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Beyond Thun 2012

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As part of Micah Network and participants in the Fifth Triennial Council, we thank God for the fellowship and formation, networking and visioning we shared in Thun, Switzerland, September 10th-14th, 2012.

The following affirmations, confessions and questions are based on the plenary presentations and on the concerns raised by participants during the consultation. These are not exhaustive. This tool is for further reflection and work is drawn from the original discussions and documents provided in the consultation and used in conjunction with them. 

We affirm that Integral Mission is an approach to the mission of God in which all local churches are called to cooperate with God in the transformation of the world through the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. The gospel is good news centered in Jesus Christ as the Lord of the universe whose sovereignty embraces the whole of life and of God’s creation.

  • What steps can your church take so as to be more involved in Integral Mission?
  • What can you do to cooperate with other churches and those involved in integral mission?

We affirm that based on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the mission of the church is the formation of disciples from all nations, disciples who are identified with Christ in his death and resurrection through baptism, and who are in the process of learning the obedience of faith in every aspect of life and as such participate in the mission of God in the world. The church depends on her incarnate witness on the “saving acts” through which Jesus brought about redemption, namely; his life and ministry, his death on the cross, his resurrection and his exaltation.

  • What are the basic characteristics of the disciples of Jesus Christ?
  • And how are the local churches in your context contributing to the development of these characteristics?
  • What aspects of the local congregation are necessary for the making disciples?

We affirm that through the power of the Spirit the church as a “Kingdom of priests”, constitutes the beginning of a new humanity and in what she is, does and says bears witness to Jesus Christ and cooperates with God in the fulfillment of his redemptive plan. It is a community of hope, faith and love, structured for the tasks of integral mission for the glory of God. 

  • According to scripture we are a kingdom of priests and called to live out our priesthood and exercise our gifts of ministry in our everyday life and work; how could you encourage the exercise of this truth in your local church and context in relation to Integral Mission?
  • How can we encourage the exercise of gifts and ministries in the local church in relation to the practice of IM in your local situation?

We affirm that the God of the Bible is the God who loves, delights and demands Justice. God’s righteous anger against injustice is expressed often in the prophetic books. Justice demands actions both at personal and structural levels; injustice has real faces – humiliated poor people treated as commodity, injustice and violence against women and children, consumerism and unlimited luxury in the presence of poverty and oppression, religion without justice. We are called to mourn and make space for lament and pain and repent of our inexcusable silences.

  • What breaks the heart of God in your local community in relation to justice?
  • How can you provide space for lament and anger in the communities of faith that you are part of?
  • And what would it mean for you to lament over these issues?
  • As you reflect on God’s concern for justice, how would your lamentation impact your context / community?

We confess that too often we are moved to act in the world out of compulsion, guilt or anger, and that we frequently rest on our personal or institutional strength, resources and capacities.

  • What is your motivation to serve?
  • What must you confess?

             Pray about this.

We yearn to grow in the knowledge of our loving and compassionate Father so that our lives and ministry may grow out of and reflect God’s compassion.

  • What steps might help you know God better and enter deeper into God’s embrace?
  • Who can accompany you in this walk? How can you accompany others on a similar journey?

We pray for the faith to believe in God’s goodness and presence in the midst of suffering, and to live in the hope of the fulfillment of God’s good purposes for our lives and the entire creation.

We are all part of a wider body of Christ in which inter-dependence is expressed through the affirmation of diverse gifts and ministries. Mutual listening, sharing of resources and putting relationships before “efficiency” and “project” must be paramount among all Micah Network members.

  • How can you, in your own context, encourage true interdependence among the members of the body of Christ for the sake of Integral Mission?
  • How can you overcome paternalism and dependence as you seek to serve the Lord in the world?
  • As you think of relationships of power and partnerships you experience, in these what hinders friendships?
  • How can you be involved in removing some of these hindrances and create deeper and truer interdependence?
  • How do you develop friendships and interdependence as donors and recipients / church para-church in your context?

We recognize the need for processes of theological formation that:

-  engage heart and will as well as intellect

-  involve all the people of God, learning in community, rather than being restricted to the individualized learning of a few select in specialized institutions

-  facilitate the building of bridges between God’s purposes revealed in God’s word, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and the everyday life of people in all its dimensions and spheres.

-  are born out of concrete realities and capacitate people to engage in particular contexts for their transformation according to God’s purposes.

  • Identify formation processes like these available in your context.
  • Who should you consult with regarding these opportunities? What can you do to help form your people theologically?

We are committed to continuing faithful reflection and action as we grapple with these issues and others explored in the consulting sessions and workshops held at the consultation.

We commit to sharing the learnings, challenges and insights gained during this Triennial Consultation with our families, friends, churches, colleagues, boards, and other Micah Network members in our countries and regions.

** Reflect on: 

  1. How
  2. When
  3. Where you will share this knowledge as part of this commitment.