What are you looking for?

Press [Enter] to search

Reflections on the Charis2023FORUM

Adapted from an article by the Charis Fellowship

Once every five years or so, Charis Alliance leaders from all over the world gather for a meeting. The most recent one took place in Kenya this past March. As the president of the Charis Fellowship’s Inspire Charis Pastors Network, Mark Lingenfelter attended the conference and now reflects on his takeaways. 

Mark said, “As I sit in my office each week, I realize how easy it would be to give little attention to what took place at our Charis Alliance conference in Kenya a few months ago.” After all, he has sermons to write, people to visit, and meetings to prepare for. What impact does the global Charis Alliance have on our local church ministries?

The theme of this year’s conference was “interdependence” between our movement’s global churches, and Mark says that walking in interdependence “has the potential to enrich our ministries and bless our souls.”

At the conference, leaders from 22 different countries simultaneously sang in three different languages to worship the same God. That experience blessed Mark’s soul and left him longing to one day experience the harmony of heaven. He was also encouraged to see how the leaders of our movement remain fully committed to scripture despite living in today’s rapidly-changing world. Recognizing our movement’s commitment to the biblical principles of complementarianism despite the tensions we feel in our own American culture, Mark says, “There is no doubt in my mind that our Charis Alliance is committed to biblical truth!” He doesn’t view complementarianism as a restriction, but rather emphasizes all the ways men and women should work together in serving their local churches.

But why do any of these things matter? What effect should the conference have on the daily operations of our local churches? Mark points out that being a part of the global Charis Alliance gives us two really unique opportunities: we can be blessed by international churches, while also being a blessing to them. For example, he said, “What if I had access to a church who would be willing to gather for hours just to pray for a desperate need in my church?” That could bless us in greater ways than we could ever imagine. After meeting so many leaders from other countries, he also reported, “we have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters in other countries.”

Like most things in life, we’ll only be able to reap the benefits of our global network if we’re willing to sow into it. Though Mark says that it requires both “effort and humility,” he also adds, “but I have experienced the pay off, and I assure you it’s worth it.”