Finnish Committee for World Evangelisation Annual Report
October 16-20, 2002 EEA General Assembly
The past year after the EEA General Assembly in Turkey has been quite challenging for the Finnish Committee for World Evangelisation (FCWE). The membership has continued to grow: Today FCWE has 20 evangelical societies and churches as its full members (15 last year), 4 other societies as associate members (3), and in addition it has a group of Finnish Christian key leaders as its individual members. Also in the area of its activities FCWE has had some new openings.
Some highlights of FCWE’s activities in 2001-2002
1) The 10th Anniversary of FCWE (the former Finnish Lausanne Committee) was celebrated in November 2001 in one of the main Lutheran churches in Helsinki. It was a blessed evening – including a great challenge for evangelism by Rev. Kalevi Lehtinen – with the church full of Christians from different Evangelical circles.
2) On April 19, 2002, FCWE hosted the visit of Rev. Luis Bush, who familiarized us with the World Inquiry process.
3) The Chair of FCWE participated in HOPE.21 in Budapest and faciliated its national consultation of Finnish delegates (altogether we had some 18 Finnish participants there).
4) The bi-annual Missiological Conference of FCWE was arranged in May 2002. This time we focused on City Evangelism with our guest speaker, Dr. Charles Van Engen, from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His deep missiological knowledge and vivid illustrations made the challenge of urban evangelism very concrete for the Conference participants.
5) The regular Committee meetings - twice a year - have offered a platform for Committee members to meet each other, to discuss common intrests and to make decisions according to our Constitution.
6) Executive Committee (including Chair and 7 other members) has had seven meetings since the last EEA General Assembly. There has been a very encouraging spirit of cooperation and mutual suport in Ex.Co. It is a real blessing to have such a group for planning and carring out FCWE’s activities!
7) The Regular contacts with EEA, WEA and LCWE – three regional/international bodies in which FCWE is a full member – has been maintained by the chairperson mainly by e-mail.
Commissions/ Working Groups
1) The start of our Youth Commission (MENET) has been really encouring: It has created a new network of Evangelical youth leaders in Finland. MENET arranged in February 2002 a Youth Leaders Conference, a conference, which some people regarded as an historical event in Finland. Why? - It was the first meeting that gathered together Christian youth leaders across denominational barriers in our country.
2) The Tent Making Working Group has shown a good progress, too. In January 2002 it arranged a well-attended Seminar on Tent Making Mission, with Dr. Howard Norris from England as the guest speaker.
3) A Missiological Working Group and a Commission on Women’s Concerns are still in process of establisment, but there are good signs to be seen for their activities, too
A major challenge
As it was mentioned in our last year’s report, FCWE has been given (and has taken) the responsibility to arrange a nation-wide Congress on Evangelism (the former congress of that kind in Finland was held in 1973). The date of the Congress was postponed a little for various reasons and has been settled now for January 21-25, 2004.
This effort – to arrange a wide Congress on Evangelism in Finland – will be a major challenge for FCWE in the coming year. It requires a lot of resources and wide cooperation of Finnish churches, missions and evangelistic organisations plus other evangelical societies. A representative “Negotiation Committee” has been gathered already twice to give guidelines for the Congress, and a Steering Committee (with members of young leaders and active evangelists) has started practical preparations. There is a strong emphasis to get the young generation to be involved both in preparation process and in the Congress itself, too.
Our dream and aim is to get all evangelism-orientated Finnish Churches and Christian organisations to seek together relevant evangelistic strategies for Finland in this new millenium of 2000.
Prayers for this event are much appreciated.