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The Missing Christians: A Global Call (Part II)

The missing Christians: a global call (Part II)

An article from Vista magazine (edition 31) – Click here for part I

A CALL TO CONFESSION AND PRAYER 

As individuals and as representatives of our church communities:
1. We confess that, all too often, we have overlooked the nominal Christians in our midst, both in the broader society and in many of our own evangelical churches. 

2. We confess our faltering witness, our defective discipleship, and our lack of concern for those who bear the name of Christ but through ignorance, sin, or rejection are far from the way of Christ and his church. 

3. We confess that we have often been ‘quick to judge and slow to listen’ to the stories of nominal Christians, especially when they come from another church tradition than our own. 

4. We confess that—at times—our actions, attitudes, and structures have weakened the credibility of the church of Christ. 

We call the churches we represent and all churches everywhere to:
1. Pray for all those who are Christians in name only that they might come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. 

2. Pray for a spiritual awakening of nominal Christians, a strengthening of the weary and struggling, and a renewal of our commitment to disciple all those who bear the Name. 

A CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP AND WITNESS 

Recognising the commandment of Jesus to make disciples of all peoples, we urge our church communities to:
1. Prioritize a holistic discipleship that brings all believers to maturity in Christ. 

2. Proclaim the biblical gospel with clarity and boldness but always attending to the context so that the message of Christ is properly understood. 

3. Plant new churches and work for the renewal of existing churches; churches that embody the joy of the gospel, that reflect the character of Christ in their community life, and display the power of the Spirit in transformed lives, to the glory of God. 

A CALL TO REFLECTION AND ACTION 

We also call for profound reflection and determined action to seek and save the missing millions, those who are missing from our churches and those who, whilst present, are missing out on salvation and the fullness of life in Christ. 

This must involve:
1. An honest and widespread reflection on why people have distanced themselves from various forms of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant/Evangelical), coupled with further theological research as to the possible contribution of contemporary evangelical theology and practice to self-secularisation and nominality and how it might be prevented. 

2. A research initiative on historic and contemporary renewal and disciple-making movements that might inspire a new generation of leaders that can be used by God to awaken dormant Christian faith. 

3. A thorough review of theological training to ensure that it is faithful to Scripture, theologically sound, and centred on discipleship and mission, but also to ensure that it includes sociological tools to understand nominal Christianity and how literature, the arts, media, and technology can be used to build bridges for the gospel. 

4. A parallel review of leadership training to ensure that leadership is focused on mobilising the young and empowering lay ministry, and to discern toxic leadership patterns that may be contributing to nominal Christianity. 

5.A renewed focus on authentic discipleship on living holistic lives centred on Christ that demonstrate in word and deed the love of God in the midst of the contemporary challenges of our global world today. 6. A commitment to creativity in our evangelism, in our discipleship, and in how we go about forming new Christian communities, that the missing sheep might hear the call of the Good Shepherd and turn again to Christ.

The Lausanne Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity

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