The National Congress on Evangelisation (NACOE 2012) has ended with the clarion call for unity and a renewed resolve to send the “Whole gospel to the whole nation by the whole church.”
NACOE 2012 was a Ghana follow up to The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, which was held in Cape Town, South Africa from 16th-25th October 2010.
The Congress, which was organised by the Ghana Evangelism Committee (GEC) in partnership with churches in Ghana, was attended by some 600 Church, Mission and Marketplace Leaders and serviced by over 100 Speakers and Stewards.
Coming a few days after the sudden death of Ghana’s president Prof John Evans Atta-Mills, the Congress was sure to be a test of the resolve of Christian leaders in rallying around the cause of Jesus Christ in a difficult time for the nation.
The Congress opened on 29th July 2012 with a Keynote Address by representative of the Chief Justice - Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Woode, a devoted Christian, and ended with a prayer service based on a liturgy of Repentance and Re-commitment.
“It was a heavenly beauty to see 'the whole Church' holding hands in prayer and unity to the One LORD,” says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Lausanne Movement International Deputy Director for EPS Africa.
NACOE 2012 has been described as probably the most significant platform bringing together 'The whole Church' leadership in Ghana in recent history - essentially, all the cutting edge Evangelical leaders - Protestants, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Mission Agencies to deliberate on The Cape Town Commitment and carve out a strategy for reaching the whole of Ghana with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There were four plenary Bible Expositions and small group Bible Studies focused on 'What is the Gospel', 'Proclaiming the Gospel', 'The Church' and the 'Mission of the Church'.
The Daily Seminars focused on all the six thematic areas of The Cape Town Commitment Calls to Action with participants going into some 38 carefully designed Dialogue Sessions responding to practical issues relating to the task of Evangelisation in Ghana and beyond.
Prominent church leaders in Ghana who were instrumental at NACOE 2102 include Apostle Dr. Opoku Onyinah (Chairman of the Congress, the Church of Pentecost and the Ghana Evangelism Committee), Very Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso (Chairman of the Ghana delegation to Cape Town 2010 and Immediate Past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana) and Rev. Dr. Steve Asante (President of the Ghana Baptist Convention and key Church Leader on promotion of The Cape Town Commitment and the Missions Africa Trust Fund).
The International Deputy Director for Lausanne in EPS Africa, paid special tribute to these and other heads of Churches, members of the planning committee and the diligent working groups, most of whom were part of Cape Town 2010, and who through their leadership influence and mandate have given the authority and backing to the Congress planning process over the past 2 years.
According to Nana Yaw, “When we met at a brief Planning Committee meeting just after the NACOE 2012 Closing Ceremony, everyone on the team testified that 'the LORD took it over from us and moved far beyond what we could ever imagine'. The Glory is His and His alone!”
A broad section of participants testified that a significant difference with NACOE 2012 from previous sessions is the strong focus on Implementation Plans right from the start of the sessions.
Under the leadership of the National Director for the GEC, Rev. Robert Dentu, Regional follow up Congresses have already been outlined for 2013 and 2014 to deepen the discussions at grassroots level all through the various regions of the Country.
NACOE 2012 was blessed to have the support of international partners including Valdir Steuernagel (World Vision International) who spoke on The Cape Town Commitment and Michael Jaffarian (Operation World) who led sessions on the State of the Gospel
World Vision International also presented to the Congress 2000 copies of the 'The Hole in Our Gospel', a book by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision US.
Julia Cameron on behalf of The Lausanne Movement also sent in 1500 copies of the 'More Precious Than Gold' Bible Reading Plan and an advance of 400 copies of The Cape Town Commitment in support of NACOE 2012.
Forty (40) Heads of Churches, Heads of Institutions, Christian Leaders and Emerging Young Leaders from Ghana attended Cape Town 2010. At the Ghana participants meeting in Cape Town, it was decided that the Ghana Evangelism Committee (GEC) would be the National Institution to coordinate the organization of a National CONGRESS ON EVANGELIZATION (NACOE) in Ghana as a follow up Congress to Lausanne III.