The world's largest evangelical body will open its highly-anticipated general assembly – the first in seven years – on Saturday night with invited Christian leaders from some of the most prominent Christian organizations in the world.
More than 500 leaders from the World Evangelical Alliance's national and regional evangelical alliances, commissions, global partners and associates will convene at the beach resort city of Pattaya in Thailand from Oct. 25 to 30.
During the weeklong general assembly, participants will help form a new shared vision for WEA and a 5-year roadmap to achieve the vision. They will also be informed about some of the most pressing global issues and the Evangelical responses to them, receive practical training to help national alliances become more effective, and network to build a stronger Christian body.
Some of the session topics include: the growth of the church quantitatively and qualitatively; poverty, its scope and impact; a panoramic view of Evangelical advocacy, the scope and range of Evangelical public engagement.
"This event will be a powerful time where leaders are greatly encouraged, better connected to others of like-minded colleagues and more effectively equipped to serve in a growingly complex world," said the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of WEA.
The WEA head notes that the general assembly takes place at a critical moment in history, when the world is facing many grave challenges as well as opportunities.
On Sunday, a day of prayer will take place for global issues and needs, with some delegates fasting.
The General Assembly will also mark the official launch of the World Evangelical Leadership Institute, which will allow attendees to continue learning about the issues discussed at the General Assembly when they return to their country.
Through online distant learning courses, the leaders can attend training tracks via the internet.
"We're really hoping that this conference will not just end and that will be the end of it, but we want this to be a springboard," said Sylvia Soon, WEA's communication coordinator.
Other organizations that will be represented at the WEA General Assembly include: Campus Crusade for Christ, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, and U.S. Center for World Mission, among many others.
The World Evangelical Alliance is a global network of churches in 128 nations and more than 100 international organizations joined together to give a worldwide identity, voice and platform to more than 420 million evangelical Christians. The alliance is often involved in speaking on behalf of persecuted Christians as well as social justice issues including Darfur, poverty and other human rights issues.