New and potential changes in the BWA

Both the General Council and the Executive Committee, the two main governing bodies of the Baptist World Alliance® (BWA), which convened during the Annual Gathering in Chile that was held July 2-7 in the capital city of Santiago, are entertaining potential changes to the 107-year-old international Baptist organization.

The General Council authorized the General Secretary to circulate a notice of motion that will be decided on at the next sitting of the council in Jamaica in July 2013. If approved, the motion will allow all BWA vice presidents to be members of the executive, a reversal of a decision that was made in 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic. The notice of motion came after representation by the vice presidents to the executive.

The council, acting on a recommendation from the executive, granted authority to the BWA general secretary to appoint additional persons to commissions, in consultation with the BWA president and the respective chair of each commission. This revises a 2008 decision that restricted membership in BWA commissions to 25 persons each.

Previously, General Secretary Neville Callam made appeals at Executive Committee meetings in March in the United States and during the Annual Gathering in Chile that the BWA should act to deepen and broaden participation within the global umbrella organization that represents Baptists in 120 countries.

Members of the General Council in Chile responded positively to technological advances already underway at the BWA. The capacity of the BWA to conduct live streaming of its future meetings was warmly received, as well as efforts to reflect the life and work of Baptists around the world through its redesigned main website (www.bwanet.org) and a new, interactive website (www.bwalive.org).  It is expected that some sessions of the July 2013 Baptist Youth World Conference in Singapore and the Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in 2015, will be streamed live to a global audience.

In addition, the BWA now has a mobile app and uses teleconferencing systems that allow persons who are not onsite to participate in BWA meetings and deliberations.

Baptist World Alliance®

© July 17, 2012