Monday afternoon at the Charis International Leadership Encounter (CILE) took a look at the “state of the fellowship” as speakers compared studies done in 2008 with research in 2015. Paul Klawitter addressed church planting efforts among the Grace Brethren around the world. Florant Varak discussed leadership development, while Jason Weimer reviewed integrated, or holistic ministries. These three areas were initially outlined in 2008 in the Commitment to Common Mission during the 2008 Charis meeting in Germany. (Click here to see the global audits for 2008 and 2015.)
“A lot of people are doing this in a very natural way and we’re just now starting to identify some of the different areas that they are working,” said Weimer following his talk. “Christians almost intuitively figure this out because we’re looking at the world. We know that God called us out of the world but he’s also commanded us to go back into the world.”
“As a group, we are starting to identify in the different regions of the world, as well as even in the different countries, some of the ways that we are doing [integrated ministry], how we are doing it, even categorizing them and listing them,” he added. (Click here to see Weimer’s comments and to learn how you can pray for integrated ministries in the Grace Brethren movement.)
“I see a wide variety of leadership training, modes of operation, ways to train,” stressed Varak, who studied leadership training around the world. “It shows a great intentionality in training leaders worldwide, which I think is a very positive thing of our movement. We want the leaders of our movement to be well trained.” (Click here to see an interview with Varak and learn how you can pray for leadership development in the global Grace Brethren movement.)
In reviewing church-planting statistics, Klawitter noted courage, perseverance , sharing resources, a spirit of cooperation, and experimentation in the five continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, South and Central America, and North America) were members of the Charis Alliance are located. (Click here to see an interview with Klawitter and to learn how you can pray for Grace Brethren church planting efforts around the world.)
The afternoon ended with Dave Guiles, Charis coordinator and executive director of Encompass World Partners, tracing the history of the Grace Brethren movement. (Click here to read his remarks.) Delegates then moved into small groups to discuss what they learned and to formulate questions they’d like answered before the end of the week.
The conference continues at the Vertical Suites Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, through Friday. Delegates from around the world have gathered to consider, improve and endorse the Charis Commitment to Common Identity.