USA (MNN) — Twenty-seven church leaders from congregations spanning five continents gathered in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week to discuss the sanctity of life. At LIFE International's very first Global Leaders Life Summit, leaders identified nations and cultures that failed to attribute any value to human life. Jim Snyder with ReachGlobal (the international arm of the Evangelical Free Church Mission) was quick to flag Africa as one of these nations.
"The difference between an African worldview and a Biblical worldview [is] the view on life," says Snyder. "It impacts essentially every area of ministry in one way or another."
Snyder says the "African worldview" has posed challenges to ReachGlobal's ministries in Africa, which include child sponsorships, church partnership, and various projects. Africans view life as "cheap" and hesitate to change their negative views on sanctity of life issues like abortion and the disabled.
After identifying challenge areas, Snyder and the other church leaders created a "life covenant" containing a unified vision of the sanctity of life and how to include this message in church ministries. LIFE International's Kurt Dillinger hopes the vision captured at this conference will lead to a revolution in the hearts of God's people.
"We're after transformation, and that cannot happen apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ," Dillinger says. "So everywhere we go, we are preaching the Gospel."
Dillinger adds that the Gospel and sanctity of life issues are interwoven and cannot be separated.
"They must go together; in fact, that's how God designed it," he states emphatically. "It is a Jesus ministry."