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November 21, 2019Lausanne

Global Sikh Consultation: Calling Sikhs To Christ

The Global Sikh Consultation objectives were to pray, share research, share resources, and to mobilize
Global Sikh Consultation: Calling Sikhs To Christ
Image: Pixabay

Recently, I had the privilege of convening the Global Sikh Consultation (GSC), the first Lausanne Movement consultation on Sikhism.

The organizers of this event were all Edmontonians, mostly Filipinos, passionately involved in global missions and local evangelism. The vision to gather mission enthusiasts began over prayer meetings at Starbucks and McDonalds. These friends include five Filipinos, two Indians, and one Chinese person. They also worked closely with a German researcher conducting Sikh research in Europe.

After preliminary meetings in March, this team set the purpose, objectives, and desired outcomes of this event, eight months before the consultation.

A well-respected and influential people, Sikh individuals are woven into the communities they of which they are part. There are close to 27 million Sikhs around the world. Outside of India, particularly Punjab, Diaspora Sikhs, on the waves of colonial British movements, have migrated around the world.

Many live in Canada, French Guiana, the United Kingdom, Fiji, and Africa, while many have also settled in former British colonies in Asia, and there is a sizeable population in the United States. To date, no concerted global effort has been made to reach out to them.

While Sikhism is the fifth largest religious group, missiologists have often placed strong emphasis on Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and have overlooked Sikhism, leaving its adherents unengaged.

The GSC was convened to address this opportunity and need. The consultation objectives were to pray, share research, share resources, and to mobilize (see more about the GSC objectives at http://www.sikhconsultation.ca/#about.

Dr. Ed Stetzer, Lausanne North American Director and Director of The Billy Graham Center, gave a warm welcome via video message, while Dr. David Bennett, the Lausanne Movement’s Global Associate Director for Collaboration and Content Managing Editor for the Lausanne Global Analysis, joined the four-day deliberations and delivered the keynote address encouraging participants to:

• Pray for renewed conviction that every Sikh—man and woman, adult and young person and child—needs to discover Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life

• Pray for Spirit-led creativity to identify new strategies for reaching Sikhs, and for forming various communities of Jesus followers that are accessible to different kinds of Sikhs

• Pray for humility and love toward each person we encounter this week, and for ability to find new ways to collaborate with one another as servant leaders

• Pray for a new vision for the workplace, and for Sikh people in the workplace, in order to see kingdom impact in every sphere of society

The GSC culminated in the development and the unveiling of the Edmonton Appeal—the first document that seriously summons the global church to respond to this great opportunity and need in engaging the global Sikhs (see below). The consultation ended in the formation of the Lausanne Sikhism Working Group, mandated to further articulate the Edmonton Appeal.

I am grateful for the team of volunteers and partners who worked to bring the GSC together, and I am thankful for the participants—men and women committed to the Sikh people, who have embraced the Lausanne Movement’s vision: “The gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact in every sphere of society.”

Following the consultation, GSC participant, Dr. Rajesh Agarwal designated November 12, 2019 a worldwide call to prayer for Sikhs. I am excited to see how the Lord will continue to move in and through the Sikh people.

THE EDMONTON APPEAL

Over sixty Kingdom ministry leaders and reflective practitioners from ten nations, gathered at the Lausanne GLOBAL SIKH CONSULTATION in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on October 22-25, 2019, issue this urgent appeal to the Global Church.

We Acknowledge

  1. That Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion in the world but the Global Church is largely ignorant of its beliefs, culture, and practices.

  2. The Global Church has not made reaching the Sikhs with the Good News of Jesus a priority.

  3. That God’s loving purpose is to see all people including Sikhs experience salvation in Christ and be part of God’s forever family.

  4. That the Church is God’s agent to fulfill the redemptive plan for Kingdom advance.

  5. That the Holy Spirit is alive and active today in drawing all sinners to Jesus.

  6. That God sovereignly performs miracles, healings and deliverances to demonstrate His Kingdom rule and power.

We Believe

  1. That there is only one true and living God, the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of all things existing eternally in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—full of love and glory.

  2. That all humans are made in the image of God but have been marred by sin since the Fall.

  3. That the living God has revealed Himself through the trustworthy Biblical Scriptures and has fully and finally revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, the Son of God when the Word became flesh. Hence, Jesus was fully God and fully man.

  1. That through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross, He took upon Himself God’s judgement due to all sinners by dying in their place and making the way for us to be saved.

  2. That the gift of personal salvation and the experience of complete forgiveness of sin are only available by God’s grace in Christ through personal repentance of sins and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. That spiritual life in Christ, of holiness and joyful service, is nurtured by the Word of God and empowered by the indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

  4. That calling of service to others is important but it flows out of one’s relationship in Christ and one’s love for fellow humans.

  5. That fellowship with other followers of Jesus is essential for spiritual growth and balance.

We Appeal

  1. That the Global Church seize the opportunities of evangelising and discipling the unreached millions of followers of the Sikh faith everywhere and develop them to be Great Commission disciple makers.

  2. That the followers of Jesus and congregations will focus and fervently pray for the salvation of all Sikhs.

  3. That relevant demographic research continue to be undertaken to define missiological and evangelistic priorities to reach Sikhs.

  4. That the followers of Jesus be encouraged and equipped to contextually share the Good News of Jesus with Sikhs in word and deed.

  5. That the followers of Jesus will live as authentic witnesses and personally engage with their Sikh contacts and neighbours, and build meaningful relationships with sincere Christ-like love.

  6. That the Good News of Jesus be sensitively communicated in a clear, coherent, consistent, and culturally appropriate manner.

  7. That Sikh Background Believers (SBBs) be developed into Christ-like leaders for the Global Church.

  8. That local churches and ministry agencies will collaborate to develop resources, strategize effective approaches to reach Sikhs with the Good News of Jesus and plant contextual churches.

  9. That those engaged in evangelizing and discipling Sikhs need prayer, patience, and perseverance.

October 25, 2019
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sadiri “Joy” Tira (D.Miss., Western Seminary; D.Min., Reformed Theological Seminary) is The Lausanne Movement’s Catalyst for Diasporas, the Diaspora Missiology Specialist at the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambrose University and Seminary (AUS), Calgary, AB, Canada, and oversees the Lausanne North America Global Diaspora Strategy Group.

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