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Published on 02 December, 2005

Still the same heart and focus, but BWA sees good reason to restructure.

International (MNN) — The Baptist World Alliance has brought together ministry workers from around the world for a century. This past summer marked their 100th year, with a celebration that gathered in London and brought Baptists from around the globe.

The BWA’s General Secretary Denton Lotz is praising God for all that He’s done over the years. But changes are afoot for the organization, says Lotz. “We started in 1905 in London, and for 100 years, God has blessed us. But we’re in the stage of saying, we’ve had a great history, but where are we going in the 21st Century?”

It’s about considering Kingdom effectiveness and how to restructure to continue being a successful ministry alliance.

Lotz says BWA’s basic emphases will remain the same, while their processes will adjust to the changing times. “Baptists have always been a missionary and evangelistic people, and we’ve always been involved in aid and religious freedom, but now we want to do it with more intentionality by involving more member bodies and by having a team concept so that when one hurts, then all hurt, and that we’re all involved with it.”

BWA’s going through exciting things, says Lotz, “So it’s kind of what a local church does when it considers what is it going to do in urbanization and what is it going to do in the city. Do we do something that we’ve always done for a hundred years, or do we see what is the prophetic ministry that we have today?”

Some key things that happened at BWA’s centennial Congress in London opened their eyes to a paradigm shift taking place in the world today. The center of Christianity is shifting from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, from Western Europe and North America to Latin America, Africa and Asia. Lotz is excited to see that Third-World Christians are now becoming dominant in missions.

There are large numbers of Christians leading the way in missions, says Lotz. “560 in Latin America. 400 million in Africa. 360 million in Asia. And they’re zealous for evangelism and mission, and so I think they’re going to re-evangelize Old Europe and North America and let us see the passion and compassion of Christ in all of our lives. So yeah, it’s exciting to see what God’s doing all around the world, and that He’s working in wonderful ways through the movement of the Spirit.”

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