|AICOME / AICOCIM - Growth of the vision|
Increased participation In World Evangelical events helped in renewed vision and inspiration and new efforts in evangelism. Congresses such as the Lausanne Congress, Berlin Congress 1966, and Asia Pacific Congress on Evangelism in Singapore, 1968 have had significant influence in the calling of an AICOME. Thus, the first AICOME was convened in January 4th - 8th 1970 as a mark of gratitude to God for his goodness in EFI’s 20 years of ministry,
About 300 indigenous and predominantly lay and youth oriented participants gathered at Barnes School, Deolali near Nasik in Maharashtra, with the primary concern of motivating both co-operative and personal evangelism.
The second AICOME was held on 12th - 19th January 1977, again at Deolali, with about 400 participants from all over India and overseas observers. The papers, discussions, debates and prayer for the Congress began some two years earlier and Regional action groups were set up for follow-up.
A Deolali Continuation Committee was formed to inspire, stimulate, encourage and facilitate action at regional, local and individual levels, as well as to see the satisfactory conclusion of cooperative projects. Significant outcomes of the 1977 AICOME is the formation of India Mission Association (IMA) -with the purpose of bringing together The Indian Missionary Organizations under a national network for mutual help, co-operation and co-operate expression.
The third AICOME was held in Pune from 4 to 8 January 1988 at Union Biblical Seminary, with the theme "Into the Nineties with Christ." About 250 young leaders working at grassroot level met reviewing the past and identifying the challenges and task, of the Church in the coming years.
The evangelical leadership represented by EFI decided that an All India Congress on Church in Mission (AICOCIM) 1999 was necessary to evaluate the status of mission in our context and develop a common strategy in collaboration to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the 4th and final congress of the last millennium, the emphasis was Church in Mission, a significant shift from specialist mission organisations to local church congregations, communities of faith, being directly involved in God’s mission. About 450 church and mission agency leaders participated. The main objective was to review the past 10-50 years of the Church’s mission in India, assess the present trends, with the expected outcome of a workable strategic plan for impacting India for Christ in the next millennium.
The focus was on partnership and networking in the process of transformational mission.
Two major outcomes of AICOCIM were the launching of an urban ministry initiative and an association Christians in the legal profession. The Evangelical Fellowship of India National Urban Network (EFINUN) and the Christian Legal Association (CLA). The EFINUN is mainly a facilitating body where members retain their identity and create a synergy as a Network. The CLA is a national network of Christians in the legal profession with a presence in 91 cities in 18 states. It is a full fletched registered body and has been growing with State Chapters and working on human rights issues with a special focus on religious freedom.