According to Dr. Grant McClung, president of Missions Resource Group, “The Manila forum will bring together some 500 international missions and church leaders to assess the current status and set a future agenda for reaching, disciplining, and multiplying churches among ‘people on the move.’”
McClung, a charter member of the GDN International Advisory Board, also noted that a groundbreaking textbook in the emerging missions discipline of “diaspora missiology” will be launched at the Manila conclave. He is one of the section co-editors for the compendium project.
The Global Diaspora Network is an interdenominational, international ministry that operates under the auspices of the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelization. Lausanne is a broad coalition of Great Commission Christians that traces its beginnings to the historic International Congress on World Evangelization, convened in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974.
The Lausanne movement has sponsored two additional international congresses in Manila, Philippines, in 1989 and in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010.
The Lausanne movement operates as a voluntary network of world missions leaders drawn from churches and denominations, missions agencies, academic training programs, and the marketplace.
It is organized into geographical regional directors and leaders of special missions related issues and strategic interests (such as cities, children, women, students, unreached people groups, leadership training, theology, Business as Mission, etc.).
Each of these 35 special “Issue Groups” are led by a “Lausanne Senior Associate” who organizes a working group or advisory board to facilitate specific strategies and resources related to their missional focus.
The Lausanne Senior Associate for Diasporas is Dr. Sadiri Joy Tira, a Filipino-Canadian specialist in reaching “people on the move” who are either internally displaced within their own countries or living abroad beyond the borders of their original place of birth.
“One of the many challenging issues of missions that can no longer be ignored,” Tira says, “is ministering to, through, and beyond diasporas, or the ‘scattered peoples.’ Today, more than ever, mass movements of ‘borderless people’ in large scale and higher frequency have clearly set a global phenomenon that has marked the 21st century. Migration is a complex issue that is increasingly changing societies, cultures, economies, and world demography.”
The Manila Forum will assess the current status of ministry among scattered peoples and also work toward setting a strategic missional agenda for diaspora ministry for the next decade and beyond.
“The forum be a working consultation,” McClung emphasized, “not just another congress.” Participants, plenary speakers, workshop facilitators, and contributing authors (writing team) will reflect gender, age, ethnic and denominational/church affiliation diversity. They will be global representatives such as pastors, evangelists and church planters, missionaries, missiologists, missions mobilizers, missions executives, national and regional missions leaders, field directors, denomination and church networks leaders, educators, theologians, historians, journalists, demographers, social scientists, social workers, medical and business professionals, and government leaders. The compendium textbook will be launched at the Manila forum.
From the outset of Lausanne’s strategic focus on diaspora mission, Yamamori has served as a special mentor and adviser to GDN. Yamamori is president emeritus of Food for the Hungry International (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and senior adviser to the Lausanne Movement (former International director). He and Tira serve as senior editors of the diaspora missiology compendium.
“Through the Lausanne initiative of the Global Diaspora Network,” McClung reflected, “we are mobilizing local church and denominational missions leaders, missions agencies, missiologists and trainers, and marketplace leaders to be on mission with God as we seek to win the scattered lost, disciple them, and multiply life-giving churches in the global diaspora.”