The 2020 meeting of an international mission consortium will be held in Adelaide.
Rev Dr Steen Olsen, former mission director of the SA–NT District, who attended the 2019 event in Wellington, South Africa, said that this represents an exciting opportunity for the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand and those involved in mission, church planting and renewing.
Dean Eaton, LCA Church Planting Mentor and Mission Facilitator, attended the meeting of the International Research Consortium (IRC) with Dr Olsen on behalf of the LCA’s Local Mission office.
Referring to the significant growth in the LCA of new church plants and the training and sending of church planters, Dr Olsen said, ‘What we are doing has, in part, been shaped by what we have learned from others, just as others have learned from what we are doing.’
The IRC is an interdenominational group and learning community, comprising around 40 people from Europe, the UK, the US, South Africa and Australia from a range of denominations, including Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed and Presbyterian. The membership is a mixture of missional scholars and practitioners, who either teach at universities or seminaries or provide training and support for those in the field.
‘We need to grapple with the theological understanding of mission that flows out of the nature and character of the sending God – this is intrinsic to the identity of both God and the church’, says Dr Olsen.
‘Hearing what others are thinking and doing regarding new and renewing churches allows us to improve our approaches and test our convictions. It is also healthy for the LCA to contribute to the thinking of others.’