The vision of the Lausanne EPSA region is to provide platforms for empowering mission partnerships and inspiring leadership in serving the church in Africa to take its strategic position in the 21st century global mission mandate.
This report gives a brief overview and update on three priority mission focus areas in our five-year strategy framework. The focus areas are:
- The Cape Town Commitment Strategy
- The Younger Leaders Development Strategy
- The Africa Missions Support Strategy
Our Cape Town Commitment Strategy has the objective of making The Cape Town Commitment widely and effectively available to the church in Africa and serve as a unifying mission strategy framework for Lausanne-connected missions agencies and institutions.
We seek to implement and roll out this strategy through two primary initiatives, namely:
1. National Congresses on Evangelization: Four countries—South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria—have already held their national congresses on evangelization (with significant impact) as country-level follow-ups to the Cape Town 2010 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. The most recent Congress was held in October 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria, and was coordinated by Rev Gideon Para-Mallam and the Nigeria-Lausanne Committee under the chairmanship of Rev Prof Yusuf Turaki. These congresses are planned and funded by national church leadership around issues of national relevance in The Cape Town Commitment. The next countries that have indicated their willingness for follow-ups are Mozambique and Sierra Leone.
We hosted the recent Lausanne Global Consultation on Islam in Ghana from 6-12 April, attended by forty scholars and mission practitioners. The Consultation, chaired by Rev Dr John Azumah, focused on helping the church in the Majority World to understand Islam and effectively engage Muslims.
2. Translation of The Cape Town Commitment into Twenty Major African Languages: The CT2010 National Country Follow-Up Congresses are used also as a platform/opportunity to print and make available copies of The Cape Town Commitment to church and mission leaders at the country level. At the Lausanne Africa Strategic Partnership Meeting (LASP I) in Nairobi, March 2012, the Lausanne African leaders adopted a proposal to translate The Cape Town Commitment into twenty major indigenous languages supposedly spoken by 80 percent of people across sub-Saharan African. Already, we have had two English edition reprints in South Africa and Ghana. We greatly rejoice in Christ to report of the first two African language translations in Hausa (Nigeria) and another in Ethiopia that have been completed and published. An excited Bishop at the Nigerian Congress informed me of their initiative to publish the Igbo edition for their annual National Church Missions Conference in November this year (2014). At the African leaders meeting in Bangalore, Swahili was decided on as the next language for the Africa CTC translation. The next step is to put together a specific facilitation team to move this project forward.
Closely related to the translation project, we have designed a CTC Concept Map that gives a graphic overview of The Cape Town Commitment with clear connections between the Calls to Action. It is presented as a quick introductory study guide to the CTC and hopes to provide linkages for identifying possible strategic mission partnerships in response to the CTC. We are also exploring the possibilities of integration of the CTC into missions education curricula by notable evangelical theological institutions in Africa.
The Nigeria Congress also launched a publication on the ‘Unreached People Groups in Nigeria’. This is a significant achievement published by MANI (Movement of Africa National Initiatives) in response to CT2010. The work on the publication was initiated by the Nigerian Lausanne Strategy Working Group.
The Younger Leaders Development Strategy: The objective of this strategy is to inspire and mobilize the teeming youth population in the fast growing African church as a mission force for the thrust of missions from Africa to the rest of the world! We recognize that this is a ‘kairos moment’ for Africa in the global missions mandate, and equipping the next generation of leaders is the most critical factor in mobilizing the church in Africa for global mission and world evangelization. While the primary agreed focus of Mission Africa II is on city missions across Francophone and Portuguese Africa, we seek to focus our partnership in EPSA with the MA II team on an Africa Younger Leaders Conference on Evangelization (AYLCE) as an initiative to roll out this strategy. In the context of Africa and in response to the CTC Calls to Action for younger leaders, the AYLCE will focus on evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development. The AYLCE will connect with YLG16 in a synergistic approach both in participant selection and multiplication of outcomes. We envisage the AYLCE more as a strategy than an event.
Africa Missions Support Strategy: At the Lausanne Africa Leaders Meeting (LASP I) in 2012, the thirty African church and mission leaders who attended discussed a draft framework and gave an overwhelming affirmation for the establishment of a Missions Africa Trust Fund (MATF). There has been great background work and meetings by African leaders in partnership with the Global Generosity Network. The initiative needs committed prayer, discernment, and support to make it operational. The next step is for a proposed Think Tank Meeting in Sierra Leone (27-30 November) in link with the AEA General Assembly Meeting. Drafts of the Mission, Vision, and Stakeholder statements on the MATF at this point are as follows;
Mission (WHAT WE DO): The Missions Africa Trust Fund is a Christian investment and charity foundation with a strategic focus on mobilizing and multiplying resources from Africa and elsewhere to support kingdom mission initiatives in Africa and from Africa to the rest of the world.
Vision (WHAT WE EXIST FOR): Mobilizing resources to support the whole church to take the gospel to the whole of Africa and beyond.
Stakeholders (WHO WE ARE): The MATF is an initiative of The Lausanne Movement, inspired and independently governed by African church and mission leaders, in partnership with the Global Generosity Network.
Presented by Nana Yaw Offei Awuku
Lausanne International Deputy Director for
English, Portuguese, and Spanish-Speaking Africa (EPSA)