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Church Missionary Society - Australia is a member of the Micah Network



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In September 1999 a small group of leaders from Christian relief and development organisations met in Kuala Lumpur. Here they developed ideas for a new international network, one which would have the potential to significantly strengthen the capacity of participating organisations, as well as develop their ability to act collectively in key areas of concern.

After the establishment of an international secretariat in May 2004, Micah Network has sought to build its membership base and the level of engagement of its members in regional and global initiatives, which enhance capacity, promote integral mission in and through the church and advocate with and for the poor.

Since late 2005, Micah Network strengthened its capacity to support member organisations on a regional basis. A regional coordinating group was established for Asia-Pacific region in November 2005; the Latin America regional coordinating group met for the first time in November 2006. In February 2007, the Africa-Middle East regional coordinating group was also established.

Where members have expressed a desire to form national coordination groups so as to faciliate netwotking in country, this has slowly evolved. Currently there are National Coordination groups in:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • Nepal
  • Uganda

For a further informtion on the historical background read on:

The Why?

By the end of World War II our world lay broken and bleeding. The rehabilitation and development agenda was established, noticeably by the Northern countries. It was seen as problem solving or problem reducing rather than searching for alternative approaches, such as social transformation. In the proceeding years we see the United Nations rapidly evolving, the establishment of global aid responses, both secular and faith based. The agenda still firmly in the hands of Northern countries.

The Church evolved too, from the 1966 Wheaton Congress on World Mission through to the 1974 Lausanne I Congress on World Evangelisation – where we find the following statement:

The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead. Subsequent meetings have continued to wrestle through what this means both theologically and practically. How to proclaim the good news and demonstrate God’s love, how to engage in transformational development where our practice is inclusive, our values biblical, our approach contextual and our walk one of integrity – in other words our ministry is distinctive and in line with that of Christ’s. Further, how do we address the inequalities of the North / South, how do we demonstrate our unity through partnership, cooperation and service, how do we stand together to influence our world for good change, good practice and good governance, and how do we support one another as we share a common goal, vision and mission?

It was with these questions in mind that in April 1999, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a small international gathering of leaders of relief, development and advocacy organisations took place. The outcome was that a task group was commissioned with the responsibility of developing a new international network – a network that would provide.

  • A framework to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of participating organisations from North and South, East and West (global)
  • To support their ability to act collectively in areas of concern
  • To break down barriers that have formed over the years - reuniting because of shared vision and approach – integral mission.

The How?

Choosing a name for the network was not a difficult task, as the words of the prophet Micah resonated with the dreams and hopes of the budding network. Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” underpinned our aspirations and so the network was named Micah Network.

The task force evolved into the first Micah Network International Coordinating Group (MICOG). C. René Padilla kindly agreed to be President and the MICOG expanded to ensure members were represented from all regions. As Micah Network has grown and the need to have registration became apparent, the decision was taken to register as a charity in the United Kingdom. The MICOG now carries the more formalised title of international board of Micah Network.

The Approach?

Micah Network facilitated regional and global platforms for Christian organisations engaged in relief, development and advocacy ministries so as to create the environment in which learning and sharing could occur, as well as development of shared good practices in the promotion and application of integral mission.

The first global consultation was held on the theme of integral mission in September 2001. At this consultation, 140 Christian leaders contributed to the development of the Micah Network Declaration on Integral Mission, which has become Micah Network’s defining statement.

In May 2004 the MICOG appointed the first International Coordinator. The size of the network by then was 267 members and 47 associate members. The 2005 – 2007 global strategy was designed with the three core aims guiding the work and emphasis of the network and it members. They were:

  • Strengthening the capacity of participating agencies to make a biblically-shaped response to the needs of the poor and oppressed
  • Speaking strongly and effectively regarding the nature of the mission of the Church to proclaim and demonstrate the love of Christ to a world in need
  • Prophetically calling upon and influencing the leaders and decision-makers of societies to "maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed and rescue the weak and needy".

Micah Challenge

In 2005 while deliberating on how to effectively implement aim three Micah Network entered into a strategic partnership with the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) in order to establish a global campaign to mobilise Christians against poverty.

The goals of the campaign were twofold:

  • To deepen Christian commitment to the poor
  • To influence leaders to implement policy changes and to act so as to dramatically and sustainably reduce poverty. The Millennium Development Goals1 (MDGs) were seen as a good framework to work with globally, as these had already been endorsed and committed to by governments.

This global campaign would be directed by an international secretariat who would be tasked with not only establishing a global campaign but also with the orchestration of national campaigns that would focus on the contextual needs of that country. The name Micah Challenge was given, as the campaign would focus on the challenge of raising awareness and response from Christians to poverty as well as challenge leaders to effect good change. Oversight and governance of Micah Challenge is given jointly by Micah Network and WEA, who sit on the Micah Challenge International Board.

The timeframe for the campaign is 2015, as this is when the MDG progress indicators were set for.