Accompaniment is the ELCA?s approach to global mission. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God reached out to heal humanity?s brokenness, restore community, and offer a fallen creation the gift of redemption and restoration. In Christ Jesus, we are reconciled with God, who entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation for the sake of the world (2 Corinthians 5: 17-19).
Accompaniment describes the way our church walks with and works with Christian communities in other countries as together we participate in God?s reconciling mission.
Walking together in mission
In the Emmaus story, Jesus? actions provide a model for accompaniment: walking together, listening, sharing, breaking bread, and witnessing to God?s mighty deeds.
Equipping each other
Equipping each other for mission is at the core of accompaniment. Companion churches discover ways to build up each other?s capacity to proclaim and serve by sharing knowledge, insights, personnel, resources, and experience. Leadership development is a critical way in which companions deepen each other?s capacity for mission.
Global and Local
While all of us bear responsibility for sharing the good news of God?s reconciling love, the accompaniment model recognizes that the primary responsibility for mission belongs to the local church, with other churches assisting, supporting, and encouraging.
Under accompaniment, the role of our church in a region may vary, depending upon the mission priorities and assets of the companion churches and agencies collaborating with us. Regardless of how our participation takes form, our call never varies: to make Christ known, so that He might gather us all into Himself, that we might all become one.
The ELCA calls its member and missionaries to live out four goals of the accompaniment model for global mission:
1.Proclaim Nurture new Christian communities Support evangelization and renewal Build relationships of respect with people of other faiths.
2.Serve Develop and support ministries of health care, community development, education, reconciliation, advocacy, and disaster aid.
3. Accompany Walk with other churches in mutual respect Assist with leadership development Enhance ecumenical cooperation in mission Facilitate exchanges between companion churches in other countries
4. Receive Receive the witness of the global mission community Foster relationships and encounters between global companions
Accompaniment is proclamation, service, and presence.
How to Learn More
Global Mission Executive Director Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla and four ELCA missionaries collaborated to produce a DVD entitled ?2007 Global Mission Executive Briefing?. This DVD features presentations on accompaniments and also introduces mission strategy in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and Europe.
To request a free copy call (800) 638-3522, ext. 2642