Originally published in Christian Newswire
Delegates from 62 nations have gathered in Cape Town for a Congress of Nations sponsored by Evangelism Explosion International, a global outreach that trains people to share their faith in Jesus Christ.
The assembly of Evangelism Explosion leaders from every continent is “very important to the worldwide ministry of EE and, more importantly, to fulfilling Christ’s mandate to take the gospel message to every tribe and every nation,” said Dr. John B Sorensen, President of Evangelism Explosion International.
Nearly 7.9 million people worldwide professed faith in Jesus Christ through Evangelism Explosion in 2012 and the Congress gives delegates the opportunity to strategize on how to reach even more people with the gospel. Nation delegates will share methodologies and approve a series of resolutions that will be included in a formal Declaration issued at the conclusion of the strategic conclave.
The gathering in Cape Town comes three years after delegates from 30 nations participated in the first Congress of Nations in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That inaugural Congress launched a new approach to the global work of EEI in which indigenous EE organizations partner to strategize and work together for the effective spread of the gospel.
Founded in 1962 by the late D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., EE was planted in every nation by 1996. It is now intentionally shifting governance of the evangelism equipping outreach away from the U.S.-based organization to a growing international covenanted network of free-standing EE partnerships.
Each national EE group at the Congress of Nations has met a rigorous set of 12 standards necessary to participate and to be designated as an Evangelism Explosion “Multiplying Nation.” Qualifying national groups must be self-supporting and have a board of directors, a national director, paid field staff, and an annual action plan. They must also be actively implementing EE in churches nationwide.
“By the 2016 Congress, our goal is to, again, double the number of multiplying nations; this time from 62 to more than 120 in a short three years! We’re on our way to meeting and possibly exceeding that goal,” said Sorensen.
EEI’s ultimate goal is for the EE movement in every country to achieve multiplying nation status.
The Congress of Nations includes pageantry with a ceremony in which delegates march into the assembly hall, each carrying their nation’s flag.
“It’s not just a ceremony,” says Sorensen. “Each of these participating nations represents ministries that are having a profound impact on the world through training people to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s the ultimate goal — reaching every tribe, every nation and every people group with the good news of salvation through Christ alone!”