Group Plans Interactive Conference on Partnering with Indigenous Ministries

A coalition of volunteers from American mission agencies and mission-minded churches is planning a conference in June 2007 that will incorporate speakers from the Majority World as well as from traditional American mission agencies.

The Coalition On Support for Indigenous Ministries (COSIM) is planning its 11-13 June 2007 conference at Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. Keynote speakers are Dr. Paul (Bobby) Gupta, president of Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI), and Dr. Sherwood Lingenfelter, provost, senior vice president and professor of anthropology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, USA. Together they authored the book Breaking Tradition to Accomplish Vision: Training Leaders for a Church-Planting Movement: A Case from India, which tells the story of how HBI recovered its focus on planting churches among the unreached. It also provides the backdrop for the conference theme, “Breaking Tradition to Accomplish Vision: From Frustration to Joy in Cross-cultural Partnerships.”

Along this line, John Watters, CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators International, plans to share how Wycliffe implemented its Vision 2025 strategy, a partner-focused initiative that, he says, “has profoundly changed how Wycliffe and SIL approach the ministry of Bible translation throughout the world.”

Additionally, Emmanuel Ogunyemi, professor, vice president and academic dean at West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, Nigeria, will speak on “A Tenuous Partnership and Important Lessons Learned for Both Western and Non-Western Leaders.”

John Jusu, a missionary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa working with the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya, will lead a workshop on “Important Lessons about Money and Financial Accountability in Cross-Cultural Partnerships—from Western and Non-Western Perspectives.” The workshop will be co-led with Mary Lederleitner, a researcher with Wycliffe.

Attendees representing mission agencies and churches will have opportunity to help form an online bank of resources, establish guidelines on how to select an appropriate overseas partner and learn how best to help train indigenous leaders.

Complete details on the conference can be obtained at

John Lindner published Christian Mission magazine for Christian Aid for twenty-five years. He is founder of World Christian Ministries, which publishes World Christian magazine to tell the story of missions in the Two-thirds World.