The Twelfth Convention of The Asia Missions Association, Manila, Philippines, 2016
The 12thTriennial Convention of Asia Missions Association (AMA) was held at Greenhills Christian Fellowship in Manila, Philippines on April 18-22, 2016. Some 250 delegates from 23 countries attended the convention with the theme of “Globalization and Missions.” The convention consisted of various plenary, group, and special sessions (biblical exegesis, global links reports, national reports) focused on mission-related topics. Diverse presentations, both innovative and provocative, were made by some 70 mission leaders, who contributed to various effective strategies for mission to Asian societies.
We, the participants, reached a consensus as to how to face this globalized world, as follows:
REAFFIRMATION of the Essence of Mission
We reaffirm the Great Commission of Jesus Christ: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them … and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20).
- We affirm that mission is the full expression of the heart of God. Our mission is to proclaim the kingdom of God and the essence of the gospel: the life, death, resurrection, and second coming of Jesus Christ who is the only way to salvation.
- We declare that missions, especially in this pluralistic society, must be truly Christ-centered and firmly rooted in the Scripture, and demonstrated in the most holistic and transformative ways.
- We acknowledge that the unfinished task in Asia is still tremendous and meeting the needs in Asia demands more workers. We appeal to all Asian churches to take part in world mission through not only personal evangelism, but also neighborhood evangelism, marketplace missions, diaspora missions, and humanitarian missions, among others.
- We are convinced that missions cannot be done apart from the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit. We must completely rely upon the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish this glorious mission and ministry of Jesus Christ to the world.
We believe that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can give true peace, reconciliation, and security. We endeavor to deliver the unchanging message but the method will vary according to the contexts.
REALIZATION of our Weaknesses
We, through this convention, were delighted to hear about amazing propagation of the gospel, church growth, and indigenous mission movements among Asian churches. In the process of reflecting, we acknowledge our weaknesses and inadequacies, as follows:
- We were lacking in practicing our unity in the Spirit of God. Instead we tended to be competitive with and indifferent to each other.
- We were hesitant to fully engage in self-missiologization. Rather, we tended to passively and uncritically follow non-Asian missiologies.
- We were neglectful in regards to the need of support and prayer for our Christian brethren in persecution and suffering in Asia. There are still systematic and consecutive oppressions of Christians in many Asian countries resulting from the rise of radical religious fundamentalism and political ideology, but we were not active enough to join their suffering with sincere heart and empathy.
- We regret that in sending Asian missionaries to different parts of the world, we have oftentimes sent them to the harvest-fields without giving them proper training and care.
- We focused more on church planting and less on mission sending in our various ministries. Jesus’ statement—“you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, and end of the earth” (Acts 1:8)—was not fully taught and mandated to the churches we serve.
We humbly ask the Holy Spirit to come to assist us, restoring and transforming our weaknesses into strengths in Him.
RESPONSE to Rapid Globalization
Globalization challenges global Christianity to develop new mission paradigms which can be applicable to given context. We resolve to respond to globalization as follows:
- We see globalization as challenge as well as opportunity for the advancement of the kingdom of God. While globalization has brought socio-economic polarization, dehumanization, and collapse of traditional values, it has also challenged Christian churches to be more actively involved in holistic transformation of the communities we are involved in.
- We resolve to utilize all possible strategies in the globalized world through mutual interaction as Jesus identified himself with us and as Paul committed himself to be “all things to all men” (1 Cor. 9:22).
- We endeavor to help transform the Christian churches to be truly mission-minded. We challenge all churches and Christians to make impact to individuals and communities through our witness in words and deeds in our respective contexts.
- We endeavor to identify and empathize with those churches which are suffering oppression and persecution through prayer and sharing of resources.
We, therefore, call for Asian churches to be sensitive to the globalization issues affecting our generation and to produce specific biblical-based measures as a response to this reality.
RECOMMITMENT to Cooperative Asian Mission Movement
Globalization requires mutual interdependence in expanding the kingdom of God. We commit to work together in order to fulfill the Great Commission as follows:
- We resolve to develop interdependent, reciprocal relationship among members in order to produce good kingdom results in doing mission.
- We resolve to develop a network for training, mentoring, coaching, and caring for Asian missionaries.
- We resolve to cooperatively research, effectively deal with rapid globalization, and provide simple and effective strategies in Asian context.
- We endeavor to disciple all Christian believers to devote themselves to live Christ-like lifestyle and to serve their communities as witnesses of Jesus Christ.
We, therefore, declare that we are obligated to live out and share the gospel of the cross, trusting in the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit.