity from the global North to the global South and East, the influence of neo-liberal economic ideologies, the impact of migration, new forms of oppression of people and the environment, new ways of being churches and the rise of Pentecostal and charismatic churches.
The statement also challenges churches "to assume the role of a 'servant' (instead of 'master') of God's mission, and NOT to conceive of mission in colonial, expansionist and triumphalist terms."
He said the statement advocates "authentic evangelism" which promotes the values of humility, hospitality, justice, inclusivity and the dialogue of life.