• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
businessday logo


Baptist World Alliance seeks to serve one billion people in 10 years – General Secretary

Baptist World Alliance seeks to serve one billion people in 10 years – General Secretary

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has disclosed that the church was working to strengthen its governance structure to serve one billion people globally in the next 10 years.

This was revealed by Elijah M. Brown, general secretary of BWA, at the ongoing Baptist World Alliance annual gathering press conference held in Lagos with the theme, ‘To live as ambassadors of peace.’

Speaking on the growth trajectory of the church in the recent past, Brown said that while the church is declining in both Europe and America; Asia and Africa have witnessed some remarkable growth.

According to him, the worldwide Baptist family has grown by 31 percent in the last 10 years. “In the last 10 years, the Baptist family in New York has declined one percent; in North America has declined 5 percent.

Read also: Group seeks end to government sponsorship of pilgrimage

“But, in the last 10 years, the Baptist family in Asia has grown 26 percent, in Latin America has grown 12 percent, and in the last 10 years the Baptist family in Africa has grown 112 percent.”

Brown also disclosed that the three critical lessons from the BWA 10th anniversary conference would be for the church to hold on to its passion for evangelism.

Similarly, Brown urged the church and participants to hold on to discipleship for all ages in ensuring that every christian can grow in faith.

He also urged the Nigerian church and faith based institutions to fight against child abuse, domestic and sexual violence.

According to him, religious freedom is essential to maintain peace for all people. He further urged Nigerian Christians to live as ambassadors of peace.

Speaking on the social impact of the church on society, Brown said that rule of law is the foundation to society that will prosper.

He said further that the only way forward for peace is to reject retribution and hold everybody involved in atrocities accountable.

“We do not stand with politicians, but with policies that work for the good of the people. We do not stand with political parties, but people who are suffering, and we call upon every elected officials and every person of goodwill in Nigeria to work for policies that will benefit the people.”

Brown further urged the church to follow the model of Jesus based on service to humanity. He said that there is only one miracle that occur in all of the four gospel of the Bible, which is the feeding of 5000 people by Jesus. “Feeding people is fundamental to the gospel,” he said.

Israel Akanji, president, Nigeria Baptist Conference (NBC) and All Africa Baptist Fellowship (AABF), said that impunity is a huge problem in Nigeria.

According to him, security is the responsibility of everybody that cannot be left to security agencies alone. However, he also urged the government to support private security initiatives across the country to strengthen the fight against insecurity.

“Its time for Nigeria to support the call for state police. If we have state police, every state will defend its territory,” he said.

Tomas Mackey, president, BWA, said the Alliance is in Nigeria to learn from the Nigeria conference.

“It is an honour to be in Nigeria. You have one of the best resources that we need to learn from you. So, it is a pleasure for us to come here to learn,” he said.

Speaking about the church in Latin America, Mackey said that the church is trying to build on Jesus’ examples of faith.

He however disclosed that there are other visions in the world apart from the christian vision that comes in the education system, and sciences. “We Christians are not perfect; we need to confess; we need to learn.”