“I believe this is the greatest time of world evangelism in history,” declared Dr. George Peters of Dallas Theological Seminary. “But the present structure of evangelical missions is colonial and must be dismantled—with care.”
Missions came under close scrutiny from both the sending church and the receiving church at GL ’71—a joint retreat of the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association and the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association held at Green Lake (“GL”), Wisconsin, September 27–October 1.
The 406 delegates representing 106 missions and related organizations met to discuss “Missions in Creative Tension.” Eighteen key nationals from fourteen countries acted as overseas resource personnel. EFMA and IFMA list a total of 16,582 workers.
“This is a follow-through on the Wheaton Congress of 1966,” said Dr. Virgil Gerber, GL ’71 coordinator and executive director of the Evangelical Missions Information Service, which organized the retreat. “But we aren’t looking for a declaration or pronouncement this time. The main benefit is to give us all a fresh exposure to the problems and possible solutions of church-mission tensions.”
GL ’71 majored in delegate participation through small-group and full plenary discussion sessions. Only three major papers were presented, apart from the daily devotional study by Dr. Edmund Clowney of Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, on “The Biblical Doctrine of the Ministry of the Church.” The delegates adopted “A Green Lake ’71 Affirmation” on the final day (see editorial, page 24).
In the opening topical paper, the Reverend Jack Shepherd of the Christian and Missionary Alliance listed tensions between sending churches and missions: organizational alignments, administrative participation, ...1
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