Conference 2007 - Brief Report

The first conference of SCMS was held on June 20, 2007 at the headquarters of the organization in Kobylisy. The theme of the conference was “Do we need missiology? If we do, why do we not teach it and develop it systematically?”

Representatives from all of the Protestant theological schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as international guests, accepted the invitation to participate in this event. Ten specialists, representing a variety of denominations, presented lectures designed to clarify why the church should seek and define its mission calling. Forty-six persons from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Scotland, South Korea and the United States who are interested in the issue of mission attended the conference and actively participated in its discussions.

Although since the fall of communism, the church in the Czech Republic and Slovakia has attempted to develop a theological understanding of mission and to identify practical ways of engaging in mission activities, the conference demonstrated that current theological and practical understandings of mission are inadequate. Participants in the conference concluded that we need missiology, but that it is rarely taught in the Czech Republic and Slovakia because the Christian church has an inadequate understanding of mission and its goal, and also of the context in which it is working.

The conference showed the need for various denominations to work together to engage in missiological reflection on the context in which Christians live and profess their faith, so that they may gain a deeper understanding of the task of mission today. The conference recommended that Christians strive to take account of the fact that the Bible is a unique and important mission document. It spoke of the need for the Christian church to become aware of, and understand, recent political, economic, cultural, and religious changes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as in the broader international setting, so that it can effectively integrate mission education and practice into its life and witness. The conference recommended that all theological schools recognize that missiology is an inseparable component of all aspects of theological education, and that they take this fact into consideration when engaged in teaching, preparing curriculum, and training the students themselves.

An official summary of the results of the conference and the lectures that were presented will be published in Czech/Slovak in September 2007 and in English in October 2007.