“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

~ Romans 14:19 ESV

It is such a privilege that God uses CBM as a catalyst for pursuing peace and for building up the Church. We accomplish this by being a bridge between what God is doing in Canada and what He is doing around the world.

Mission has often been viewed as being from the north to the south and from the west to the rest of the world. Over the last couple of centuries, this type of outreach helped foster and preserve the witness of the Church in the majority (non-western) world. The Baptist community in Lebanon, where I grew up, is a product of the faithful work of this kind of mission objective. However, things have significantly changed in recent times. The mission of the Church has become polycentric, with the centre of gravity shifting more towards the south.

With a polycentric global witness, we now have the opportunity to appreciate and experience the richness of various cultural expressions of faith. We get to observe local leaders as they are empowered to take ownership of their own ministry activities. You have faithfully partnered with us to see different churches and ministry partners east and west, north and south, become equal participants in the sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The beauty is we all have something to learn from one another. Collaboration and cooperation have become key factors across different cultural groups as well as across denominational lines. No single culture or region, or even faith tradition, can hold a monopoly on theological insights or spiritual experiences anymore.

This is an important shift for us here in Canada. The Church in the majority world has been growing and learning its own lessons while some parts of the West now need to be reclaimed for Christ. As we invest our resources in building up the Church in the world, we stand to learn valuable lessons from our international partners and from their ideas, practices, and approaches.

These are exciting times to be involved in the ministry of God globally. As our Canadian Baptist churches participate in God’s work around the world, they can listen to what God is doing in other cultures and regions, and our own churches can grow and be edified through this experience. I am sure many of you have already encountered how transformational it is to be engaged in God’s mission. It is a beautiful picture when the global body of Christ works together to accomplish His purposes.

As you read through the pages of this issue of CBM Responding, you will get a sense of what God is doing in the Philippines, in the Middle East and North Africa, in Ukraine, in Guatemala, in India, and in other parts of the world, as well as in Canada. We praise God for the global Church and for its faithfulness and responsiveness to His call.

We praise Him for giving us the privilege of being front-row witnesses of Jesus building up His Church.