The Fifth Convention Of The Asia Missions Association, Utsunomiya, Japan, 1991
Delegates to the Fifth Triennial Convention of the Asia Mission Association, meeting in Utsunomiya, Japan, from September 11 to 15, 1991, included representatives of missions associations and agencies from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, with fraternal delegates also from Hungary, Romania, Kenya, Ghana, Brazil, Peru, and the United States.
We were very conscious, as we gathered, of the significance of world events and of the rapid changes that, day by day, were altering the old world order. Today, people everywhere are aware of the collapse of old political systems and of the struggle to build new ones. Even as we witness the failure of old systems, we realize that what the new global order will be is not yet clear. In every nation, on every continent, there is a reshaping taking place that will result in altered relationships and new opportunities for witness.
For more than 70 years, Russian and Eastern Europe were unreachable in terms of direct evangelistic action. Now suddenly the doors to these nations have opened. The Asia Missions Association is acutely aware of the large potential harvest and must respond. We are also looking, praying, and believing for open doors soon to China, North Korea, and various countries in Southeast Asia. We want to be prepared for those open doors and for the harvests that awaits us there.
We are “workers of the sunset,” called to the last harvest in our global village. We must work shoulder to shoulder with all those who are seeking to reach the lost. We cannot delay the harvest longer; we must commit all our forces in a coordinated strategy, holding nothing in reserve.
We must all work together. Churches and missions must cooperate with each other to fulfill the Great Commission. The Church is in the hand of God; in spite of all its weaknesses, whether due to sectarianism, materialism, or disobedience, Christ is in the midst of His Church. Advance will come, however, only as churches align themselves with the will and purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Asia Mission Association desired to take steps that will strengthen the relationship between mission agencies and local churches, seeking especially to support the churches in their role as recruiters, supporters, and senders of missionaries.
We submit to the priority of the claims of Christ upon our lives, as expressed in the mandate to “go into all the world.” We submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who directs us in this awesome responsibility as ambassadors of Christ in an alien world.
Recognizing that one God has called and commands each of us, we will endeavor to
understand one another, respect one another, share one another’s burden, seeking to accomplish our common goals by sharing resources with the weaker, the poor, the less powerful among us, meeting each other’s needs.
As a reflection of our submission to one another, we are also committed to new strategical approaches to our relationships to one another:
- We propose to partake in the goals and enterprises of our fellow workers, whether they are passing through favorable or unfavorable circumstances, seeking to develop our relationship through mutual involvement in achieving the goals God has set for each of us.
- Third World mission agencies tend to be small and pluralistic, with diversities that may hinder the rapid growth of individual agencies. Our sheer numbers, however, dictate that we work together in a free structure, a grouping together that seeks integration yet maintains independence. We need to have networks for training and education, for research and communication, for financing and providing necessary services.
- God has given abundant resources to the Third World churches. To make the most effective use of them, we must find ways to pool these resources, and thus to make it possible for all to share in the abundance. We need to develop pools of expertise, experience, technology, capital, and manpower throughout the Third World. Only in this way will we be able to realize the full potential of mission from the Third World.
- To promote national-level mission consultations in at least two countries of Asia each year, both to help strengthen existing associations of missions where they exist, and to promote the formation of such associations where they do not now exist, so that every country of Asia will have an active missions association by the year 2000.
- To encourage Asian missionaries to become active members of the Asian Missionary Fellowship now coming into being, in order that there can be better communication and cooperation among them at the grass-roots level, with a goal of having 10,000 missionaries as a part of that fellowship by the year 2000.
- To cooperate fully with World Link University now being formed by the Third World Missions Association, with a goal of having at least one training center in every country of Asia linked to and approved by it, and meeting the training needs of all member missions by the year 2,000.
- To create a network of research and communications experts available to give training seminars and workshops in every country, thus advancing the level of research and communications capabilities for all of our national associations.
- To promote the creation of the proposed Third World Stewardship Bank, and fully develop its potential for providing for the security needs of our missionaries and the capital needs of our missionary agencies and projects.
- To cooperate with the other agencies and associations involved to develop a significant center for the Third World Missions Advance (proposed for Batam Island, Indonesia) which can become the hub for innovative mission research, communication, and training.
- To World Christians and the churches in which they are found: We look to you to form a global community of people in contact with each other and aware of the challenges facing the completion of the task of world evangelization. We ask you to assume responsibilities to be a foundation on which missions can rely and, whenever possible, that you accept assignments, whether as professional or bi-vocational missionaries, in key positions overseas as a base to strengthen the witness of the Church in every country around the world.
- To Mission Leaders: We need your help in building bridges between our associations and agencies, in developing strategic and coordinated action to accomplish the task before us. We value your experience and the wisdom of years of service; we look to you for orientation and counsel.
- To Missionaries in the fields: We ask you to join hands, regardless of your national or denominational background, to form one mighty army of God. We plead for understanding and patience as new forces join you on the field, even though they come with different concepts or to do different tasks than you. We all desire to work together as one team, developing the most effective ministry possible in order to reach all the peoples of the earth in the shortest amount of time.
- To Young People: You are the missionaries of the future. In the light of the thousands of unreached peoples groups, we challenge you to become the one who will plant the church in one of those groups who have not yet heard of Jesus Christ. Our priority task is to prepare workers because the harvest is far greater than the number of workers now available. We appeal to you, young Christian people everywhere, to give heed to the claims of Christ upon your lives above all else.