The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) completed on February 27 the handover to the new Secretary General, Thomas Schirrmacher (Germany).

In an online event, the outgoing leader Efraim Tendero (Philippines) handed Thomas Schirrmacher a globe of the world and a Bible.

The ceremony included greetings and prayers of Evangelical Alliance representatives from different parts of the world. Schirrmacher was introduced with a biographic video, and gave a first speech responding to the question: “What is an evangelical?”

“It is the DNA of Christianity that we owe everything to what Jesus did and what the Holy Spirit does,” the German theologian said. “We are deeply convinced that the Bible is the confession of the Church… We all submit to the Word of God, no one is above it. No, there is [in fact] someone above him, it is Jesus himself, who is the center of Holy Scripture, and the Holy Spirit, who is the author of Holy Scripture.”

Thomas Schirrmacher wears a purple clergy shirt and clergy collar while speaking onlineNew Secretary General of the WEA, Thomas Schirrmacher, delivering his inaugural speech. (WEA)

After saying that politics would never unite evangelicals, Schirrmacher spoke of the centrality of mission, emphasising that “as evangelical churches we have to put the witness of the Gospel into the centre.” Mission happens in an evangelical movement that is now “more diverse confessionally, much more diverse in ethnic questions, in language, in culture” than before.

Human Rights, and especially freedom of religion or belief should continue to be a priority of the WEA, he said: “In 1846, the World Evangelical Alliance was the first ever large religious body speaking up for religious freedom.”

“I am privileged to serve the World Evangelical Alliance, I know all of us are sinners, we are under the one Holy Scripture, which defines when we fail in what we do,” he added, as he closed by asking for Christians around the world to pray for him and the work ahead.

According to its website, the WEA is “a network of churches in 129 nations that have joined to give a worldwide identity, voice and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians.” The first Evangelical Alliance was established in London (United Kingdom) in 1846.


This story originally appeared at Evangelical Focus and is republished here with permission.