World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / Mission conference theme carries profound meaning

Mission conference theme carries profound meaning

Mission conference theme carries profound meaning

Jooseop Keum at the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2018, held in accompaniment of the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. Photo by Albin Hillert/WCC

06 March 2018

Jooseop Keum is director of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. He is also editor of the Resource Book for the upcoming WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Arusha, Tanzania on 8-13 March.

Below, Keum shares his thoughts on the deeper meanings of the conference theme, “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” He also communicates his hope for contributions, suggestions and criticisms to the new WCC mission statement “Together towards Life”.

Q: Can you briefly describe the deliberations of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism leading up to the mission conference?

Keum: The commission reflected on four basic aspects of the 2018 Arusha conference—it is missional and ecumenical and has an African and youthful character.

In its deliberations, the commission strongly expressed the need for the conference to react missiologically—in an African and ecumenical context— on the signs of the times in our world today. It is a world in which God is active and present, bringing completion to God’s creation. It is a world in which the church is called to participate as the triune God’s partner in God’s creating and saving work.

Q: From your perspective, what are some deeper meanings behind the conference theme?

Keum: “Moving in the Spirit” brings the notion of pilgrimage, of an ongoing journey of all believers led and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is a pilgrimage that is characterized by constant hope for a transformed world of justice and peace and a commitment to renewal in Christ. This theme offers a prophetic message amidst the complexities of today’s world.

The second part of the theme calls us to transforming discipleship. We are called to be disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, to whom we witness and whom we proclaim as we move in the Spirit. How we understand the phrase “transforming discipleship” carries three profoundly different and yet closely related meanings. We are called to live a life that transforms the very notion of discipleship as it is often understood. Such discipleship is one that is constantly transforming disciples as they open themselves up to Christ’s influence in their lives and to the formation that takes place in the Christian community. And such discipleship is one that is a commitment to transforming the world that is so full of injustice, pain and suffering.

Q: How is the WCC mission statement “Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes” a primary resource for working together in Arusha?

Keum: The Arusha conference is a space in which the participants will discuss the new mission direction of transforming discipleship with pneumatological concepts of mission (mission infused with the Spirit). We would like to invite your contributions, suggestions and criticisms to the new WCC mission statement “Together towards Life”.

Conference on World Mission and Evangelism updates:
www.oikoumene.org/mission2018

Download free photos from the CWME and accompanying events (password: WCC)