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Christians in the Middle East face a myriad of complexities that impact the way churches seek to maintain presence and proactive witness within their contexts. Recent developments involving a global health crisis, frequent social turmoil, and intensifying humanitarian disasters are adding new dimensions to longstanding problems. Even so, God is at work through such disorienting times as the gospel manifests its love and grace in profound ways. Prevalent as despair about the Middle Eastern region may be, the hopefulness of Christ continually proves its prominence in all things.

In Lebanon, current realities are compelling Christ followers to rethink essential questions about the nature of the Church and its mission. The situation is marked both by fruitful possibilities and heightening uncertainty as faith communities respond to emerging challenges and work to foster the future of church communities.

The time is ripe to facilitate fresh discussion on ecclesiology as Lebanese churches seek to expand outreach and deepen gospel impact while responding to mounting challenges. Various church models and ministry approaches have indeed shown themselves durable and effective in many regards, but there is need to continually rethink how Christ-following communities can play active roles in the Middle East. By exploring questions about the Church’s call to make disciples, develop leaders, and engage society, Lebanon presents a compelling ecclesiological case study for a MEC 2021 discussion. This 3-day online event featuring presentations by local, regional, and global practitioners and scholars will stir discourse about the Church in the Arab world and serve as a resource for Christians engaging in faithful witness of Christ in their own contexts.

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