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CWM Communications Workshop 2024: honing life-flourishing messages

07 March 2024

CWM Communications Workshop 2024: honing life-flourishing messages

The Council for World Mission (CWM) held a Communications Workshop in Kuala Lumpur from 17-20 January, gathering more than 30 delegates from CWM member churches around the world.

Elder Lim Kar Hor, general secretary of Gereja Presbyterian Malaysia (GPM), the local co-host of the workshop, greeted the participants. “Welcome to this beautiful country, ‘Salam Sejahtera’ (a warm welcome in Bahasa Malaysia),” said Elder Lim as he conveyed his heartfelt appreciation to the delegates for their presence.

The workshop provided space to gather the lay of the land in the current missiological landscape, facilitate exchanges of ideas that will invigorate planned content, and foster a spirit of camaraderie between CWM and her member churches.

During the four-day event, participants had the opportunities to share their unique work experiences, learn from each other, and develop new communication plans that will help them better connect with their communities and achieve their mission goals.

In his welcome address, CWM General Secretary, Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum said, “Social media has proved itself to be a powerful force in shaping discourse and influencing opinions; it is a phenomenon that the last pandemic not only necessitated but also accelerated.”

Rev. Dr Keum described how social media can be instrumental in helping churches proclaim the gospel in a multi-directional fashion, breaking down geographical barriers that have challenged missional work in eras past.

“Jesus, as the incarnate Lord, spoke and continues to speak directly to us, enabling spontaneous communication between God and us. Likewise, the church should also aim to achieve that by leveraging on modern communication technology to reach out directly to the peoples of the world,” continued Rev. Dr Keum.

Participants were presented with the results of the CWM Media Survey held last year that showcased key findings on the characteristics of each region’s media landscape and a reflection of the opportunities and challenges that member churches may face.

Participants were also engaged in discussions on pressing topics such as church communication in public spaces, decolonialization, and social justice in the digital space.

To foster mutual dialogue, discussion, and ideation, participants were split into regional groups to develop a two-year regional communication action plan that dovetails with the 2023-25 CWM Communications Strategy. The workshop also saw participants coming together to draft and finalise a CWM Communication Statement that will be presented at the CWM Assembly in Durban in June.