The Amsterdam Rise In Strength Consultation was a true demonstration of unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We were sixty women from several nations but we were one voice, speaking to the tragedies, issues and concerns of women around the world. Together we petitioned heaven in prayer, together we prayerfully petition the leadership of churches around the world. The Call summarizes our petitions. We prayerfully await the outcomes.
Call to All Christians
We, sixty international women leaders (64 women from 18 nations participated in the consultation), met at the Rise in Strength consultation in Amsterdam, June 2019, to celebrate the contribution of Christian women to the work of God in the world.
We gathered from diverse backgrounds, recognising the changing context in which we find ourselves.
We were united in our conviction that gender inequality continues to be a barrier that diminishes the effective witness of the Church to the transforming power of the Gospel.
We affirm that Jesus came that we may all have life and have it in all its fullness (John 10.10b). This Gospel transforms lives; the Bible affirms that Jesus called, accepted, healed and restored women. We commit to sharing and demonstrating this Good News; women and men (Gen 1.26-8, 2.23) continue to be compelled by God’s grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8).
We affirm the theological approach of the Lausanne Movement’s Cape Town Commitment as a foundation for our Call to all Christians:
“That all of us, men and women, married and single are responsible to employ God’s gifts for the benefit of others as stewards of God’s grace and for the praise and glory of Christ. [We] are also responsible to enable all God’s people to exercise all the gifts that God has given for all the areas of service to which God calls the Church.” (Capetown Commintment p. 6)
We are compelled, building on this Biblical foundation, to broaden our awareness, increase our attentiveness, and commit to specific actions to restore God’s intention for all people.
We recognise that our communities and leadership structures have not always been encouraging, freeing or even safe for women and girls, who are each valued and loved by God.
We acknowledge that the pathways for women to serve as leaders in the global Church are limited, and this has prevented many from contributing to the Church in this way.
We acknowledge that the Church has deeply hurt many women and girls, and not heard or acknowledged their pain.
We acknowledge that violence, in all its forms, towards women is perpetrated not only outside the Church, but also inside.
We recognize that the global Church has too often ignored the voices of women in its communities.
We commit to being attentive to these voices, including experiences, perspectives, joys and suffering.
We commit to being attentive to women and girls among the most vulnerable populations and regions of the world, especially those living in extreme poverty, or with disability, those endangered by human trafficking, persecuted for their faith, denied education and legal rights – and so at greatest risk of gender-based violence and discrimination.
We commit to discerning the spiritual gifts of all women and girls, so as to draw upon resources God has given for the full health and strength of the whole Church, wherever it manifests across every sector of our society.
We must all act to:
Engage in a positive dialogue, mourning and repenting of mistakes and the pain we have caused, and seeking reconciliation; believing this is a first step to making our communities more empowered in Christ and safer places for women, girls, men and boys.
Celebrate the strength, courage, gifts and work of women in churches around the globe.
Work in unity to address the issues which concern us regarding the most vulnerable populations, especially those in extreme poverty and facing persecution for their faith.
Consecrate our gifts and opportunities to further strengthen, grow and mature our local churches and the global Church, in imitation of Christ’s example of Servant leadership.
Commit to collaboration between women and men (Eph 5.21, John 17.21-3).
Equip women and girls to take up leadership positions in the Church and wider society, including training and development, making the most of innovative resources.
We call on men and women of the global Church to act so that women, men, girls and boys can all embrace their spiritual giftings to strengthen the work of the Church, and Her witness to the glory of God.