We live in a world where change is constant. And change brings with it challenges and needs that are social, economic, political and religious in nature.
The Church has the one constant that can meet every need and challenge that change brings.
Jesus Christ our sufficiency - the same yesterday, today and forever.
"Changing world - Unchanging Christ" –
Thus the All India Congress On Mission And Evangelism (AICOME) which became the All India Congress On Church In Mission (AICOCIM )in 1999, was initiated and facilitated by the EFI since 40 years ago, to bring together leaders of Churches and Christian Organizations, to address periodically those fresh challenges that change brings through the passing of time and meet them with the implicit sufficiency of Jesus, the Christ.
"The AICOCIM is not an event, but a movement" to quote a former leader of the EFI.
The event: Leaders of different denominations and organizations are brought together to review and take stock of the past - lessons to learn and be unlearnt; study and evaluate the present and pray and work together on a strategic plan to progressively advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ henceforth, anticipating the needs till the next ten years. Seek His face together to reveal to us His heart, His mind and His priorities in the coming years.
The movement: The recommendations that come out of these sessions are taken home by Churches and groups to be implemented at different levels.
India Missions Association; India Evangelical Mission; National Urban Network, Christian Legal Association are some ‘movements’ that have concretized out of AICOME/AICOCIM pasts.
Each AICOCIM has had different emphasis as led by the Spirit of God -
The Tremendous increase in urbanization, its impact both in Urban and Rural life and ministry among the city dwellers has been and continues to be addressed.
The emphasis on the need for effective and well structured networking has led to the birth of the India Missions Association, India Evangelical Mission, the Christian Legal Association and the National Urban Alliance to name a few.
As an answer to the desperate communal tensions, economic disparity and human freedoms that continue to ravage the Nation - the AICOCIM has been a place for a clearer definition of the Church's role in proactively engaging in Nation building.
The advance in knowledge particularly in media and information technology has influenced the lives of people and organizations today. Attempts continue to be made for the Church to be aware of its tremendous power and be equipped to tap these resources to the maximum advantage.
This 5th Congress- AICOCIM 2009:
The theme is “For we are to God the aroma of Christ”
We will take time to reflect and evaluate that truth. Ask forgiveness where we have not been an ‘aroma’ of Christ to Him nor to others around us.
Celebrate and give thanks for where we have indeed been a fragrance that brought joy and delight to Him.
AICOCIM 2009 will:
continue to be an inclusive gathering of the Church in India to think through and charter a plan of action in its mandate to fulfill the Great Commission by proactively participating in nation building through political engagement and permeating the workplace/ marketplace while not disregarding the traditional practices.
continue to be a place to recapture the mandate of the Church as a transformational agent of justice as it continues to look at issues of social justice by re-evaluating the plight of the vulnerable sections of society, victims of injustice and the marginalised. Specifically, the needs of the differently-abled, the victims of human trafficking & other rejects - 'untouchables' of society will be addressed collectively for the first time.
re- emphasise the need for accountability, good governance and stewardship of all God given resources and come up with more effective tools and systems.
take a look at God's creative gifts and promote them as change agents in the world.
seek ways of being on the cutting edge in our methods and their use and sharpening our tools.
continue to look inward and see what changes could be effected to cater to the needs of people.
celebrate the faithfulness of God and acknowledge the servants He has used to be channels of His grace and mercy through His Church.
The Big picture:
To articulate a unified vision for cultural transformation of India by the Church’s engagement at all levels of society with the Gospel and Kingdom values.
Review the past by sharing experiences.
Reflect on lessons learnt and things to unlearn.
Assess and analyze the current trends and context, identifying opportunities and challenges;
Anticipate emerging issues.
Evolve a unified strategic action plan and
Follow-up and implement the plan of action
This unified strategic plan will serve as a tool to guide the Church for the next ten years in the process of it fulfilling its role in impacting a transformed society in India with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
a documentation of the findings and declarations which will be used as a terms of reference.
a sober understanding and identification of areas of our own strengths and weaknesses.
a fuller understanding of the present context in India with clarity.
the birth of new approaches, creative ideas and ways, fresh vision, revitalized energies for the fulfillment of the Church’s mission and mandate,
a strong data base to form.
strong networks and alliances
forging solidarity for cooperation and unity
implementation of the findings of the track.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55: 10,11.
We look to God with expectation to receive from Him so that His desire and purpose will indeed be accomplished and achieved.