Nearly 20 leaders of Grace Brethren fellowships from around the world, including regional directors for Grace Brethren International Missions, gathered this afternoon at the Chateau St. Albain in the Burgundy region of France for the first of a set of week-long meetings to discuss strategy for the CHARIS movement over the next ten years.
Based on meetings in Bad Homburg in August of 2008, and considering the document that described a ten-year commitment to church planting, leadership development and holistic ministry, the group has several goals for this meeting.
One is to evaluate the Bad Homburg experience and to determine what good and lasting effects came from that meeting. The second is to discuss what Grace Brethren fellowships around the world should do now–should additional meetings be held, or just what is the best course of action? Third, the group will begin evaluating what has happened in each of the world’s regions toward applying and implementing the three initiatives of the Commitment to Common Mission document. Fourth, Grace Brethren International Missions is looking for input and help concerning its future relationship with the worldwide fellowships as they develop more independent strength. And finally, the role of Brethren Missionary Herald Co. will be discussed as the communication agent to inform the remainder of the Grace Brethren world about progress, ways to implement, and reports on meetings such as the one held in France.
Former missionary to France and GBIM executive director Tom Julien was honored today with a gathering of many of his friends and colleagues from around southern France. Then GBIM’s Dave Guiles called the group to order, and laid out a potential agenda for the week. After several days of reflection and consultation, the group will be joined by Walter Testa from Mexico, Mboi Andre from the Central African Republic, and Neil Cole from the USA, who are known apostolic church planters, and they will focus specifically on church planting opportunities around the world.
Reports from the meetings and photos will be posted as they become available.