Understanding that at the core of all that we do as a Region lies the foundational objective of establishing spiritual environments wherein Jesus is lifted up as the one after whom our lives are modeled, and where we seek ways to partner with God to establish local churches filled with disciples who are growing in His likeness, the Asia-Pacific Region seeks to strategically prioritize all of its activities through the lens of the following priorities.
Making Christlike disciples in the Nations lies at the core of all that we do. It’s our identity, not just a slogan, and a lifestyle that should be intentionally practiced by all who are Nazarene.
As we look for the Ancient Ways, we will find Jesus, His methodologies and His Commission to the Church. The Great Commission is not one of 'quantity' but very much a commission of 'quality'. Our mission is rooted on a biblical statement that does not end with the word 'nations'. Consequently, true followers of Jesus take up his yoke to receive and welcome the revelation of God's mercy, bringing salvation to the poor and the oppressed. We are called to learn from Jesus what it means to live in mercy in order to be instruments of mercy and ministers of reconciliation.
Consequently, the Region exists to assist ministers and laity alike in making Christlike disciples in the nations through training and resourcing based on best practices, and resources that are practical, applicable and contextually adaptable.
Through an intentional strategy for discipleship built upon small group (community) models that include the intentional discipleship of children and youth, the Region’s potential for leadership development and growth will be maximized.
"But what we see here is not an impossible dream, a hopeless idealization. It has been done and can be done now, if we turn our efforts under God in the right direction. And that direction would be one that makes spiritual formation in Christlikeness the exclusive primary goal of the local congregation. This is what one would naturally expect after having read what Paul says - and, indeed, after having read what Jesus sent his world revolutionaries out to do."
The future of the church is largely dependent upon the character and competencies of those who are entrusted with the leadership thereof. It is often stated that everything rises and falls on leadership. For the church to be relevant in today’s world, the Asia-Pacific Region needs its leaders to be continuously growing in Christ and in touch with the world wherein they live. While our faith is unchanging, the way that we package and communicate that faith into an ever-changing society needs to change.
As a response to this need, a dual emphasis will be placed on the retooling of existing leaders and the identifying and development of emerging Christ-centered leaders who are great followers of Jesus. Additionally, ongoing training and orientation for those assuming leadership assignments will become the expected norm within the context of the ministry assignment. To assist the districts and local churches, the Region will continue to promote the concept of field-wide Leadership Development Initiatives, with specific focus placed on emerging leaders 35 years of age and younger.
Jesus came "not to be served but to serve” and called us to imitate his sacrifice in loving and serving others. Servant Leadership Development of all involved in any form of ministry leadership or oversight on the Region shall consequently become a central consideration to all that we do. Emerging leaders will based on merit, be identified, nurtured, developed and provided with the opportunity to engage and lead. Existing leaders will be educated in contemporary and contextual practical theologies and be encouraged to strategically plan transition to emerging leaders.
The Intentional Leadership Development of young emerging leaders, youth and children shall be of priority.
"True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you." This is the way of the Asia-Pacific Region.
Cohesive Education and Ministerial Preparation is about the establishment of an integrated Nazarene educational system across the Region that facilitates the training and qualification of transformational Nazarene leaders, both clergy and lay. This system, which begins with discipleship in the local church, is to ensure that transformational ministerial preparation is accessible, applicable, affordable and transferable, approved as a course of study leading to ordination for those pursuing a call to deeper ministry. To accomplish this, twenty-first century strategies of outcomes based educational delivery within the context of new communities of learning must be utilized.
As part of its objective, ministerial preparation must provide the clergy and laity alike with tools to help them in new ways to overcome the apparent obstacles of bi-vocationalism, language, distance and culture. While the ways of time past were good, they need to be evaluated as needed, and reformatted for the realities of today. Specifically, pastors need to be equipped and retooled to deal with the possibilities, problems and paradigm shifts encompassed in this new age. Such training can take the form of vocational and continuing education through classes, seminars and workshops.
Understanding that World Evangelism Fund support of residential educational institutions is not a viable long-term solution, a sustainable educational system that works with the reality of an organic approach to church planting and evangelism needs to be developed and constantly updated. Such a reshaped educational approach will require Regional will, determination and clear thinking by bringing together key stakeholders to work on a solution that honors the past while envisioning God’s preferred future for the Church of the Nazarene.
A connected church must learn to communicate effectively, in a way that connects the intended message with the intended audience. From a Regional perspective, this means that we need to have effective communication within our Regional structure, to our denominational structure, and to those who sacrificially contribute to the Missio Dei. We need to learn to communicate in appropriate ways that connect so that confidence in the system can be established and opportunity to engage can be afforded.
Consequently, the Region shall provide and maintain an effective communications system that uses contemporary and emerging media to keep all constituents informed of the work in the Region and beyond, along with the opportunities to partner in ministry and in prayer.
Church planting happens as a result of strategic prayer, planning and collaboration. The time has come for the reprioritization of strategic expansion into areas of existing districts, nations and fields that are thus far untouched or insignificantly impacted. While entering new nations is always a worthy consideration, momentum commences with small steps in the Jerusalems and Judeas of our people and congregations. From there, the Lord raises up those called to Samaria and the uttermost ends of the earth.
The Asia-Pacific Region is of immense diversity, and the impact of the Gospel has yet to be made. Church growth statistics demonstrate that the most effective way to evangelize is through the multiplication of churches. Healthy churches should be reproducing churches who in their turn plant churches. For the Region to take the Gospel into areas beyond the current reach of the evangelistic effort of the Church, it will be through the establishment of the Church, meaning the establishment of new and creatively structured communities of faith who follow Jesus and who understand their role in taking the Good News to their own people in contextually relevant ways.
As an indication of their health, Nazarene churches should constantly be engaged in the objective of planting and nurturing at least one new missional church per quadrennium as a part of the A-P Region’s DNA and as a minimal goal for each local congregation. Particular attention needs to be given to reaching cities with populations in excess of a million people.
A church is a dynamic entity that constantly changes and shifts as a result of demographics and culture. To be fresh and relevant in society, ongoing development is required. A district is composed of the sum of the local congregations within its geographical area of responsibility. The health of a district is viewed in terms of the sum of its healthy churches.
One of the main functions of the Region is the development of the local church into a healthy, missional entity. For that to happen, emphasis must be placed on district development at all levels. For leaders to succeed in their respective assignments, time and resources need to be invested in the development and training of these key leaders. Additionally, each district needs to be guided through ongoing evaluation and training to move it to greater levels of maturity.
Continued focus on planting and development of missional churches on each Field must be a regional priority. Included in this is envisioning where the church needs to yet go, as well as assisting established churches in transitioning from attractional to missional models.
Jesus’ words to the disciples nearly 2000 years ago still resonate today: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”.The Mobilization of cross-cultural workers for the vast unreached and under-reached Harvest Fields of the Asia-Pacific Region must remain a clear regional priority. In obedience to the Great Commission, we will work with sending districts and countries to Discover, Develop, and Deploy those whom God is calling, to make Christlike disciples, and to establish communities and networks of Faith where the Church is not yet. Since we believe theprinciple that the needed workers can be found in the Harvest, we will increase our focus on Mobilizing those whom God is calling from within the Asia-Pacific Region.
Ministry is about people. As a Region, the APR will provide ongoing training and encouragement for our existing missionaries and will develop systems and initiatives that develop and care holistically for those families serving on the Region. The nature of this care should be proactive and could take the form of workshops, retreats, continuing education, counseling, pastoral touch, childcare, personal development opportunities, etc.? Where not available internally, external entities will be engaged to provide the needed care and development.
Where national sending agencies do exist, the Region will work with the agency to ensure that the members sent by that entity receive care of the same nature.
Our desire is to reflect, more and more, the compassionate character of Jesus. As we grow in likeness to Him, we are moved to acts of compassion as He was moved. The goal of the Region is that every Nazarene member & local church body be actively reflecting the compassionate character of Jesus by contributing to its family of believers and to its community through acts of compassion.
The mission of God is holistic. Increasingly, ministries of compassion have become part of the work of the Region, often serving as the bridge into unreached areas. This holism is healthy and crucial to the Gospel. To equip our Nazarenes to serve compassionate needs effectively, intentional training will be given to local churches in areas such as capacity building, leadership development, health, water, sanitation and disaster preparedness and relief.
All that the Region does must be for the glory of God and for the expansion of His Kingdom. The priority of Operational Effectiveness is to ensure through systems management that the right things get done properly. Efficiency and effectiveness must be the hallmark of our administrative network, while strategic reflection and planning for maximum transformational impact must be visible in all budgets and planning documents.
Given congregational and cultural shifts, intentional engagement with potential partners outside our WEF structure must be nurtured. Personal relationships must be fostered with people who desire to give in more strategic and personally satisfying ways while intentionally communicating the critical importance of WEF. Focus on the following key areas will help keep things in perspective.
Focus on the following key areas will help keep things in perspective: