‘The whole world’ is a big place and a big topic! While we have merely scratched the surface of some vast and complex issues, we trust it is clear that if the whole church is to take the whole gospel to the whole world it needs to think in more than merely quantitative terms. We conclude our theological reflections with 5 main commitments:
1. a commitment to proclaim in word and deed that care for creation is a gospel issue. If Christians around the globe understand it as such the witness of the church will be more biblically faithful and fruitful.
2. a commitment to open ourselves up to dialogue and friendship with those of other cultures, understanding evangelism as witness and discipleship and that in such friendships and mutual respect others will come to see Christ in us.
3. a commitment to be aware of consumerism as an idolatry, especially in the Western world, where it rarely goes unchecked by individual Christians or the church and therefore the need for confession and repentance;
4. a commitment to share and participate in grass-roots efforts of peace and reconciliation in a world of so many types of violence, because evangelism is also the church proclaiming and living gospel life in the world of violence and death.
5. a commitment to be shaped into a community of mutual concern and responsibility for the well-being of the whole world and particularly for the most vulnerable.
As Christians called to live out our discipleship in a world of brokenness we confess that we have been complicit in that brokenness but also that we are empowered by God’s Spirit to participate in its redemption. Such participation includes saying ‘no’ to consumerism as an idolatrous way of life, being present with those who suffer, and caring for God’s creation, so that our lives, churches and communities reflect the implications of our confession that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.