COSIM 2017 Moves Collaboration ForwardFor immediate release
The COSIM community gathered this Oct 9-11, 2017 at the International Learning Center just outside of Richmond. The conference was divided into four areas: Global Briefings, Best Practices, Challenges and Opportunities, and Collaboration.
The global context of COSIM 2017 comes at a challenging time for international mission partnership. Major challenges face the global church as we seek to effectively partner with our brothers and sisters undergoing persecution in China, South Asia, the Middle East and former Soviet Union countries. At the same time, incredible breakthroughs are being made in all of these regions among the remaining frontiers of the gospel. The lifeline of partnership with and between the global Church has proven to be a vital factor in this historic advance of the Kingdom. Totally unengaged people groups are being reached at a rate of almost 200 per year, with just 1,500 remaining. Over ninety percent of these new engagements are happening through the work of indigenous ministries in partnership with the global body of Christ.
Field briefings were given by indigenous mission leaders from China, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, and Chad. An emerging theme from these briefings is that increasingly governments are using a form of "legal persecution" against the indigenous church and mission work. Laws are being passed in countries such as India, China, and Nepal that make it increasingly difficult for Christian ministries to operate. In other cases, pre-existing laws are being enforced in new ways as a means to restrict Christian activity.
"Ted Talks" on best practices, challenges and opportunities were given on seven major topics, including the following:
Indigenous Missionary Member Care
Best Practices in Church Building Projects
Indigenous Bible Translation
State of the Unfinished Task
Church Planting Movement Assessment
Detecting and Avoiding Mission Fraud
The conference concluded with a morning of collaborative brainstorming and planning in the areas of member care, persecution response and reaching unengaged people groups.