The purpose of the Middle East Consultation [MEC] is to equip participants to respond in prophetic and Christ-like ways to the many challenges facing Christians and Muslims in and beyond the Middle East.
IMES has a significant niche within the Protestant community globally, in that it focuses on creating awareness and understanding between Muslims and Christians in the Arab World and beyond, while remaining focused on upholding a vibrant witness to Christ. IMES also plays an important role in Lebanon, as an institute connected with an Evangelical seminary – ABTS, yet whose calling is to help create a platform for dialogue with Muslims. In this way, we as Christian believers are able to engage with Muslims in “a fair and legitimate way, while simultaneously preserving the focus on our calling to be witnesses of the Gospel, to be Christ to the world,” says Martin Accad, Director of IMES. “It is necessary to ask ourselves how we can be missional and yet remain peacemakers in this region.”
ABTS holds annual Middle East Consultations (every 3rd week of June) that bring together Christian workers from all over the world who are interested to learn more about Islam and the Middle East. Themes covered so far are:
- (1) The World of Islam - 2004;
- (2) Bridges to Islam - 2005;
- (3) Waging peace from East to West - 2006;
- (4) Protestant Missions to the Middle East: a Reflective Pause with History - 2007;
- (5) Islam, Its Message and Law and the Future of our Societies - 2008;
- (6) Muslim Women at the Intersection of Faith and Culture - 2009;
- (7) Christian and Muslim Youth as the Present Future - 2010;
- (8) The Church & Islam in Africa – 2011;
- (9) Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: the Church and the Palestinian in Light of God’s Command for Justice and Compassion - 2012;
- (10) Your Rights & My Responsibilities: Biblical and Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights - 2013;
- (11) Discipleship Today: Following Jesus in the Middle East & North Africa - 2014;
- (12) Discipleship Today: Identity and Belonging in the Middle East and North Africa - 2015;
- (13) The Refugee and the Body of Christ: Exploring the Impact of the Present Crisis on our Understanding of Church - 2016.
MEC 2017 is titled "The Church in Disorienting Times: Leading Prophetically through Adversity."
"The annual Middle East Consultation event seeks to breathe new life into our Evangelical churches' witness to Muslim communities globally. We seek models of greater faithfulness to Christ, in witness through life, work and speech, that will lead to more fruitfulness among Muslim communities worldwide," says Accad.