A discussion about evangelism and discipleship strategies among the leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 39 independent provinces was so lively, it continued through the lunch break, the Archbishop of South East Asia said after the sesson on Wednesday, the Anglican Communion News Service reports.
Archbishop Moon Hing, the bishop of West Malaysia, led a Bible study at the start of the morning’s session of the 2017 Primates’ Meeting before a general discussion on witness and evangelism. The archbishop, who chairs the international Anglican Witness group of mission leaders and practitioners, said he was “uplifted because we come back to the core issue and core subject of our existence: that is to make disciples for Jesus”.
Earlier, at a press conference at Canterbury Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spoke of his “profound sense of shame” over church-based abuse of children and vulnerable adults. He had been asked about planned visits to Canterbury by groups of survivors on Friday, who want to ensure that their concerns are heard by the Church leaders gathered for the meeting.
Archbishop Justin said that the “extent of the legacy of abuse” was “one of the surprises” he faced when he became Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013.
Meanwhile, in an interview for ACNS, Archbishop Moon Hing said that his Bible study was about “Jesus, the bread of life, who provides all our needs.” He said that people who knew what it was to be a disciple “must be intentional to do it ourselves and to make it available and help others to walk with him. Even though we have this intention we need to have some ways to do it,” he said.
In what he described as “the best response” so far during this year’s Primates’ Meeting, “everybody contributed and shared how different facets of evangelism and discipleship can be done.” There was not just one method of evangelism, he said, “there are many ways, directly [and] indirectly to bring the message of Christ, that he is the bread of life, and that he is the answer, to the world. There was a very lively atmosphere and everybody enjoyed it,” he said. “Even during lunchtime everybody talked about it. One of the primates said: ‘We should not be issue driven, we should be discipleship driven.’”
Picture: Archbishop Welby and Archbishop Philip Freier at the press conference.