Lebanon (MNN) — ABTS has changed the format of its 2020 Middle East Consultation but still plans to serve the Church in MENA and around the world.
Since 2004, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon has hosted the Middle East Consultation, an event where people from around the world gather to talk and learn about issues facing the Church.
This year, things will look different. Brent Hamoud, the IMES Programs Coordinator at ABTS, says, “It’s been a highlight of the year for ABTS, and a lot of interesting discussion and conversation has come out of it. We were planning to host another one in the third week of June as we do each year, but the coronavirus pandemic has made that not possible.”
ABTS has had to restructure the whole event, creating the 2020 Middle East Conversations. Hamoud says, “This will not be a global gathering physically here in Lebanon. Instead of doing monthly webinars, these will be a series of online gatherings.”
ABTS plans to hold six webinars in total, one each month until late 2020. The first webinar will take place on June 18, with registration opening soon at the beginning of June.
What is staying the same?
Hamoud says, “We still want to pursue discussion about relevant issues for the church. And we want to bring the Middle Eastern and North African voices to discuss faith and witness. [We want] the voice of the Church from the region to contribute to the discussions that are going on around the world.”
ABTS hasn’t planned a topic for each webinar yet. Hamoud says they will orient conversations toward changes in the global Church and the Church in the Middle East and North Africa.
The world has changed drastically in recent years and months, but Hamoud says many other changes have been long in coming. “So basically, everything is on the table. We want to think critically, we want to bring questions to the table, and carry on a conversation. We don’t have all the answers. But we think if we ask questions together and facilitate a conversation, we can better understand what we are facing now and the opportunities that God is putting before us in the future.”
How Christians can get involved
ABTS would love to have you join the Middle East Conversations! Hamoud says, “It will be a dual language webinar. There will be a translation for you. We will have global perspectives and we will have regional perspectives.”
Continue to pray for ABTS as it continues to educate people in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A gathering during the 2019 Middle East Consultation at ABTS. (Photo courtesy of ABTS on Facebook)