Our societies are becoming increasingly diverse, culturally and religiously. That’s why our member churches across the globe must continually find new forms to spread the message of God’s passion for humankind.
Further vivid examples of our intercultural work are: the International Study Program, which brought together eight theology students from three continents at the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel in the summer semester 2019. www.kiho-wb.de/internationales-studienprogramm/ and the Study Program "Sri Lanka 2018", with which we brought together a group of students from Germany and a group from Silliman University in Dumaguete/Philippines in cooperation with the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel, which made a North-South and a South-South exchange possible at the same time. An illustrated report can be seen here.
We continue to work on creative and unusual evangelical projects and of course we’re open to new ideas.
Evangelism is one of the five core tasks of the UEM. But in many member churches the question arises how this should be done today: How can one be engaged in inviting to faith in Jesus Christ and at the same time work well together with people of other faiths? How can one recognize and formulate the concrete message of the Gospel for the people in their respective life situations without becoming overbearing?
Therefore, since 2017 there has been a programme of so-called "Evangelism Contact Persons" (ECPs) who have taken on a special task in the field of evangelism. Seventeen young church workers from eight countries, eight women and nine men, work together with the Head of Evangelism Department to develop new theologies and models for evangelism. Once a year the whole group meets for an intensive workshop, the rest of the year the ECPs work in and with the churches for which they are responsible. They remain employees of their respective home church and are released with a part of their working time for this overarching task.
The ECPs agree that the summary of the Gospel "People are sinners and justified by the vicarious death of Jesus before God" used worldwide in the evangelization does not do justice to the diversity of the biblical message and does not reach many people in their situation. And so they have, as it were, developed new summaries. For example: "God wants to bless you, so that you may become a blessing for others". Or: "God loves you like the best father and invites you into his family". Or: "God is the Creator of the world and wants all people to live in peace. He gives you peace and makes you an instrument of peace.
In their respective regions, the ECPs are now developing trainings and workshops to pass on what they have learned. For them, evangelism no longer means preaching certain dogmatic sentences, but rather formulating the message of God's devotion and the invitation to the community of those who follow Jesus, concretely, creatively, and contextually. Now they want to empower as many people as possible in their churches.
Church changes. If it does not, it has not anything to say anymore to the people, especially to the younger generation. That is true all over the world. No matter whether in Africa, Asia or Europe, traditional structures of church congregations do not fit to changed milieus, growing mobility or social networks. That is why the united Evangelical Mission (UEM) has set up an international working group which travelled through Germany, Indonesia and Tanzania and observed that the most creative projects and developments of Christianity are found at the fringes of the churches - or even beyond.
This full colour workbook tells about the findings of the working group and bolsters to find own new ways of building up the church of tomorrow. For this reason it contains a lot of tools for the congregational workshop: A comprehensive questionnaire, bible studies, prayers, pictures and basic introductions into evangelism and culture.
Open to Go has been published in English, German, Kisuaheli, Bahasa Indonesia and French. Hard copies can be ordered from UEM. Download the English publication here.
IBAN: DE45 3506 0190 0009 0909 08