Against the backdrop of this unprecedented Pandemic, the church is faced with new challenges that obliges the church to reorient its approach to doing ministry. As Dr. Jerson Narciso says, “It is drastically changing our missional context and we are challenged to think “outside of the box.”
To help in reframing opportunities to align, engage, and inspire the APBF is calling a Leaders Summit to present opportunities for greater unity in collaboration, partnership and how you can essentially play your unique role to achieve the mission of equipping, collaborating, networking, training and serving to fulfil the Great Commission.
SUMMARY OF THE APBF STATEMENT TO HOLISTIC TRANSFORMATION 2021
APBF LEADER'S SUMMIT | August 18-20, 2021
The Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) Leaders’ Summit held in virtual mode from the 18th to 20th August 2021 brought together leaders from 65 APBF member Conventions from 22 countries representing 33,000 local churches of Asia Pacific regions.
The objectives of the APBF Leaders’ Summit were to refresh, renew, and reignite our commitment to the APBF Mission. To share and learn from each other various successful contemporary methods of Integral Mission; to encourage, network and collaborate with each other; to look afresh at the strategic approach and envision the mission of God through a Holistic Transformation strategy; and to renew commitment to "tirelessly pursue the call of Jesus in Matt. 28:19-20", a mission that models Jesus in his ‘sentness’.
We the leaders of the APBF, call our member churches to action and commitment to a Holistic Transformation Strategy
based on the deliberations of the APBF Leaders’ Summit and in consonance with the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission and the Cape Town commitment of Lausanne.
We, thus adopt and commit to the strategic approach of the Asia Pacific Holistic Transformation Strategy (APHTS) to realize the vision of a flourishing church and a flourishing community.
We concur that APHTS is biblically based, Kingdom-focused, life-transforming Gospel of the message of the cross. It is a strategy that seeks to proclaim the whole Gospel to the whole world. It is a Holistic approach to transforming lives in Asia Pacific through the increased presence, engagement and capacity of the local church among her neighbours. It is an approach that combines word and deed, proclamation and demonstration, saying, doing and being. It seeks to bring together the church and community, to strengthen communities with the church. As envisioned in the vision of Isaiah 65, we see transformation in communities as families move beyond survival. The thirsty drink clean water, the hungry have food, children learn, the enslaved are free, the hopeless find peace with God.
We affirm that Holistic mission is planting and enabling local churches to transform the communities of which they are an integral part. Churches as caring and inclusive communities are at the heart of what it means to do an integral mission.
We agree to work together towards the Holistic Transformation strategy of APBF as one opportunity for collaboration for the sake of the poor and the gospel.
We call upon our churches to fulfill both the great commission and the greatest commandment with a renewed commitment to "tirelessly pursue the call of Jesus in Matt. 28:19-20"; a mission that models Jesus in his ‘sentness’.
We call for a paradigm of mission that is holistic. An understanding of the work of Christ through the cross and resurrection that is for the redemption and renewal of all creation. We will maintain our commitment to a proclamation of the gospel that moves toward healing, reconciliation and wholeness.
We call for a renewed emphasis for integral discipleship based on the foundation of the Lordship of Christ over all of life and that involves the responsible and sustainable use of the resources of God's creation and the exercise of the prophetic ministry of the church in society. The Church needs a unified global voice to respond to the damage caused to both human beings and the environment.
We commit to solidarity in our movement; to network, collaborate and cooperate to face together the challenges of this time with faith and courage. We move away from token partnerships to a genuine solidarity with each other, and the people we serve addressing their spiritual and concrete human needs. To be bearers of hope in a community of despair, to be torchbearers and a beacon of light amid darkness and be the gatekeepers of justice raising a voice for the voiceless and vulnerable.
We commit ourselves to regular prayer to enable us to do what the Lord requires of us: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
We pray, Lord, “Turn our hearts and minds to your ways of just and gentle peace; open our eyes to see you in all acts of compassionate care. Strengthen our hearts to step out in solidarity with your suffering people and hold us all in your unfailing love. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ who emptied himself of all but love, in order to bring life in all its fullness” (Council of World Mission).
Conclusion: Now, therefore, we the APBF constituent Convention leaders assembled virtually at the APBF Leaders’ Summit, solemnly commit ourselves to work together strategically with the approaches envisioned in the Asia Pacific Holistic Transformation Strategy (APHTS) for Transforming Lives in Christ across the Asia Pacific, through inspiring and equipping Baptists by collaborating, networking, training and serving in obedience to the Great Commission and Great Commandment of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so help us Lord. Amen.
Rev. Edwin Lam
President of APBF & Chairman,
Singapore Baptist Convention &
Senior Pastor of New Life Baptist Church, Singapore
Dr. Elijah Brown
General Secretary, Baptist World Alliance (BWA)