Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 57
Produced by the Issue Group on this topic at the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization hosted by the
Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
In Pattaya, Thailand, September 29 to October 5, 2004
“A New Vision, a New Heart, a Renewed Call”
In encouraging the publication and study of the Occasional Papers, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization does not necessarily endorse every viewpoint expressed in these papers.
Lausanne Occasional Paper (LOP) No. 57
This Issue Group on this Issue was Issue Group No. 28 (there were 31 Issue Groups at the Forum)
Series Editor for the 2004 Forum Occasional Papers (commencing with LOP 30): David Claydon
This Occasional Paper was prepared by the whole Issue Group and The editors were Pieter Theron and Michael Raiter.
Copyright © 2005
Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and its National Committees around the world [email protected]
The context for the production of the Lausanne Occasional Papers
The Lausanne Movement is an international movement committed to energising “the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.”
With roots going back to the historical conferences in Edinburgh (1910) and Berlin (1966), the Lausanne Movement was born out of the First International Congress on World Evangelization called by evangelist Billy Graham held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July 1974. The landmark outcome of this Congress was the Lausanne Covenant supported by the 2,430 participants from 150 nations. The covenant proclaims the substance of the Christian faith as historically declared in the creeds and adds a clear missional dimension to our faith. Many activities have emerged from the Lausanne Congress and from the second congress held in Manila in 1989. The Covenant (in a number of languages), and details about the many regional events and specialised conferences which have been undertaken in the name of Lausanne, may be examined online at www.lausanne.org.
The Lausanne International Committee believed it was led by the Holy Spirit to hold another conference which would bring together Christian leaders from around the world. This time the Committee planned to have younger emerging leaders involved and sought funds to enable it to bring a significant contingent from those parts of the world where the church is rapidly growing today. It decided to call the conference a Forum. As a Forum its structure would allow people to come and participate if they had something to contribute to one of 31 issues (around which were formed Issue Groups). These issues were chosen through a global research programme seeking to identify the most significant issues in the world today which are of concern in our task to take the good news to the world.
This Lausanne Occasional Paper (LOP) is the report that has emerged from one of these Issue Groups. LOPs have been produced for each of the Issue Groups and information on these and other publications may be obtained online at www.lausanne.org. The theme of the Forum for World Evangelization held in 2004 was “A new vision, a new heart, a renewed call.” This Forum was held in Pattaya, Thailand from September 29 to October 5, 2004. 1,530 participants came from 130 countries to work in one of the 31 Issue Groups.
The Affirmations at the conclusion of the Forum stated:
“There has been a spirit of working together in serious dialogue and prayerful reflection. Representatives from a wide spectrum of cultures and virtually all parts of the world have come together to learn from one another and to seek new direction from the Holy Spirit for world evangelization. They committed themselves to joint action under divine guidance.
The dramatic change in the political and economic landscape in recent years has raised new challenges in evangelization for the church. The polarization between east and west makes it imperative that the church seek God’s direction for the appropriate responses to the present challenges.
In the 31 Issue Groups these new realities were taken into consideration, including the HIV pandemic, terrorism, globalization, the global role of media, poverty, persecution of Christians, fragmented families, political and religious nationalism, post-modern mind set, oppression of children, urbanization, neglect of the disabled and others.
Great progress was made in these groups as they grappled for solutions to the key challenges of world evangelization. As these groups focused on making specific recommendations, larger strategic themes came to the forefront.
There was affirmation that major efforts of the church must be directed toward those who have no access to the gospel. The commitment to help establish self sustaining churches within 6,000 remaining unreached people groups remains a central priority.
Secondly, the words of our Lord call us to love our neighbour as ourselves. In this we have failed greatly. We renew our commitment to reach out in love and compassion to those who are marginalised because of disabilities or who have different lifestyles and spiritual perspectives. We commit to reach out to children and young people who constitute a majority of the world’s population, many of whom are being abused, forced into slavery, armies and child labour.
A third stream of a strategic nature acknowledges that the growth of the church is now accelerating outside of the western world. Through the participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America, we recognise the dynamic nature and rapid growth of the church in the South. Church leaders from the South are increasingly providing exemplary leadership in world evangelization.
Fourthly, we acknowledge the reality that much of the world is made up of oral learners who understand best when information comes to them by means of stories. A large proportion of the world’s populations are either unable to or unwilling to absorb information through written communications. Therefore, a need exists to share the “Good News” and to disciple new Christians in story form and parables.
Fifthly, we call on the church to use media to effectively engage the culture in ways that draw non-believers toward spiritual truth and to proclaim Jesus Christ in culturally relevant ways.
Finally, we affirm the priesthood of all believers and call on the church to equip, encourage and empower women, men and youth to fulfil their calling as witnesses and co-labourers in the world wide task of evangelization.
Transformation was a theme which emerged from the working groups. We acknowledge our own need to be continually transformed, to continue to open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to the challenges of God’s word and to grow in Christ together with fellow Christians in ways that result in social and economic transformation. We acknowledge that the scope of the gospel and building the Kingdom of God involves, body, mind, soul and spirit. Therefore we call for increasing integration of service to society and proclamation of the gospel.
We pray for those around the world who are being persecuted for their faith and for those who live in constant fear of their lives. We uphold our brothers and sisters who are suffering. We recognize that the reality of the persecuted church needs to be increasingly on the agenda of the whole Body of Christ. At the same time, we also acknowledge the importance of loving and doing good to our enemies while we fight for the right of freedom of conscience everywhere.
We are deeply moved by the onslaught of the HIV/AIDS pandemic – the greatest human emergency in history. The Lausanne movement calls all churches everywhere to prayer and holistic response to this plague.
“9/11,” the war in Iraq, the war on terror and its reprisals compel us to state that we must not allow the gospel or the Christian faith to be captive to any one geo-political entity. We affirm that the Christian faith is above all political entities.
We are concerned and mourn the death and destruction caused by all conflicts, terrorism and war. We call for Christians to pray for peace, to be proactively involved in reconciliation and avoid all attempts to turn any conflict into a religious war. Christian mission in this context lies in becoming peacemakers.
We pray for peace and reconciliation and God’s guidance in how to bring about peace through our work of evangelization. We pray for God to work in the affairs of nations to open doors of opportunity for the gospel. We call on the church to mobilize every believer to focus specific consistent prayer for the evangelization of their communities and the world.
In this Forum we have experienced the partnership of men and women working together. We call on the church around the world to work towards full partnership of men and women in the work of world evangelism by maximising the gifts of all.
We also recognize the need for greater intentionality in developing future leaders. We call on the church to find creative ways to release emerging leaders to serve effectively.”
Numerous practical recommendations for local churches to consider were offered. These will be available on the Lausanne website and in the Lausanne Occasional Papers. It is our prayer that these many case studies and action plans will be used of God to mobilise the church to share a clear and relevant message using a variety of methods to reach the most neglected or resistant groups so that everyone will have the opportunity to hear the gospel message and be able to respond to this good news in faith. We express our gratitude to the Thai Church which has hosted us and to their welcoming presentation to the Forum. We are profoundly gratefully to God for the privilege of being able to gather here from the four corners of the earth. We have developed new partnerships, made new friends and encouraged one another in our various ministries. Not withstanding the resistance to the gospel in many places and the richness of an inherited religious and cultural tradition we here at the Forum have accepted afresh the renewed call to be obedient to the mandate of Christ. We commit ourselves to making His saving love known so that the whole world may have opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation through Christ.”
These affirmations indicate the response of the participants to the Forum outcomes and their longing that the whole church may be motivated by the outcomes of the Forum to strengthen its determination to be obedient to God’s calling.
May the case studies and the practical suggestions in this and the other LOPs be of great help to you and your church as you seek to find new ways and a renewed call to proclaim the saving love of Jesus Christ
“When he saw the crowds Jesus had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’” (Matthew 9:37-38).
World evangelisation begins in the heart of the triune God, who sees the people he has created in desperate need. He meets this need in the Good Shepherd who is also paradoxically the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
God reveals to his people the heart he has for a lost and suffering world and from this revelation a commitment to world evangelisation is born. Jesus himself had to draw the attention of his disciples to the reality that was all around them: “the harvest is plentiful”. Although the disciples followed Jesus and listened to him they had never really seen what was staring them in the face. Similarly, today, faith communities of the Lord Jesus gather together in the presence of their risen and ascended Lord, worshipping him and hearing his word, yet many have not beheld that “the harvest is plentiful”. To see is to observe with one’s eyes. To behold is both to see and to understand the significance of that observation. The Lord Jesus calls on his disciples to comprehend the needs of the world around them and then to pray with a view to purposeful action: that workers be sent into the harvest.
The premise of this Issue Group is that there is insufficient commitment on the part of faith communities to world mission. Faith communities need to be educated for world evangelization.
1.1 Educating Faith Communities
The Issue Group has deliberately chosen the more inclusive term ‘faith communities’ as this embraces the range of groups who we are seeking to educate. In particular, we are addressing churches and educational training institutions. Firstly, churches need to be educated. Many churches have a commitment to local evangelism and yet have not grasped or understood the implications for them of God’s global purposes for his creation. Other churches are so caught up in world mission that they do not see the harvest in their own local contexts. Training institutions vary enormously in their purposes and their methods of teaching. Some adopt a traditionally formal model of education built around imparting the content and skills necessary for the life of faith and works of Christian ministry. Others adopt more non-formal methods of education emphasising, for example, experiential learning or a mentoring approach to education. Whether formal or non- formal, training institutions are critical in infusing the wider faith communities with a vision for, and commitment to, world evangelisation, and the skills and strategies required to implement this vision.
1.2 What kind of Education?
The purpose of this Issue Group is not to report on how to do mission. We are not exploring different methods of evangelism. Our focus is on how educational training can build a commitment for world mission and evangelization.
Education is the vehicle by which institutions and communities convey to their members the attitudes, values and appropriate behaviours for life within those communities. Necessarily any education must involve the passing on of content. However effective education for world evangelization must see as its goal the formation of values and attitudes as well as the communication of knowledge and skills. Effective education for evangelisation must, therefore, be transformational.
In summary this Issue Group has given its attention to how a commitment to world evangelisation can be taught and modelled most effectively to Christian faith communities.
There are a number of challenges to how effective theological education for world evangelisation can be implemented. These challenges are different depending upon the context and the area in which the education is taking place.
Of course, for those theological colleges, bible schools and church training programmes that have had a strong missional emphasis, the challenges are fewer. They already have an attitude and an approach to training that is already focused on preparing men and women for the Great Commission task. They are showing by the type of leadership that they produce that they are fully engaged as missional institutions. The fruit of their labours is seen in the spread of the Gospel in most areas where they are working. They are equipped, empowered and intentional in the way in which they evangelise.
However, there are other churches and institutions that are inadequate in their world evangelisation efforts. They may be resistant to change. Sometimes their own traditions are restricting them, or they have lost the vision for this type of work. This results in the failure to allow at least a portion of their best leaders to be free to evangelise. They may have become inward-looking and isolationist.
What are some of the specific challenges that are facing such institutions and communities today?
2.1 Contextual and Cultural Issues
There appears to be an unhelpful trend in parts of the Christian church where local congregations, denominational boards and leadership, and theological educators do not recognize their missionary calling and have forgotten the imperative of the Great Commission. This failure is the result of several factors.
Firstly, it is possible that the educating institution or church does not have a biblical understanding of the mission of the church. This is particularly true in the West. Many theological colleges and schools are reflecting more and more the secular culture around them. In their interest in being relevant to the needs of those around them, they are making the gospel irrelevant. For example, one disturbing trend is the inclusivism that marks much dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews. A presupposition seems to be that these three monotheistic faiths all worship the same God and this worship, in whatever form it takes, is valid and acceptable. This negates the uniqueness of God’s self revelation in Christ, and must inevitably compromise the truth of the Christ’s divinity, dilute the power of the Cross, and render suspect the need of all people for a saving encounter with Jesus Christ Saviour. When such an attitude or belief has infused an educating institution then world evangelisation becomes very difficult.
Secondly, if the leaders are not modelling what it means to be missional, then their students will not be motivated to evangelise. Students study very carefully the walk and witness of their teachers and mentors and learn both good and bad habits from them. A fundamental characteristic of being a Christian is the power of being a witness for Christ. Lack of leadership in this area creates complacency and the absence of an evangelistic ethos within the church of the educating institution. How can students be required to do something that their teachers are not doing?
A third factor is the lack of a comprehensive, integrated training programme that is missional at its core. The gospel needs to be the lens by which theological education takes place. Chris Wright directs us to the Lukan Great Commission (Luke 24:46-47) where, by implication, Jesus tells the disciples that the right way to understand the Old Testament is messianically and missiologically. The focus of the Old Testament is fundamentally the Messiah, and his death and resurrection. Mission to the nations flows from this.1 If the Bible is being studied, it needs to be studied from the perspective of the mission of Jesus. The church’s handbook for mission is the Scriptures. What is the history of the church but the history of mission? Is not the missio dei at the core of how Christians are to be obedient? Should not humanity be seen as fallen and in need of a Saviour?
The fourth factor is that in the case of theological colleges and schools, while on the one hand imbibing secular values, on the other hand there is a tendency for them to be isolated from the realities of the world around them. It is possible for the faculty, students and staff to live in an environment that is protected from the world as they breathe the rarefied air of theological learning and reflection. The obvious danger of such an environment is that it does little to prepare the student for the realities of Christian ministry. Nor does it prepare him or her to be proclaimers of the good news to the lost.
Rather than being isolated and separated from what is going on, theological colleges and schools need to be in constant communication with the local churches. They need, in fact, to see that they are partnering with them in the evangelistic task. The local church is the frontline of ministry. It is where the action is happening, and those involved in the ministry are best qualified to help an educating institution to prepare its students for world evangelisation. If this is not happening, the lack of communication will result in inadequate preparation of future leaders.
A fifth factor could be that the institution does not make sufficient use of missional criteria in the acceptance of new students into their programme or the hiring of faculty and staff. While there are diverse gifts within the body of Christ, those who have a missional and evangelistic orientation will bring a special and much-needed perspective to the school or training centre, that will work to prevent the institution simply perpetuating itself and maintaining the status quo. This maintenance approach may appear successful in the beginning as the institution survives on the basis of momentum created when it was more missional, but it will eventually run out of energy and die.
There are external factors that can also present challenges to effective theological education for world evangelisation.
The first comes from denominations themselves that have lost the fervour to evangelise. Some of the reasons can be inferred from what has already been written. It becomes a challenge for those in the denomination who want to be faithful and obedient, but find that their progress is hindered because of entrenched denominational beliefs and practices that are counter-intuitive to their evangelistic ambitions.
A second challenge is the control that certain accrediting agencies have over the educating institutions. Their requirements for certification or accreditation do not match the educational aspirations and aims of the institution. They can be in conflict because the accrediting agency is working with a different set of parameters and a different definition of what makes an educating institution effective. The result is a continuation of the same downward spiral towards mediocrity and irrelevance.
In areas where Christianity is less established, there are other challenges that can come from governments and societies that are overtly anti-Christian and persecute those who are trying to do gospel ministry. If non-Christian religious fundamentalism is present, open Christian theological education can be prohibited or suppressed, with grave consequences for those who do it.
Poverty can also be a factor that can challenge effective theological education for world evangelisation. Poverty can mean a lack of resources – the inability to have access to books and other teaching materials that would be helpful. The student’s own time can be a factor since he or she is not available to study because of the need to work to support a family or even support themselves.
In our day, we are seeing massive movements of people who are leaving their ancestral homes for the urban centres of their various countries. Such movements have created a worldwide population of marginalized people who do not have access to education, employment and health services. Concentrations of these people in the urban slums have created an environment that is rife with violence, disease, and death. They are in need of a holistic approach to the proclamation of the gospel, but sadly many Christian groups do not recognize their needs and plight. They remain a sea of unreached souls whose spiritual and physical well being has been ignored.
While there are many challenges that are facing Christian educators today, the mere fact that they are being addressed is a positive step forward. Institutions, churches and individuals do not accept change very quickly. However, the urgency of our present situation demands that these changes do occur as expeditiously as possible so that the whole world can hear the whole gospel.
What does effective education for world evangelization try to achieve? What are the learning outcomes of such education programs? What kind of faith communities and individuals does it want to produce?
As already explained this report does not deal specifically with the training of evangelists or missionaries but with education and training that would lead to greater commitment to world evangelization in faith communities as a whole and in the members of such faith communities. Thus, its focus will be the general attitudes, character and spirituality of a community and of individuals who are committed to world evangelization and who are involved either directly or indirectly. What will such faith communities look like? What will these communities be doing and what will be their attitudes and values regarding mission?
1. What kind of faith communities will effective education for evangelization produce?
All faith communities, be they local churches, denominations, mission agencies, theological or Christian educational institutions or training programmes, and their members should be able to know the gospel, live out the gospel, and tell the gospel to others.
All Christian educational and training programs should actively demonstrate a commitment to a missional framework in theological education. This should especially be the case in formal theological education where mission is frequently an add-on to the school or training program.
1.1 School Communities
A missional framework for theological education means that mission should form the framework of everything that happens in the school. Many react against a statement like this, and it requires further clarification. This does not mean that mission should be the focus or centrepiece of a training program. God alone is and should be the centre. The ultimate purpose is to worship and glorify God. But if God is the centre, then God’s mission and his purpose also comes into focus, and God’s mission, the missio Dei, becomes the framework or background against which theological education should take place. Theological education should then develop leaders who will equip God’s people for works of service (Ephesians 4:12). These works of service include mission. Furthermore, the works of service are so that the body of Christ may be built up. This body, the faith community, is called by God and sent into the world to participate in and carry out his mission. Thus, a God-centred theological education is by implication missional.
Essentially the term missional refers to a way of missionary engagement that embraces all of life, and involves both active discipling, as well as the conversion to Christ of all the personal, cultural and social structures of life. According to Robert Banks for theological education to be missional means that it is wholly or partly field-based, and that involves some measure of doing what is being studied (life-engaging). It requires observant participation and not merely participant observation. Banks writes,
“Theological education is a dimension of mission and has a vital missiological content; it is an aspect of the teaching ministry of the church involving specialized testimony to the kingdom. It fulfils this educational service of the faith by (i) forming character, abilities, and thought, (ii) informing mind, praxis, and contemplation, and (iii) transforming values, people, and communities. … Only by maintaining its close link with mission will it remain relevant to changing circumstances, and hold true to the missionary impulse that gave rise to the church and theology.”2
1.2 The Church – Greater Commitment to World Evangelization through a Missionary Lifestyle
The church as a missionary church is the agent of God’s mission in the world and as such the “agent of spiritual and social transformation in its community.”3 According to Padilla the church that is missionary and practices integral mission has to be an integral church. Such a church has certain characteristics.4 Effective theological education at all levels, formal and nonformal, within school and church settings, must strife to develop these characteristics in faith communities, and to inculcate a missionary mindset both within the community and in every Christian.
(a) Commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord of Everything and Everywhere
The missional church is committed to Jesus Christ as Lord of everything and everywhere. Padilla writes,
“… the confession of Jesus Christ – the risen Christ as Lord is essentially a recognition of his sovereignty over the whole of human life and over the whole of creation … The integral church is one which recognizes that all spheres of life are ‘mission fields’ and looks for ways of asserting the sovereignty of Jesus Christ in all of them.”5
(b) Christian Discipleship
The missional church practices Christian discipleship as a missionary lifestyle to which the entire church as a faith community and every member have been called.
(c) Biblical Vision of the Church
The missional church has a vision of the church as the community that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, and lives in the light of that confession in such a way that in it can be seen the inauguration of a new humanity. In living this confession the church’s witness must be incarnational. In the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ a new era has been inaugurated in salvation history. In this era the church has been called and given the mission to make disciples of all peoples. The church is empowered for this mission by the Holy Spirit and is therefore also a community of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes possible the existence of the church and the success of its mission.
(d) Use of Gifts and Ministries
The missional church recognises “the use of gifts and ministries as instruments that the Spirit of God uses to prepare the church and all its members to fulfil their vocation as God’s co-workers in the world.”6 Gifts and ministries are the means used by the Spirit of God to equip the church as an agent of mission, an agent of change in society – change that reflects God’s plan for human life and the whole of creation. This is how the Spirit empowers the church for its mission and witness.7 The whole church with every member as an agent of integral mission, engaged in all areas of human life and creation, is the vision that theological education for world evangelization should instil in all church leaders and church members. Every Christian, by the simple fact of being a disciple of Christ, shares in the commission to go into the world in the name of Jesus Christ as his witnesses, and to make disciples of all peoples. Some will do so directly as full-time missionaries and evangelists. Others will do so by living a missionary lifestyle and being witnesses wherever they are, in the market- or workplace, at home, or at play. Others again will do so by being involved in supporting the intentional missionary activities of the church and full-time missionaries through prayer and giving.
2. What kind of persons will it form?
2.1 Know the gospel
Every Christian should know the basic message and contents of the gospel. She should be growing in this knowledge through regular Bible study and meditation on God’s word. She should be able to explain and defend her faith and continue to grow both in her confidence in sharing Christ, and her ability to do so. Every Christian should have grasped the truth of God’s desire for all nations and peoples to worship and glorify him. They should understand the biblical imperatives for mission: the amazing love of God for lost sinners, the imperative of the Great Commission, and the uniqueness of Christ in a pluralistic world. All these truths motivate every believer to be involved in mission and live a missionary lifestyle.
2.2 Live and do the gospel
In order to live out the gospel and to live a missionary lifestyle, Christians need to know how to integrate their faith with their daily lives and practice, and apply it to their contexts. A missionary lifestyle requires Christ-like character, holy living, personal integrity, servanthood and compassion for other people. Effective education for world evangelization should enable and facilitate continuous growth in these areas. It should facilitate self-awareness, develop a healthy self-concept and identity of being in Christ and created in the image of God. It should also enable Christians to identify and develop their God-given gifts and potential, so that they can be involved in the “works of service” and participate in God’s mission wherever they are.
2.3 Tell the gospel
Every Christian is to be a disciple and witness of Jesus Christ. All of us are called to obey the Great Commission: to make disciples of all peoples. This does not imply that everyone must become a fulltime evangelist or missionary. Not everyone is called to that or has the gift of the evangelist, but everyone is called to be a witness to Jesus Christ, and to communicate the gospel message wherever they are. Every time and in every place where Christians interact or intersect with the unbelieving world and peoples they are to communicate the gospel in word and in deed. Every Christian should be involved in praying for, supporting and giving to mission.
3. Christian leaders of faith communities
Christian leaders play a key role in developing a greater commitment to world evangelization. Faith communities are influenced and shaped by their leaders. If leaders do not have this commitment, the community will not have it, or it will have to depend for this commitment on the small majority of committed individuals and volunteers who are involved in mission. The problem is that in such cases mission becomes just one more activity of the church, and must compete for attention and resources with other programs, instead of being the focus and framework of what the church is doing, of being a missionary church. Thus, the leaders of faith communities, pastors of local churches, denominational leaders, mission leaders, heads of schools, teachers and faculty should all demonstrate commitment to God’s mission in their lives and ministry. They should demonstrate a commitment to and exhibit a missionary lifestyle. They should set an example and model this to their communities. Theological education for world mission should equip them with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, spirituality and skills to accomplish this. It should ensure that all their graduates enter their ministries with a passion and vision for world evangelization and with the necessary competencies to lead their faith communities in this mission.
1. Biblical and theological foundations
We will now identify biblical and theological foundations of training for world evangelization in three respects.
1.1 Basis for Education and Training within the Faith Community
The basis for missions in the church is grounded in God the Father, who himself is the Missionary par excellence. From the beginning God sought out run-away humanity (Genesis 3), and in the fullness of time sent his Son to redeem a lost world. Jesus in turn sends his church: “As the Father has sent me, so send I you” (John 20:21). This is why the church’s mission is in fact God’s mission, or missio Dei. However, God enlists redeemed humanity to join Him in missio Dei, as fellow-workers in the task of reconciling a lost world to Himself (2Corinthians 5:18-20). The faith community is called, therefore, to serve as witness through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). However, mission entails disciple-making — “As you go, make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). The task of disciple-making underscores the educational basis of the commission given to the faith community. It is discipleship unto life transformation — a process of growth and development of the total person, spiritual, intellectual, volitional and emotional, to the end that the disciple is made fit for life here and in the hereafter.
1.2 A Theology of Theological Education
A theology of theological education must be grounded in missio Dei and in a proper understanding of the church (this faith community), her purpose and mission in the world. This is important as we encounter what we might call, ‘the changing faces of the church’ today. The church is ‘called out’ by God as the new humanity, whose purpose, inter alia, is to glorify God by participating with Him in the ministry of reconciliation, as mentioned already. The church has a missional purpose, which is enhanced through education, both of her leadership and of the generality of her membership.
A theology of theological education must be grounded in a proper understanding of the central role of the Holy Spirit and of the grace gifts (charismata) with which the enabling Holy Spirit endows every genuine member of this faith community as well as the cultivation of these gifts through training. It is the Holy Spirit who equips with gifts—both in terms of offices or leadership of the faith community (Ephesians 4:7-13) and in terms of individual endowments which enable those so endowed to function in the task of disciple- making (Romans 12; 1Corinthians 12). However, the gifts still have to be cultivated and developed through training (2Timothy 1:6). Thus we see a justification for the training and equipping of both the church leadership and the members of the faith community.
1.3 The Implications and Challenges
The following conclusions are therefore in order:
- Those who educate others for ministry must target training in the grace gifts for both leadership and laity within the faith community. They must take seriously Harvie Conn’s observation concerning the historical marginalisation of the laity. Conn noted that “this occurred when ordination began to shift from its biblical function as the church’s affirmation of gifts of the Spirit to the institutionalized imprimatur of salaried status, ranks, authority.”8 This observation does not diminish in any way the place for providing specialized training for the leadership of the faith community. Instead it warns against neglecting, and failing to encourage and develop the many grace gifts made available to the faith community by the enabling Holy Spirit.
- The end to which training must be directed is the promotion of the missio Dei, to which the church is called of God to participate. Unfortunately, mission has tended to be peripheral to theological education because it has equally been peripheral to the church, whereas mission should be at the very centre of the entire theological enterprise.9 The traditional four-fold disciplines of Biblical Studies, Theology, Church History and Practical Theology so prevalent in our institutions of training are challenged to discern their missiological and missional roles.10 Specifically this involves both the call for specific missiological studies in our curriculum of training, as well as the intentional teaching of the four-fold disciplines from a missiological perspective.
- The purely academic pursuit of theology is a misdirection and a distortion of the purpose of equipping of the saints for ministry. We do well to heed Robert Ferris’ call to move away from “theology-as-science,” a legacy of the Enlightenment, to “theology-as-engagement.”11
- The central unifier of theological education, or what makes it coherent, is not just theologia, understood as divine wisdom and the cognitive disposition towards the acquiring of the knowledge of divine things in all areas of life.12 Neither is it just missiologia, which entails an understanding of the missio Dei to include work done across cultures, in pastoral, educational and diaconal settings, in scholarly pursuits and everything done in “taking captive diverse human thoughts so they will be obedient to Christ.”13 It is also “missional,” which goes beyond mere academic discipline that is devoid of active discipling and converting cultural structures into Christ in a life-engaging mission.14 All three must be held in a balance in our educational endeavours, in light of what God is doing today to transform the world.
2. The Model of Jesus
What methods and strategies would effectively equip people for world evangelization? In teaching his disciples, what methods did Jesus use? What characteristics did he display? What principles did he espouse? Jesus serves as the best role model for all theological educators in educating Christians for evangelism and missions.
2.1 Jesus’ Strategies and Methods of Teaching
Jesus taught in such a way that his disciples could replicate what he was doing and eventually become leaders and teachers of others. The following are some of the strategies used by Jesus.
(a) Concentration on a Small Group
Jesus taught the crowd, but He regularly taught the twelve in a small group setting. Sometimes He only took Peter, James, and John. He had very little time (three years), but He never seemed to think that teaching such a small group was a waste of time! Jesus concentrated on building up the twelve disciples. Jesus illustrated a fundamental principle of teaching: that other things being equal, the more concentrated the size of the group being taught, the greater the opportunity for effective instruction.15 Learners feel secure with each other. It encourages freedom to ask questions and interact. This method not only enhances students’ participation and discussions, it also helps teachers know the students individually. Today’s institutions often contain classes of several hundred. Even knowing the names of the students, let alone their life situations, becomes almost impossible.
(b) Life-to-Life Transference / Modelling
Jesus’ approach to discipleship was life-oriented. He took the disciples with Him in the various circumstances of life that He encountered on a daily basis. The disciples walked with Jesus in the real world.16
Jesus did not just teach from mouth to ear but from heart-to-heart. His goal was not simply “getting the lessons across” but transforming students toward Christlikeness.17 For this to happen, proximity and intimacy is necessary. Thus, Jesus stayed with his disciples. Robert Coleman comments: “amazing as it may seem all Jesus did to teach those men his way was to draw them close to himself. He was his own school and curriculum.”18 Jesus used the principle of life-to-life transference. This required that He spend an enormous amount of time with His disciples. Jesus poured out His life into the lives of His disciples.
Learning occurs in structured situations, but more so in informal situations during normal everyday living. Most people learn more effectively when they both hear and see a particular truth applied in a real life-situation. The principle of life transference is based on the concept of “modelling.”19 Jesus taught and lived truth before His disciples. He demonstrated what He expected them to learn. Jesus did not ask anyone to do or be anything which He had not first demonstrated in His own life.20
Juan Carlos Ortiz stresses that discipleship is not a communication of knowledge, but a communication of life. In a discipleship relationship we do not teach the other person to know what we know but to become what we are. So we teach more by living than by talking.21 The quality of life is caught, rather than taught.22
(c) Building a Community
Jesus brought the disciples together as a community. They shared the same money bag, used the same boat and ate from the same communion table! He built a community of learners, a team that fellowshipped and shared dreams together. Jesus did not encourage “competition,” but rather “companionship” as fellow-followers of Christ. After the ascension of Christ, they stood firm together for the resurrected Lord. Learners need to belong to each other, so they can learn from each other. This is especially true as adult learners, for their vast life experiences comprise a huge resource for the community to which they belong.
Community life is crucial to our maturing process. As David Watson says: “Christianity is all about relationships: our relationship with God and our relationship with others.”23 Michael Wilkins emphasizes that growth in our developing walk with Jesus will be, in part, proportional to our accountability to others.24
(d) Use of Stories and Illustrations
Jesus used many parables, drawing object lessons from life. He frequently combined them with his miracles. Indeed, many of his miracles may be considered acted parables. In the book of John, each miracle is followed by a discourse. For examples, after the feeding of the five thousands, the discourse was on “I am the Bread of Life” (John 5); after the healing of the blind, his teaching was on “I am the Light of the World” (John 9). Thus his teaching was interesting, memorable, and life-oriented. Using all teachable moments, He helped students visualize. When asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He picked up a child (Matthew 18: 1-9). His teaching was set in the context of the learners.
(e) Active Learning / Learning by Doing
Jesus engaged his learners with questions and actions. One time he asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” and later He asked, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” He would not give them a straight-forward answer; He engaged their minds. He also engaged them in action by sending them out two-by-two, by twelve and by seventy.
The disciples had to put into actual practice what they had seen and learned from their master. So Jesus sent them forth. He first gave them some briefing instructions on their mission (Mark 6:7-11; Matthew 10:5-42; Luke 9:1-6; Luke 10:1-16). When the disciples got back they reported to Jesus all that they had done and taught (Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10; 10:17).
Jesus trained the disciples to take over the tasks that he was doing. Their responsibilities grew as their maturity developed. He sent them out on their own, then gently correcting them, instructing them still more (e.g. Mark 9:17-29), until the time when he could leave them altogether.25
Learning by doing is the most effective way of learning. Accountable, supervised internship or field-education is often lacking in today’s theological institutions. What is taught is not put into practice. Reading a motorcar’s maintenance manual does not qualify a mechanic. In the same way, knowing just the Bible and theology does not qualify us as pastors, teachers, evangelists, or missionaries.
(f) A Holistic and Balanced Approach
Jesus used an integrated approach to teaching. He did not only focus on the lesson content but also on the disciples’ character and conduct. He expected his disciples not just to understand but also to value and actually do what they were taught.26 He was concerned with the development of the head (cognitive), the heart (affective) and the hands (skill) or the knowing, being and doing. His educational approach equipped the disciples in theological reflection, spiritual formation and ministry skills.
2.2 Jesus’ Characteristics as Teacher
Effective education requires certain type of teachers. The kind of teachers we have in theological education will greatly affect the kind of training we provide and the kind of people we graduate. The teachers are the lifeblood of any training institution.
Who was Jesus as teacher? What made him effective as a teacher?
(a) Jesus was a model of what he taught.
It is said that “what we are” speaks more loudly than “what we say.” Lesson is more “caught from” than “taught by” a teacher. Jesus lived what He taught. What He taught flowed out of who He was. His words and actions reinforced each other.
Jesus intentionally modelled to his disciples all He wanted them to know, be and do. People need concrete examples, both in private life and public ministry. The educator must not just teach the skills of evangelism in the classroom, but model them in the world. The teacher cannot just speak about compassion for the poor, or express a concern for social injustice, but be seen to be putting the words into concrete actions. Without concrete examples learning is impaired.
(b) Jesus established relationship with his learners.
Jesus knew his learners and had a warm positive relationship with them. He was interested in their personal lives. Jesus was not just a teacher to them but also a mentor and a friend, helping them process their life and ministry experiences.
Another weakness in our training nowadays is the lack of proximity between the teacher and the students. Their contact time is confined to the classroom. We have already seen that the smaller the group the more effective the education is likely to be. One of the most encouraging trends in education today has been the development of the mentoring model. Mentoring is building relationships and investing time and energy in the transfer of values, skills and attitudes.27 Of course, this is time consuming and often time is a scarce commodity in the training institution. Schools must be encouraged to look carefully at issues such as class sizes and teaching load in order to maximise opportunities for the development of meaningful teacher/student relationships.
(c) Jesus was comfortable with people of all kinds.
Jesus was able to connect with a wide range of people – rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, male or female. He surrounded himself with people of all kinds. He knew how to relate with people of different race, language or age bracket.
A teacher who can build bridges to all people will be the most effective. We need teachers who have rapport with learners of different backgrounds. This requires an extra degree of energy and commitment, but this is important if we want our students to have the ability to communicate to all kinds of people and be effective agents for world evangelization.
(d) Jesus was a man on a mission.
Jesus knew His mission. He was focused on His mission and He fulfilled His mission. Knowing what He came to do gave Him power to teach with authority. He called people to follow Him and be committed to His mission.
We have a mission to perform. Jesus has commissioned us to “go and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19). We are to stay focused and committed to this mission. We need teachers who are passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission.
(e) Jesus was prayerful.
Jesus was dependent on the Father for His work and teaching. He maintained connection with him through prayer. Prayer was an essential part of Jesus’ life and ministry. His regular communion with the Father was His source of strength and power, enabling Him to overcome temptation and fulfil the will of the Father.
We could only be effective in our task as we depend on God and appropriate His power for ministry. If Jesus needed time alone in prayer, how much more do we? We need to spend more time being with the Lord rather than being too preoccupied with doing things for Him. Focusing on productivity to the neglect of prayer and meditation is one reason why our training programs may be ineffective.
2.3 The Role of the Holy Spirit in Teaching
Teaching is a spiritual task, involving spiritual truths to meet spiritual needs. This requires spiritual power. The Holy Spirit is the source of this power.
The Bible emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit as teacher. It is only through the Holy Spirit that a person can receive spiritual truth (1Corinthians 2:12, 14). Without the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit the word of God will not be able to penetrate and transform the human heart.
As teachers we must acknowledge the help of the Holy Spirit who stands right beside us, teaching and encouraging us. “The Holy spirit works in the learning process by helping teachers understand the content, the learner and the appropriate methods. Most importantly, the Spirit helps the teacher to walk a Christ-like life.”28
Appropriate methods and strategies are important to facilitate effective education for evangelization. However, Daryl Eldridge reminds us that, “The success of the teaching ministry of the church is not dependent upon efficient organization, new programs, modern teaching methods, or the latest technology. The power of the teaching ministry is dependent upon our faithful obedience to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.”29
3. Principles and strategies for effective education
Our Issue Group discussed the following questions:
- What are principles and strategies for developing greater commitment to world evangelization?
- What are the normative principles for educational strategies which will lead to a greater commitment to world evangelization by churches, theological institutions of learning, other training programs, Christian organizations and individual Christians?
- What are principles and strategies for building faith communities for the task of world evangelization?
In other words, what are the key principles and strategies that are useful for evangelization training programs at all levels in order to increase the ability and motivation of faith communities for the task of world evangelization?
This discussion yielded input of three main types.
3.1 Strategic Issues That Must be Addressed in a Training Program
(a) Church-Institutional Relationships
Questions need to be asked regarding the nature of the relationship between the local church and the training institution, whether it is church- or school-based. These questions should include, but not be limited to, the nature of financial support and the degree to which both serve the other. It would be good if this relationship could be governed by a solid understanding of the most current thinking regarding strategic partnerships.
(a) Committed Staff
A training institution with a commitment to mission will have on its staff those who share this same commitment. We have already acknowledged that not all are gifted evangelists, but the staff, both teaching and administrative, ought to be men and women themselves committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more convergence there is between the various academic and professional skills a person brings to the school and their commitment to world evangelization, then the more effective a training program will be in building faith communities for world evangelization.
(b) Different Levels of Training
World evangelization is the responsibility of every Christian no matter their age or location in life. Therefore, evangelization training should be available at multiple levels that fit the age, gifting, experience, and professions represented by the students. Training often overlooks certain groups of people or special needs of people, for example, children, people with disabilities, and oral learners. Particular emphasis on training these groups or people who will work with them should be considered. Training should then be contextualized to fit these factors as closely as possible, in order to ensure relevance of the training offered. Also, at some of the higher levels, a reasonable principle of selectivity should be exercised in order to ensure that advanced training efforts are offered to those who are both personally gifted and interested and whose faith communities have recognized their effectiveness as an evangelizer.
(d) The Role of Mission in Theology
In every context, the prior question of the role of mission in theology must be addressed. Consensus must be found as to whether world evangelization is the ultimate purpose of the faith community, or whether world evangelization is only one among many manifestations of a life maturing in Christ, but which is ultimately lived for the more ultimate purpose of giving glory to God. This question will have great significance not just for the place that evangelization finds in the overall curriculum of the training program, but also the relationship between trainers particular to this program and other theologians.
(e) Economics of Training
The economic implications of evangelization should not be overlooked. The most effective evangelization training programs have taken into account that effective ministry costs money and students have to find some means of support both while they are receiving training, and once their time of training has ended. Therefore, creative means should be employed to offer cost-effective training as well as consideration of vocational or employment options during and after the program.
3.2 Overarching Principles for Evangelization Training Effectiveness:
(a) Balance between Theory and Practice
Good training includes elements of both theory and practice, and is able to keep both of these elements in tension. A program too theoretical may train effective thinkers on evangelization, but is unlikely to equip students with the skills to actually engage in the task. Similarly, a program based too strongly in practice may not enable students to become reflective practitioners or to function as effective evangelizers in any context other than the one in which they were trained. Furthermore, the decision of how to appropriately strike this balance should be significantly informed by the issue of different levels of training (see paragraph 3.1 (c) above), student and cultural learning styles, and other contextual factors such as the prevalence of post-modern or modern perspectives, or the realities of students’ economic situations.
(b) Experiential Learning
Related to the practical component of training addressed above, students also need the opportunity to put their new skills, attitudes and understandings to work in real- life settings. They then need the opportunity for mature theological reflection upon these experiences, guided by a teacher or mentor. The most effective experiential learning takes place when an appropriate level of oversight and support is offered and the experience is reasonably similar to the context in which the student is expected to eventually put their new learning into practice.
Good balance needs to also be found between learning alone or one-on-one, and group learning opportunities. Certainly, students need time to acquire knowledge and reflect for themselves how it can best be applied in their own lives. However, students also need the opportunity to benefit from the co-learning experience, allowing their peers and mentors to refine their thinking and choices through constructive criticism.
(c) Incarnational and Participatory Learning
One of the challenges of education for evangelization is helping students understand the relationships between what they are learning and their everyday lives. One of the best ways to do this is by taking an incarnational approach to ministry, that is, one where the instructor tries as much as possible to become familiar with the lives of the people they are teaching, and to share as much of his/her life with their students as is feasible. The primary purpose of such an engagement, whether it is termed mentoring or modelling, is to demonstrate how what is being taught can be lived out on a moment by moment basis. Along with this comes the reciprocal need to allow students’ prior and current experiences to affect the content and style of teaching, even offering students the opportunity to share their relevant experiences or unique understandings with others. Following Jesus’ model, however, training at this depth cannot be offered to everyone – rather this should be a trainer’s investment in only a few – around twelve at a time at the most, and often fewer depending on the level of investment being offered.
(d) Disciplinary Balance
Good evangelization education is always interdisciplinary, often drawing on theology, cross- cultural studies, communication theory, etc.
(e) Dynamic and Creative
Flexibility in the training task is key, as is openness to new approaches, models and forms of training. Good trainers are able to change their plans and lecture materials on the spot, and able to identify and make use of serendipitous circumstances. Furthermore, part of excellence in training is the ability to change course content and approaches over time to fit the needs of different audiences based on contextual factors and individual student variation.
(f) Evaluative, outcome-focused process
By setting and working towards outcomes in training, instructors can have ways to easily identify the value of different approaches and content. Experience also tends to show that training that regularly seeks feedback from students and then makes appropriate changes based on that input is more effective than training that does not.
3.3 Four Steps for Fostering Commitment to World Evangelization
These insights are probably more relevant to a discussion of effective content, but have been organized according to the model proposed for encouraging the involvement of faith communities in the task of world evangelization both locally and globally. Obviously the delivery and format of this content would be organized and adjusted according to the issues and principles identified above.
(a) Exposure to Biblical Mandate (in the context of the whole counsel of God)
Students must be exposed to the various biblical and theological themes that undergird and inform evangelization. Although this will ideally take place in the context of a larger discipling process, the themes that our group particularly identified as crucially important are:
- Vision of God for Humanity
- Vision of God for the Church
- Vision of God for the World
- Holistic understanding of the gospel – especially its spiritual and social dimensions
(b) Learn and Become Skilled in Methods and Strategy
Students need to acquire skills and understandings for the actual task of evangelization, including:
- Skill of communication – knowing what to communicate and how to do
- Skill of confrontation – both other people and spiritual
- Skill of contextualization – being able to explain the gospel in different cultural contexts.
- Networking and partnerships – how to strategically work with others towards the task of world
- Health concerns – part of a holistic gospel, both for self and
All of these things need to be delivered in a way that is informed by the missiological desideratum.
(c) Experience the Need for Salvation
More than understanding the theological imperative, this step has to do with experiencing the spiritual and physical neediness of people for the gospel. It will include such content as:
- An engagement with the local and global context – understanding the needs of the world
- Partnering with the local church
(d) Be Given, or Learn to Recognize Opportunities for Evangelization
This component is about getting people to take concrete steps and seize upon their opportunities. It might include:
- Short term missions opportunities
4. Learning content/areas
Organisations such as commercial companies, government bodies, and peak bodies make commitments to personnel and set aside financial resources for training and development. Through this commitment they acknowledge that people are their best assets, that training gives them the competitive edge and that tangible benefits are achieved.30
National military forces spend millions of dollars on training their armed personnel in preparation for battle. Armies need to be ready for front-line action when required. They spend time in the classroom in addition to spending many hours in mock battle conditions and on practice ranges/fields.
A similar attitude and commitment to educating and equipping the Christian community for world evangelisation is required. God desires the people of God to be equipped with the required knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enhance the plans and purposes He has for the world. Training at various levels (church-based, non-formal and formal) is vital. Strategic planning must incorporate a training dimension.
In addition to the principles and strategies, the content must be considered and not ignored. The content of training programs must be evaluated. If the content is not applicable or relevant, then the program will not enable learners to use the material in the field after the training program.
Training programs must be continuously evaluated to reflect the context. As the context changes so should the training. Missiological and Christian educators must have the capacity to reflect and evaluate for this to occur. How flexible is an educational system to adapt to changing times?
The context for today’s world has shifted from Christendom to the post- Christendom era and from a modern era to post-modernity. The characteristics of this age have to be considered. If education is going to be effective for world evangelisation the pedagogical methodology of the nature of training and its associated curricula should be preparing workers to be competent to operate in a pluralistic environment.31
The world context is crying out for missiological reflective practitioners, a term coined by Bill Taylor from WEA, even more so post-9/11 September.32 Missiology is not determined by human events but is shaped and informed by them. This discipline can help in the interpretation of events and provides guidance to the missional church. We need to avoid the dangers of oversimplifying the complex assignment which has been given to us. Too often serious missiological reflection has been hampered by an over- emphasis on the pragmatic, and by reductionist thinking. Therefore, there needs to be the releasing of reflective practitioners within the global body (self-missiologizing, in regards to the message and the method/medium, and self-evaluating).
4.1 Core Learning Areas
Neither curriculum content nor detailed descriptions of courses can be discussed here. Broad areas of learning that should be addressed in effective education programs for world evangelisation will be discussed. The nature of the audience will determine content. Two groups should be targeted.
Firstly, there are those that will be training to be short-term or long-term cross- cultural evangelists, either within their own country or in another country. Local evangelists could be included in this group. This group would be in the minority within the Christian community. A missiological oriented theological framework would prepare such workers. Some of the significant areas for understanding the cultural encounter that occurs include:
1. Cross-cultural communication
2. The process of contextualisation and associated skills: Contextualisation is a vital component in the communication process for the orator as the message and methods are influenced by the context.33 If the receptors can understand the message and the cultural distance is reduced or minimalised, the acceptance of the message is enhanced. Bruce Nicholls writes that “contextualisation is a dynamic process of the church’s reflection on the interaction of the text as word of God and the context as a specific human situation in obedience to Christ and His mission in the world.“34 Dean Gilliland adds that the process is guided by the Holy Spirit and all elements must be brought under the Lordship of Christ. It has been applied to a number of areas of church life such as church leadership structure, theology, theological education, the gospel presentation/evangelistic message, Bible translation, missiology and music and art.35 Much has been written in the past 20 years on contextualisation, its functions, the reasons for its necessity and its value.36 The Biblical foundation is seen in God’s dealings with Israel, Jesus and His mission and the early church’s reaction to the expansion of the gospel into the Roman Empire is also well documented.37
3. Holistic understanding of mission
4. Theology of religion
6. Cultural perspectives
7. Religious worldviews
8. The process of building strong cross-cultural relationships
Secondly, there are those who remain at home within the church and who would fall within the category of sender. These people use their resources and skills to support the world evangelization tasks and activities at home and abroad. Most senders would be primarily equipped through their local church and a para-church organisation rather than in a formal theological environment. For this group the learning would not have the same intensity and depth as for those being ‘goers’.
The variations of courses entitled “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” provide a potential foundation for this group.
4.2 New Challenges and Issues
A number of challenges and issues arise in responding to these two groups.
(a) Missiology and Course Content/Curriculum
The question then arises whether missiology should be the dominant framework by which all theological education is based.38 The debate has only increased in intensity over the last decade.
Steffen asks the question “Which Discipline is the Fairest of Them All?” 39 He claims that missiology is multi-disciplinary in nature and holistic. It integrates history, theology, the social sciences and mission strategy.
The challenge in this area impacts more on the theological colleges, particularly in the western world, many of which are focused on church maintenance rather than church expansion. This means that the emphasis is more on pastoral care and leadership rather than missional preparation. Too often denominations service their own needs rather than carry a kingdom perspective. The curricula reflect this emphasis. Missions and evangelism are relegated to elective status in general pastor training, and mission training is often confined to optional annual mission trips.
(b) Contextualisation and Training
The challenge of world evangelization has been well documented, especially in the concepts and principles of unreached people groups and the 10/40 Window. The Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist blocs pose stretching and difficult challenges for the western missionary force.
Much research continues to be done into why progress has been difficult and slow. One of the primary causes is the fact that Christianity was seen to be a foreign religion. Eminent Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist leaders have often reinforced this belief publicly and through various media. The message was originally delivered by western missionaries, who were often not culturally sensitive and some times driven by inappropriate motives. The original planting did not show respect for the traditional cultural and religious contexts. The western style architecture of the churches planted was foreign and so different from traditional architecture.
Even in today’s pluralistic, post-modern Western cultures Christianity is increasingly perceived to be alien to the culture and out of touch with an evolving society. The traditional denominations are struggling to be seen as culturally relevant as the empire of Christendom collapses. This is evident in Australia, for example. Those people attending churches on a regular basis are declining. An increasing number of congregations are being closed due to insufficient numbers and for not being financially viable. Regular church attendees are predominantly the aging Baby Builders and Boomers. The younger generations are tending to avoid the church. There is a growth of interest in non-Christian religions and new kinds of spirituality, while secularism continues to win many adherents. The number of those in the five-yearly Australian Census claiming to be Christian is declining. The percentage is now around 60%. The spread of globalisation has led to an increase in, what has been termed ‘tribalisation’, or the creation of many sub-cultural groups, many of which are not connected to each other. In many Western countries today the Christian community is just one other tribe, another sub-cultural group.
Formal education institutions, in both the western world and the two-thirds world must address the perception of the foreignness of Christianity and provide ways for trainees to overcome this perception for education to be effective for world evangelization. This can be achieved through courses (macro-level) and/or individual subjects/modules (micro-level). Future workers must understand the causes and results of this perception and be equipped to respond proactively and in a manner that expresses culturally sensitive and relevant Christianity.
Therefore the focus of such training must be missional and contextual. The fundamental need is to prepare workers with the capacity and skills to be able to be effective in their particular context. As these contexts are so varied, we need to be developing potential gospel ambassadors into missiological reflective practitioners.
For effective education for world evangelization to occur, particularly within formal institutions, a greater emphasis on missiology, applied anthropology and contextualization must be apparent in training. If not, the consequences are potentially great for global Christianity and its mission. The perception of the foreignness of Christianity will only continue as God’s people become more isolated and removed from the societies in which they are living.
In this section we will present reports from various members of the Issue Group, which will describe, from their own context, different models of effective education for evangelization. We have sought to present a variety of models, formal and non-formal, institutional and communal.
1. Discipleship training for unlikely heroes – Operation Mobilisation, Adelaide, Australia
Parachurch organisations can provide a model for missional focused discipleship training programs. Discipleship Training for Unlikely Heroes (nicknamed D2) has been developed and operated by Operation Mobilization in Adelaide, Australia and several other centres in Oceania. Dr Yi-An Neoh, the State Director, seeking a way to connect with young people, established the first course in July 2001. D2 aims to be a catalyst for spiritual growth in the lives of youth aged 15–25.
The objectives are:
- To initiate radical spiritual growth in the lives of youth
- To mobilise youth for service within and outside of their church
- To help youth recognise their responsibility to be Global Christians
- To encourage youth to use the gifts God has given them
- To develop youth physically as well as spiritually
Two programs are held each year. Each program is launched with a ‘Bootcamp’ with a speaker and physical training and followed by 8 or 9 weekly 4-hour community times between 6am and 10am on a Saturday morning. The standard morning routine involves physical training, breakfast, spiritual disciplines, country focus, prayer in pairs for the country and personal issues, and two hours of teaching by pastors, Christian workers and Bible College lecturers. Following D2 is an optional café meeting, which allows people to relax and catch up. Also there are leadership training days on any public holidays that fall during the course and a dinner at the conclusion.
Within each program there are three streams or courses offered. Some students later repeat courses as a way to participate. The courses are oriented around the ethos and the values of Operation Mobilization in regards to discipleship and mobilising for mission. There are three packaged courses that are modified each time they are delivered.
- The first course is a basic discipleship program that endeavours to cover the basics of spiritual disciplines, biblical approaches to issues of life like finance and fostering a heart for the nations.
- The second course is entitled “The Next Challenge: Exploring God’s World”. This is a no-holds barred eight-week missions course that explores the biblical, historical, strategic, cultural and personal aspects of cross-cultural mission.
- The third course is entitled “Outside the Box: Reaching the World Next Door”. This is an evangelism course which incorporates Wycliffe’s 4-week applied anthropological course “Operation Encounter”.
The first strength of the program is its dual emphasis on both the local and global dimensions of mission.
The second strength is the balance between teaching and cognitive input, and practical experience. Along with weekly Scripture memorisation, there is the encouragement to participate in evangelistic activities outside the hours of the program. Fundraising activities help those from the group fund short-term mission trips.
Another strength is the desire to work in partnership. Teams from the program visit the local churches of the participants. The relationship between the organising group and the pastors of these churches is further fostered through a number of activities, functions and visits.
There have been over 300 participants in the three years the program has run. At least three people are serving with mission agencies as a result. Over 20 have taken part on a short-term trip or attended an OM MAP program in Sydney. Several churches are being transformed by the impact of the missional focus developed in D2, particularly amongst the youth.
For more information consult www.D2.om.org
2. Victory leadership institute
Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF) began in the Philippines in 1984 as a ministry primarily geared to evangelizing university students and planting churches on or near university campuses. Since its beginnings the Victory movement in the Philippines currently has 44 churches with some 25,000 members. In addition, the VCF movement has sent out university-based church planting teams to 14 nations spread throughout Southeast Asia and the world.
The training arm of the movement, Victory Leadership Institute (VLI), began in June of 1993. The VLI motto is “Making Disciples, Training Leaders, Planting Churches.” This missional motto is at the heart of all that VLI teachers seek to accomplish in each VLI class. The leaders of VLI resolutely believe that God has called them to make disciples and followers of Jesus, not just converts. It will be these disciples who, when properly trained and equipped, will take the gospel into the ends of the earth and enhance his Kingdom by planting churches. Furthermore, VLI’s approach to teaching is from the local church context. The programs are designed to be practical and readily applicable in the local church. Most of the illustrations, problems and cases that are used in the classroom are from actual pastoring and church planting experiences. The interaction and dynamics of the school is such that it is really an extension of the local church.
VLI has a two-tiered approach to training: church members and church planting pastors and missionaries. All church members receive two years of training, attending one three-hour class session each week throughout the year, for a total of 39 weeks each year. Year one follows the emphasis of Ephesians 4:12: equipping church members for the work of ministry. During this year they receive teaching on discipleship, evangelism, spiritual gifts, the life of faith, as well as theology and the Bible. Year two emphasizes leadership training, with continuing courses on discipleship, theology and the Bible. Also covered during this second year are courses on world missions, church history, and worldview. The end goal of these two years is that these church members will be able to competently lead cell groups and other ministries related to the local church. VLI has trained approximately 6,500 VCF church members using this curriculum.
After completing the above two-year sequence, those VCF church members who exhibit evidence of a calling to church planting — either in the Philippines or abroad — are selected to attend an intensive one-year full-time study program in VLI’s School of World Missions. These third-year VLI students must be university graduates, have the recommendation of their local VCF pastor and be capable of doing graduate-level course work. The School of World Missions program consists of two 18-week semesters offering 15 course units per semester. These courses are specifically geared to equipping these future VCF church planters in the theoretical and practical “how to” of evangelizing, discipling and planting churches, especially in multi-cultural and cross-cultural contexts. The curriculum consists of courses in World Missions, Bible Interpretation, Cultural Anthropology, Biblical Theology of Missions, Missionary Spirituality, Contextualization, Urban Ministry, Cross-Cultural Evangelism and Church Planting. Interspersed within many of these courses are significant field work components, as well as practical church experiences: leading weekly cell group meetings, significant ministry involvement in Sunday ministry opportunities and three hours of campus ministry each week. Furthermore, each student must take part in a three-week cross-cultural ministry internship. All of these third year courses are credited by Asian Theological Seminary (ATS) and most VLI third-year graduates receive graduate diplomas from ATS as well. VLI has given this advanced ministry training to approximately 400 VCF church planting pastors and missionaries.
3. Diploma in theological education program (DTE) at the Hindustan Bible Institute and College (HBI), Chennai, India
3.1 Brief Background and History of HBI
Hindustan Bible Institute and College (HBI) located in the city of Chennai, India, came into existence in the context of nationalization. It was established in 1952 with a vision to “Train one Indian to reach another Indian.” This vision was born out of the conviction that in the changing political climate it would become exceedingly difficult for “missionaries” to find open doors in the sub-continent leading to the need to train Indian leadership for the mission of the church in India.
HBI, however, has not succumbed to the pressure to remain traditional in its outlook and approach to theological education. Consistent evaluation and reflection on the nature of theological education has prompted the leadership to experiment with different approaches and methods in order to produce effective leaders for the church and her mission in the Indian context. This case study is about one such attempt to make theological education more accessible and meaningful to a particular group of young people.
3.2 The DTE Program
The purpose of the Diploma in Theological Education program is to train emerging young leaders for the church in their various walks of life. The program is designed, over the period of a year, to provide foundational theological training alongside equipping in skills of evangelism and discipleship.
(a) The Rationale for the Experiment
In 1999, an experiment to make this program more effective was implemented. Initially, this program was set up to be a one-year residential program, with the students attending regular class hours like the other seminary students. It quickly became clear however that this approach was not fulfilling the purpose of the program. To remain mission-focused and society-centred it was imperative that the approach and methodology had to undergo a radical change.
(b) The Experiment Itself
The first step was to clearly define the target group. Clearly, if this program was to provide training for young emerging leaders for the church in its mission in society, the class had to consist of individuals who were not considering the traditional ministry callings as their vocation. Rather, the focus had to be on young Christians who were called to be “salt” and “light” in the “marketplace.” Such a focus obviously meant that the whole program needed radical restructuring. The approach had to be one that moved away from a traditional understanding of theological education as it applied to the training of clergy and full time missionaries.
Second, a new approach obviously required a new methodology, which laid equal emphasis on reflection and practice. The focus had to be on training the participants as they went about their normal, everyday life. More attention had to be given to reflection in the midst of engagement, as well as mentoring.
(c) The Implementation
Applications were invited from young believers who had been admitted into Madras University and other affiliated undergraduate colleges in the city. Those admitted into the DTE program could avail themselves of the hostel facilities on the HBI campus while at the same time pursuing their course of secular study in the university. Such an arrangement would also enable rich interaction with those being trained for “full-time” ministry. Three evenings a week were devoted to “classes” during which time they engaged in critical reflection on issues concerning faith and witness in their university context. During the course of study, the small group of 10 or 12 students was under the mentorship and close guidance of the dean of the program. This provided the avenue for significant input into their lives.
Upon completing the DTE program the students had the option of staying on and enrolling in a Master of Biblical Studies, a two-year program geared towards equipping lay people in the city of Madras. This degree would be awarded once they passed their undergraduate program in the university.
3.3 Some Key Features
- Praxis driven – The DTE program forced the leadership of HBI to endeavour to seek a right balance between theory and practice. Since the aim was to train individuals who would be effective in their witness and engagement in the Indian context, it was important that this balance be maintained.
- Mission driven – A clear mission focus, where engaging their context was a significant part of the training was a distinct move away from the regular residential programs where training takes place in isolation
- Mentor driven – The role of the teacher/mentor reaches its pinnacle in this process. Discipling and modelling takes on greater importance in this method, where the ministry and lifestyle of the teacher/mentor are closely watched and scrutinized.
- Student driven – The learner becomes the central figure in this process. Spiritual formation, character development, skill enhancement and knowledge building all take place with the learners’ needs and context in mind.
4. The Anglican presence in Honduras: 1862 to present
4.1 Historical Background
During the administration of President José Santos Guardiola in 1862, the United Kingdom offered Honduras several small islands some thirty to fifty kilometres off the north coast of the Central American republic. One of the requirements in the deed of gift was that Honduras would need to allow the “Protestant Religion” amongst the inhabitants of the islands. The settlers there were mostly descendents of English corsairs who had taken refuge in the islands in the previous century to avoid capture. They spoke English and were either Methodists or Anglicans. Up to that time, Honduran citizens were required by law to be Roman Catholic.
In the following decades, Anglican Church work was limited to English-speaking chaplaincies primarily in the banana growing areas of the country. English and American employees would worship in churches that were built by the fruit companies for their benefit. There was no consideration of doing any missionary work or evangelistic outreach to the Spanish-speaking inhabitants.
The Anglican Churches in the country remained under the jurisdiction of the Church of England until 1956 when they became part of the Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1967, Honduras was one of five Central American districts and in 1975 became a diocese in its own right that elected its first Bishop in 1977.
There were only a handful of congregations that were all English-speaking.
4.2 Initiation of Work in Spanish
In 1974, the Rev. James H. Douglass, who was serving as the Vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Puerto Cortés, Honduras, was approached by some residents of a small village twenty kilometres to the west of the port city. They wanted a “Misa en español” – a Mass in Spanish and were hoping that the Rev. Douglass could help them.
He initiated services there and shortly afterwards Hurricane Fifi hit the western part of Honduras and killed nearly 10,000 people. During the rescue and relief efforts afterwards, the Episcopal Church was particularly involved, acting as a conduit for food, clothing and other supplies, and building houses for those who had lost their homes. The Rev. Douglass increased the number of congregations on the north coast to seven.
At the same time, the new Bishop of Honduras, Hugo Pina, began to establish small congregations in rural areas around the city of San Pedro Sula. Similar work began in other parts of the country. There was an acute shortage of ordained clergy, so Bishop Pina began to ordain former Roman Catholic seminarians and priests to fill the void.
The model for “evangelisation” during this period was based on the premise that since they were working in a primarily Roman Catholic culture, the worship style, appearance, and approach to ministry should parallel that of the Roman Catholic Church. A former Nicaraguan Roman Catholic seminarian, who had been ordained in the Episcopal Church, actually published a brochure that stated, “There is no difference between the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church.”
This model was flawed and while the church actually continued to grow, the retention rate of members was limited and the percentage of genuine conversions was low.
4.3 Missionary Intervention
In 1981, the first missionaries of the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) of the Episcopal Church arrived in the country at the invitation of Bishop Pina. SAMS is an evangelical missionary society in the Anglican tradition that has had a long history of missionary work in Latin America.
Over the years the SAMS missionaries had a profound impact on the country. Instead of imitating the Roman Catholic Church, the missionaries were active leading people to a saving relationship in Jesus Christ. Small group Bible studies were begun. Missionaries were given the opportunity to preach in Sunday worship, and one-on-one witnessing and sharing of the gospel took place.
The missionaries had a strong impact on one young Honduran of West Indian descent, who became a strong, committed Christian as a result. This young man was eventually elected the first Honduran Bishop of the Diocese of Honduras in 2001. The SAMS missionaries introduced Evangelism Explosion into the Episcopal Church and this evangelistic method bore much fruit.
They also utilized a church planting strategy that had been developed by the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in South America called “Encounter with God.” This resulted in the founding of a congregation in the capital city that served as a model for other church planting activity in the country. The strategy is heavily dependent on campaign evangelism, personal evangelism, discipleship and leadership development.
The church continued to grow, but many of the new congregations were nothing more than “sacramental stations”, where baptisms, confirmations, burials and the Eucharist took place.
In 1994, the second Bishop of Honduras, Leo Frade, placed a SAMS missionary in charge of developing a national evangelistic strategy. This missionary formed an Evangelism Commission and trained them in the work of evangelism.
Over the next three years the Commission alternated between offering regional evangelism workshops with open air campaigns in villages and provincial capitals around the country. The training workshops had a strong practical component, for the participants were sent out to do door-to-door evangelism – a methodology that worked well in rural areas especially. The open air events were large events with music and evangelistic sermons. They were held in the main squares of the towns or, in some cases, in the middle of the road. Preaching events also took place in local Episcopal Churches.
A national training event was held as the focus of the annual Diocesan Convention (Synod), so that the leaders of all the parishes – lay and clergy both – could be trained in evangelism. This evangelism training complemented the theological education programme in the Diocese, which by the end of the 1990’s had abandoned the previous curriculum and was teaching more biblically orthodox courses. The number of Honduran pastors increased during this time, most of which were charged with the responsibility of founding new churches in addition to serving existing congregations. Even with all of this evangelistic activity, there still remained an element within the Diocese that was resistant to evangelisation. This group insisted on maintaining its catholic identity and felt that evangelism was not appropriate for the Episcopal Church; that the strength of the Episcopal Church was its ability to differentiate itself from the scores of evangelical and Pentecostal churches that were being founded all over the country.
However, when the Rev. Lloyd Allen was elected Bishop in 2001, he immediately encouraged the continuing work of evangelism and evangelism training. While maintaining the Episcopal Church’s denominational distinctiveness, he has gradually moved the Diocese into a much stronger evangelical position. In 1998, the Episcopal Church in Honduras had 52 congregations with about 17,000 baptized members.
By 2004, the number of congregations had grown to over 150. There are forty- seven clergy in the Diocese and over 30,000 baptized members. Bishop Allen credits the evangelistic ministry of the clergy and Diocese with this growth. Alpha, Evangelism Explosion and the Cursillo movement have been very effective tools. Experiencing God is used for both evangelistic and discipling purposes. Youth evangelism is also taking place through a ministry called “Happening”.
A missional ethos is beginning to permeate the Diocese and one former SAMS missionary is actually training Hondurans for overseas missionary service. There are still a number of obstacles and some of the earlier tensions have not been resolved, but the Diocese is moving forward and serving as a model for ministry throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
4. Mission as the integrating focus at Tyndale Seminary
Since 1996, Tyndale Seminary in Toronto has intentionally organized its programs around a missional paradigm of education. This approach affirms that the Triune God is, by nature, a missionary God who calls, equips and sends his people to participate in God’s mission to the world as witnesses to Christ in the power of the Spirit. The church is, by nature, a missionary people who are called to engage their various contexts, through word and deed, as representatives of the Kingdom of God. Given this understanding, we assume that theological education should be concerned, first and foremost, with holistic formation for holistic mission that engages the world.
Our first step toward embracing a missional focus began in 1996 with the introduction of an experimental stream within the Master of Theological Studies degree known as the M.T.S. Modular Program. It is aimed at working laypeople seeking to integrate their faith with their work and everyday life, rather than those preparing for professional ministry. This is a cohort program completed in three years. Students take classes one night per week, while retaining their jobs. The curriculum offers one course at a time, in six-week intensive blocks. Spiritual formation and mentoring experiences are balanced with classical theological disciplines. Courses in biblical, theological and historical studies are taught with an emphasis on personal and communal engagement with the world, alongside courses whose subject matter naturally turns students outward toward the world (for example, on work and vocation, ethics, apologetics, mission and evangelism). The program offers a cohesive, integrative experience that equips lay leaders to engage the world — their workplaces, neighbourhoods and communities — for Christ.
Building upon the insights gained in the M.T.S. Modular Program, a comprehensive curriculum revision for the remaining degree programs was undertaken during 1999-2001. In this revision process, we began by developing missionally-based, outcomes-oriented competencies for each degree program and for each major within each degree (for example, a major in Christian Education within the M.Div. degree). The new curriculum introduced three new courses required for all students: “Gospel, Church and Culture,” “Spiritual Formation” and “Leadership Development.” These “signature courses” present key themes in the missional paradigm that informs the whole curriculum, and fosters faithful and creative ways of forming individuals and communities for mission. Classical theological disciplines such as biblical studies, systematic theology and church history are increasingly taught with special attention to missional themes.
Finally, in 2004 the seminary introduced an experimental program within the Master of Divinity degree known as the “M.Div In-Ministry Program.” This is another cohort program, with classes one day per week, for students preparing for congregational leadership roles. Because students are employed in various forms of pastoral ministry while they study, their actual congregations become learning laboratories. Pedagogically, this is achieved through assignments which require students to integrate biblical- theological learning by implementing practical initiatives within their ministries. The program also features multi-layered mentoring, involving peer friendships, counsellors, spiritual directors, ministry support groups in their churches and relationships with faculty. Its integrative focus is exemplified in its experimental approach to teaching homiletics. There is no course on preaching, but preaching is explored as a unit within each of the 19 courses in their sequence. Students preach in the context of weekly chapel services, and receive individualized feedback from faculty.
Student reaction to these initiatives has been strongly positive. Some important challenges remain. This is an ongoing transformation process that involves substantially rethinking inherited seminary approaches that have favoured maintenance of church programs rather than formation for mission, and that have been oriented primary by the perspectives of scholarly guilds rather than the church’s agenda of equipping disciples. New ways of teaching, new approaches to student assessment and new levels of professional development for faculty are required.
5. Asian Theological Seminary
Asian Theological Seminary (ATS), founded in 1969, is one of the largest non- denominational evangelical seminaries in Asia, serving approximately one hundred different denominations and parachurch organizations in the Philippines and throughout Asia. Its 21 programs – which range from programs for lay people to doctoral candidates – service approximately 1,000 students each year, with Certificate programs and masters- level Graduate Diploma, M.A., M.Div. and doctoral degrees. Every year 40-50 international students from 12-14 different nations study at the seminary. Some 25 full- time faculty-mostly Filipinos and other Asians-teach at ATS, the majority with earned doctorates. To date there have been over 1,300 masters-level graduates from the seminary.
ATS’s vision through the years is reflected in its motto: “Committed to the Word, Caring for the World.” The seminary’s six core values reflect that motto with the core value on “Community” especially emphasizing the missional commitment of the school: “…as an Asian seminary, we seek to be aware of the needs of our continent and to equip students in their particular contexts. The Philippine context in which we are located provides the basic concrete situation within which we do theology, while also providing strong motivation for cross-cultural ministry (missions).” ATS is passionate about discovering how to incarnate Christ in the diverse contexts of Asia and training workers who can minister the transforming Gospel in such contexts.
A formal missions program was begun at the seminary in 1983 when a missions major was added to the basic M.Div. curriculum, followed in 1984 with a two-year “Master of Missions” degree. From 1984 through 1992 there were 16 missions graduates, though many M.Div. graduates also took several missions-related courses. The missions program was totally revamped in the years 1993 and 1994 with the addition of Graduate Diploma and M.A. degrees in missions. The new missions curriculum was designed to be much more relevant to the Asian situation. This refocusing helped to greatly increase the number of missions’ graduates. In the ten years from 1994 to 2003 there were over 150 masters-level missions graduates.
The innovative missions curriculum of ATS offers a three-tiered approach to formal graduate-level missionary training. The foundational year (Graduate Diploma level) is mainly filled with core missiological coursework: Cultural Anthropology, Missionary Life and Spirituality, Theory and Practice of Urban Ministry, World Missions, Biblical Theology of Missions, Cross-Cultural Evangelism and Church Planting and Doing Theology in Context. Additional courses on Bible Introduction, Hermeneutics and basic Theology round out the first year. Even more Bible and theology courses are added during the second year (M.A. level) for additional grounding of missions students in the Scriptures. The M.Div. degree with a missions major includes the core missiologial coursework scattered over the typical three years of study along with the standard courses required for this more “professional” ministerial degree. Students have the choice of going one step at a time, from Graduate Diploma level first, then on to the M.A. level and finally to the M.Div. level, or to mix up the coursework somewhat and apply for the M.A. or M.Div. degree. Most missions students choose to terminate their studies with the M.A. degree.
The missions program of ATS is designed to improve the qualifications and skills of pastors, evangelists, church planters, church workers, mission administrators, missionaries and missionary candidates who desire training at the graduate level. Key objectives of this program include holistic formation (academic, spiritual, and professional) and the integration of theory and praxis. The program aims to develop Christian practitioners who are able to initiate and sustain evangelism, discipleship andchurch planting efforts in culturally sensitive, holistic and transformational ways, as well as to be more effective communicators of the gospel in both multi-cultural and cross- cultural contexts, particularly in Asian and 10/40 window countries and urban centres.
The missions program emphasizes the practical dimensions of ministry with many of the courses requiring out-of-classroom exposure and research trips for “hands on” ministry involvement to supplement the background theory of the classroom. Besides this, all missions’ students are required to do an intensive three-week cross-cultural exposure trip to a Muslim or Buddhist context as a part of their internship requirements.
Two courses are foundational to both the ATS missions program as well as to the entire seminary. The first is the required World Missions course, which is an adapted “Perspectives” course using materials originally developed and contextualized for Latin America. This is a multi-faceted course focusing on the biblical, historical, cultural and strategic dimensions of the task of world missions. Particular focus is placed upon “unreached peoples”: God’s concern for them; who they are; how to locate and identify them and how to reach them. The second foundational required course is entitled “Transformational Theology.” This is a multi-disciplinary course that reflects the basic ethos of ATS: attempting to explore the biblical, theological, missiological and practical dimensions of what it means to transform individuals, cultures and nations with the whole gospel of Jesus Christ.
6. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Since 1990, Minneapolis and St. Paul – the Twin Cities – have seen a massive influx of refugees and immigrants from around the world. A cultural transformation is taking place as neighbourhoods are filled by the sights, sounds and smells of other countries. The Twin Cities metro area boasts the largest Hmong, Somali, Oromo and Tibetan populations in North America, and large Liberian and Sudanese populations. Approximately 90,000 Hmong, 50,000 Somali and 17,000 Oromo and Ethiopians now live in the metro area; two-thirds of whom have arrived within the past five years. In addition, the University of Minnesota is home to the largest Chinese student population in the United States. Further, during the past decade the Twin Cities have become the eighth- fastest growing Latino area in the U.S. Recent census figures show that this represents a 231.7 % increase in the diversity of its peoples in ten years!40 The Twin Cities is now one of the most culturally diverse metropolitan communities in the U.S. All this adds up to over half a million internationals, speaking more than 140 different languages!
This not only reflects a significant cultural shift, but also introduces a new world religious demographic to the Twin Cities. In 1990 there were just four mosques; today there are over sixty. In 1999, for the first time in the history of the Twin Cities, Islam surpassed Judaism as the religion with the largest number of adherents after Christianity. Since 1999 the Muslim population has more than doubled and more than tripled since 1995. East African immigration has accounted for a large percentage of the growth of Islam. Over 95% of East African immigrants are Muslim and 50% of the Twin Cities Muslim population is Somali.41
God is bringing the world, the mission field, to the doorstep of every Christian church in the Twin Cities! The church is responding, with over 300 churches planted in the past three years. This is one new church every three days. More churches are taking seriously the need to demonstrate the love of Christ in their communities.
When Roland Wells arrived in 1988 as pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, in the shadow of the skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis, he found himself in a quandary. St. Paul’s 130-year-old congregation was a small gathering of suburbanites committed to making a difference in its urban neighbourhood. Members had remained at the distinctly inner-city church because they viewed their membership as a matter of mission. “Our people wanted to do significant things in the city,” Wells remembers, “but didn’t know how to go about it.”
Enter CitySpirit Ministries and the School of Urban Ministry (SUM). St. Paul’s launched these two initiatives in 1991. CitySpirit builds partnerships with suburban congregations by bringing them into the city and providing cross-cultural mission opportunities. SUM is a training school for members of St. Paul’s and other inner city churches, and suburban partners. The vision of these two ministries is “to develop a congregation-based, low-cost model of starting new ministries to unreached people groups through training and linking city and suburban congregations in order to strengthen both.” The key goal of CitySpirit and SUM is to equip churches and their members for ministry.
Every Monday evening, “students” gather to learn from practitioners from around the Twin Cities about how to “do” urban ministry. The first semester begins with a strong emphasis on prayer, and biblical and cross-cultural studies. Students not only make use of books and study materials, but they are engaged in mission in the city. Through field trips, service-learning projects and studying successful ministries, they learn to minister to people from other cultures. The second semester includes a study of world religions and their access points for Christian witness, a course on grant writing for non-profit organizations, and an overview of challenges facing the city, such as chemical dependency, homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing, prostitution, gangs, mental illness, refugee resettlement, political structures, church planting, etc. The focus of the second semester is on experiential learning and mentorship from urban “missionaries.” Throughout the semester, students work together and serve community ministries to research a specific “mission field” in the Twin Cities. They investigate the felt needs of this community, engage in service-learning, and create detailed project reports on how to be effective missionaries to a specific people group. Reports addressing scheduling, publicity, fund raising, vision implementation, staying on task, staff training, effective team management, etc., are prepared.
The impact of the SUM strategy has been felt in the Twin Cities. Several new ministries have been started and inner city churches planted. Some graduates work with a faith-based chemical dependency treatment program. Others are engaged in planting and supporting new ethnic churches. One graduate has planted an inner city church that reaches out to the homeless, prostitutes, drug addicts and dealers and provides an intense mentorship community for men. Another graduate organised a cross-cultural ministry for African-American single mothers in an apartment complex near St. Paul’s Church. Other graduates work for social service agencies, serve as nurses in community clinics and hospitals, provide legal aid for the poor, teach in local public schools, manage affordable housing projects, work in city government and a few have started small businesses.
The SUM model is now in the process of expanding to provide intentional, experiential, and missional education to college students. A partnership of seven Christian colleges in the Twin Cities has formed the Urban College Cross-Cultural Coalition – U4C. Students with a passion for urban mission, regardless of their major – whether education, business, nursing, sociology, religion, political science, etc. – will live together in the city, partner with community churches, ministries and service organizations to learn… and be engaged in God’s mission of love and care.
This section does not deal with curriculum development or the development of training programs, but with how training programs can implement or bring about the changes – the principles and strategies we identified above in Section C.3. How can they bring about the changes that will enable effective education for world evangelization?
The target audiences of these recommendations and guidelines are the local churches and all theological training institutions and programs. It is aimed especially at the leaders of institutions like the board members, the chairperson of the board, the heads or leaders of training programs, the faculty or teachers of these training programs, the heads of mission agencies, the heads of mission departments in schools. It is also aimed at denominational leaders and the leaders or pastors of local churches, and finally also the church members and lay leaders.
1. Implementation challenges and issues
Any change process involves challenges and encounters resistance. In trying to implement these principles and strategies leaders of faith communities and training programs will encounter several challenges. Our group identified some of these challenges that they may face. Of course, different contexts will present different challenges. The aim is not to propose precise solutions or to give ideas on how to deal with these challenges. Space does not allow that. Some of the action plans proposed below may help in dealing with the challenges. Every training program should seek creative ways appropriate to their own contexts to deal with these and other challenges they may face.
- Resistance to change – In any organization there is always, to varying degrees, resistance to change. Leaders should be aware of these and of the reasons for the resistance. They should equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to become effective managers of change, enabling them to move their programs or schools from the traditional to a new mindset.
- Accrediting agencies and government regulations for recognition – Training programs or schools that seek accreditation with agencies or government recognition or approval may deal with requirements that make it very difficult for them to implement the principles, strategies and action plans proposed in this report.
- Financial resources – Some of the required changes and implementation of the proposed action plans and strategies will require additional financial resources which may be difficult for training programs, especially in the majority world, to obtain. Are the proposed strategies and action plans viable financially?
- Market economy and competition – Closely related to financial challenges is the impact of a market economy on our schools. Many programs are tuition driven and depend on high enrolment numbers, which may not be conducive for implementing effective education strategies for world evangelization. Theological education is being influenced by the creation of a “consumer driven” training market. There is increasing competition between theological schools and a growing number of training programs. These impact the number of students, quality of training, availability of financial resources and faculty. The commoditization of training and presenting it as a packaged product, is detrimental to character formation, spirituality and a missional approach to theological education.
- Faculty challenges – Implementation will face several challenges related to the academic staff or trainers in training programs
- Teaching methodologies and educational philosophies – Many training programs and faculty exhibit inflexibility by adhering to traditional pedagogies. Often the cause for this is that they are unaware of newer or more effective learning strategies. Most faculty teach as they themselves were taught and were trained only in their respective disciplines, not in educational methodologies and principles. Schools may not be providing the necessary professional development for their faculty in these areas. Some faculty may not be convinced of the validity of relational, nonformal and community learning strategies.
- Lack of training – Faculty and trainers may be ill-equipped or have little experience in some of the strategies proposed here, for example mentoring. Some may feel inadequate to do this, or feel that this is not their area or gift.
- Faculty recruitment and development – How to find a best fit between the school’s mission, vision, core values and the faculty it seeks to appoint? Faculty may not agree with the missional purpose of training programs. They may not have the necessary qualifications – professional, personality, spirituality, experience, relationally – to be involved in the kind of education envisioned here.
- Workload of faculty – In many training programs faculty are overburdened. This is especially the case in contexts where financial resources are a serious problem, and faculty have to take on additional teaching or administrative loads. This leaves very little additional time and energy for more involvement in ministry or intensive interactions with students as some of these strategies may require.
- “Publish or perish” mentality – In many formal training programs there is a strong emphasis on research and publication. Faculty are expected, in many cases, required to publish. This leaves very little time for the time-intensive and personalized strategies proposed here. It also contributes to the pressure to specialize in focused areas, which in turn contributes to the fragmentation we experience in theological education.
- Gap between the church and formal training programs – There is an apparent disconnect between the church and formal theological training programs. There seems to be a lack of communication between them. They have different expectations of each other, or their expectations are not always clearly communicated to each other. Schools are not always aware of the real needs of the church and its context, and seem not to really attempt to listen to discover those needs.
- Governance challenges – The boards of training programs may not share the same vision and values in terms of world mission and the need for a missional framework for theological education. Many boards are too uninvolved, and others again are guilty of micromanagement in their schools. Board and governance support for the changes proposed here will be crucial.
2. Key action plans
Our Issue Group explored action plans or action ideas for leaders of training programs that may help them to implement the principles and strategies for effective theological education for world evangelization. We identified many creative and useful ideas. However, in our discussion we concluded that there are four key action plans that should be implemented first before attempting some of the other action ideas. Here we present these key action plans and under the heading of Additional Guidelines we offer some of the other action ideas that leaders could consider to help them to implement and move toward effective theological education for world mission.
The conviction of this Issue Group is that there is insufficient commitment on the part of faith communities to world mission. Faith communities need to be educated for world evangelization. Therefore:
- Schools and churches should be intentional about their missional commitment, especially as expressed in:
- Faculty and support staff selection
- Professional development of faculty and support
- Curriculum review and development
- Student assessment
- Board selection
- Linking to other similar groups and training programs internationally
- Leaders of institutions and programs should have an understanding of world mission and therefore insure that those who work in the training programs share that understanding. How can any faith community become truly missional when there are key staff who are indifferent to God’s saving purposes for his creation? In particular, we commend Perspectives or other equivalent world mission courses or seminars as very helpful in developing a mission-mindedness amongst people.
- School personnel and key church leaders ought to be exposed to the realities of human needs and cross-cultural ministry and have the ability to transmit this concern for world mission to others through teaching, training and descipling.
- We encourage closer and strategic partnerships between all entities invested and involved in education for world evangelization: schools, churches, mission organizations and mission-minded individuals.
3. Additional guidelines
Here we briefly discuss of more action plans and guidelines that may enable training program leaders to implement the effective theological education for world evangelization. The following serves as a resource for training programs. We realize that training programs may not be able to use all of these, and not all may be applicable or appropriate to all contexts.
3.1 Faculty Development
- Experiential learning – Faculty, teachers and trainers in training programs should recognise the value of experiential learning and be given opportunities to develop their teaching skills and expertise in experiential learning as well as their mentoring skills. We are aware that mentoring is a complex issue and that it is not always viable and an option for all faculty. It is not possible for teachers to mentor the whole class, but they can use experiential learning techniques in class and mentor a selected few. Faculty involvement in ministry practice should become a priority. There is a need to be actively involved with the students in field-based learning.
- Professional development:
- Training programs should consider professional development programs for all their staff that will have as its outcome a missional paradigm. It should enable them to understand the importance of a missional framework for everything they do and to embrace such a missional framework.
- Professional development should help faculty to explore and embrace different teaching styles, methodologies, and to use various types of media to facilitate quality learning. It should expose them to different educational approaches and philosophies.
- It should also help them to teach their subjects from an intercultural perspective and missional framework.
- It should enable faculty to become life-long learners and reflective practitioners who are continuously learning and growing in all areas – professional, personal, character and spirituality.
(a) Faculty Recruitment and Selection
Recruitment of faculty becomes crucial in developing effective theological education for world evangelization. We should select the right faculty. During the selection process we should choose faculty with world mission and a missional framework in mind. The criteria for faculty recruitment should include a demonstrable missional perspective and passion for mission. Some experience in evangelistic, discipleship or church planting ministries, and considerable other ministry experience should be a requirement.
(b) Faculty Awareness of World Mission and Intercultural Exposure
To develop a missional awareness faculty would greatly benefit from involvement in a missions practice or ministry on a regular basis. They should be encouraged to join with students on short-term missions exposure experiences and be involved in practical mission projects with students. Some could be involved in actual evangelism and church planting projects. For these they can determine learning outcomes with the students and assess the achievement of these with them in class or back at the school.
Schools should seek partnerships with schools from other countries and exchange faculty. Student exchanges can also contribute to this awareness and exposure, not only of the faculty but also of other staff and the student body. Scholarships and grants could be established for such faculty and student exchanges.
Missionaries on home assignment can serve as a resident missionary or missiologist and be involved in the school community. Active missionaries could be guests of the training programs to tell their story, teach by example and experience, interface and interact with the faculty and students. This could happen also in the local congregation who should take advantage of the missionary’s presence.
Faculty could establish links and network with mission agencies, individual missionaries, and churches in the mission field or majority world. This should facilitate and develop an interest in a missional mindset. Schools should plan to send faculty, not only the missions faculty, to missions conferences.
The leadership, values and practices of schools should encourage the faculty toward and hold them accountable for an evangelistic lifestyle.
(c) Mentoring and Modelling
Mentoring is talked about much these days. There is no question about the effectiveness of mentoring if it is done well. Mentoring as a training tool and the concept of “journeying together” should be recaptured or reinstalled as an approach in education.
However, mentoring can take various forms, and it can achieve different outcomes. There are many issues involved in mentoring and, just as with teaching, you can have effective and ineffective mentoring, and good and bad mentors. Of course, it would be simplistic to suggest that mentoring is the panacea for all problems faced in effective education for evangelism.
If we consider mentoring as part of our curriculum, we must first clarify what we mean by the term and then clarify what outcomes we want to achieve through mentoring. What purposes will mentoring serve in our curriculum? Furthermore, faculty would need training in mentoring since it involves very specific attitudes, values and skills. We also need to ask whether effective mentoring in theological education with its current structures and approaches is realistic. A faculty member can effectively mentor only so many students. Who will be mentored and who will not be mentored would become an issue? Many people are “mentored” through the models of others without entering into a formal and intentional mentoring relationship with those persons.
For effective education for world evangelization the whole Christian community needs to be involved in the education process. Community leaders should model Christlikeness and equip others to model Christlikeness. This Christlikeness should be seen in character, mission mindedness, an evangelistic lifestyle and an involvement in the community where Christians are effective as the light and salt of the world.
3.2 Curriculum development
Training programs should implement a review of curriculum to incorporate a missional paradigm, experiential learning and exposure to human needs in both local and broader contexts. They should assess educational process and methodology in order to determine the extent to which the program is truly missional. They should asses programs, curricula and syllabi to see the extent to which these approximate or divert from a missional orientation. In their assessment they should get feedback from their students, graduates, church leaders and lay members on the training and their understanding of mission.
The curriculum development process should identify the resources (personnel, information, materials, time, and funds) available that can assist the achievement and implementation of a training program that has a missional orientation. There would be considerable value in developing an action plan that will incorporate this objective, a missional framework in the institution. Every subject should echo a missional dimension. It would also be beneficial if materials could be produced that suggest ways in which missions can be integrated into the whole of the curriculum. The following ideas may be worth consideration:
- Incorporate in the curriculum and the library bibliographies and materials from the majority world, and make greater use of their resources
- Include practical assignments that would enable students to do something with a missional dimension or intention
- Offer specialized courses on evangelization, church planting, theology of mission, and the current trends in missiology.
3.3. The Local Church and Church Leaders
All church leaders – denominational leaders, pastors of local congregations, lay leaders – must have a passion and vision for world mission. They must lead their churches in this vision and into an involvement in world mission. The must equip them to be faith communities that live a missionary lifestyle in the world.
They should teach and expose their churches and members to missions. There are many good programs and resources available for missions mobilization that can be used effectively. They should conduct seminars and workshops on mobilizing the whole church for evangelism. A major component of this should be the real going out, being involved in missions and then evaluating and learning from the experience.
Churches should consider retreats for all their staff or workers, but particularly those lay leaders, pastors, denominational leaders, teachers and staff who are involved in Christian education. Such a retreat would focus on mission and aim at developing a missional framework and missionary lifestyle.
There would be tremendous benefit in pastors and their lay leaders taking regular short-term mission exposure trips. Mission agencies could help to facilitate such trips.
Pulpit Ministry – Pastors are also teachers in the pulpit and they should use the pulpit ministry to educate and challenge believers to go into the world, and to be witnesses in the marketplace or wherever they are.
The Family – Parents should teach their children how to witness and reach their friends. Churches could help to develop family projects connected to world evangelization. They could equip families to open up their homes for prayer, healing, counselling and to witness for Christ. Churches should have actual programs or activities that can bring the families closer to the mission fields or mission projects. They should equip and facilitate families to pray for and support mission. The natural locus for this kind of training is the local church. One component of theological education should be the equipping of pastors to, in turn, equip the families in their churches for missionary engagement.
3.4 Board Members of Training Institutions, Programs and Local Churches
An understanding of, and a vision and passion for, mission should be part of the selection criteria for all board members of churches, schools and training programs. They should have a commitment to world evangelization. Board members should understand the institution’s mission and vision. They are the custodians of the mission statement.
3.5 Strategic Partnerships
We should develop strategic partnerships between the schools, training programs, churches, mission agencies, specific people and organizations in the wider society. Formal training institutions should implement a program of regular contact and dialogue with local churches and denominations to build relationships for training and to gain an understanding of their training needs. It should help them to discover how they can serve the church better. A further benefit of such a symbiotic relationship is that it might ensure that there is no disjunction between theological and missiological education in any of the faith communities.
Through formal and non formal networks, there should be interaction between educational institutions and churches of the western world and the majority world. The benefits of such interactions are obvious as they would facilitate learning from each other and mutual enrichment.
This Issue Group recommends more intentional times of dialogue between the church and theological faculty, thereby linking the church’s mission directly with training. We encourage theological schools in their training programs to use resource people from churches, para-church organizations, and mission agencies, as well as Christians in the market place, and other Christian professionals. Partnerships between churches and schools/training programs should not be limited to administrative matters with little dialogue or input regarding vision, curriculum and student selection.
Pastors and church leaders should seek intentional relationships with missions (local, national, global). In the face of a world of overwhelming spiritual and physical needs, churches are often simply reactive to the multitude of human needs, rather than carefully assessing in an informed way how they can best contribute to the task of world evangelization. Local churches can help training programs to restructure by appealing to accreditation bodies to adapt their requirements and standards in such a way that they address the training needs of the churches as they seek to minister in a given local context and as they seek to inform and equip their members for world evangelization. Such bodies of accreditation could revisit their own standards to ensure that they are serving and not hindering the development of effective theological education for world evangelization.
What is the place of God in our theological education, and in doing theology? God alone is, and should be, the centre of theological education. Growing in the knowledge of God and in His purposes for His world must be the ultimate purpose of all theological education. Integral to God’s purpose for His creation is the drawing to Himself of a people, from every tribe, nation and tongue, who will live holy lives to the praise of His glory. Consequently, a missional approach to theological education is vital. No longer can missiology remain on the margins of the theological curriculum like some “lost sheep…scattered among the folds of history, theology, comparative religions, and education, wandering from the theological field to the practical and back again” (in the colourful words of J.L. Dunstan). God’s mission is done in partnership with the church. The church is sent by Jesus Christ to continue and sustain his mission, which is the annunciation and restitution of God’s kingdom and the salvation which has been made available to all. Theological education plays a key role in preparing God’s servant people to fulfil this missionary calling by their life and by their words. Thus, theological education must be done within a missional framework and serve to develop mission-minded servant leaders.
The other Issue Groups of the 2004 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization have reminded us that there are many challenges facing us as we seek to proclaim Christ in the twenty-first century. Just to mention a few: the evangelization of children; the youth; non-traditional families; the great majority of the world’s population who are oral learners; people with disabilities; the poor; AIDS sufferers; the challenge of a Christian witness in the marketplace; religious and non-religious spirituality in the postmodern world; reconciliation and peace in a world full of conflicts; religious fundamentalism; globalization; urbanization; the crucial need for partnerships in ministry and mission; and many others. We are who involved in theological education are called to address these issues.
What is theological education for world mission doing to prepare the church and faith communities to deal with these challenges effectively? There is a real need for theological education to re-envision and restructure itself. We pray that this paper and its recommendations may encourage leaders of theological training programs to be innovative, and restructure theological education so that it develops greater commitment to world evangelization in faith communities.
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Growing out of the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization the need for resources to assist theological teachers to think missionally was clearly perceived. A group from the theological education issue group is working towards publishing such a resource book with illustrations of key theological concepts from around the world.
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This book is a “must-read” for anyone that is serious about advancing the gospel in the 21st century. The basic thesis of the authors, an Australian and a South African who are planting churches in Australia, is that Christendom is rapidly dying in the Western world. By “Christendom,” they mean the dominance of the church in Western culture from the fourth century, when Constantine proclaimed Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, until recently.
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This report is the collaborative outcome of the members of Issue Group 28: Effective Theological Education for World Evangelization. The following are the members of this group who attended the 2004 Forum as well as those who were not able to attend, but participated actively and contributed to the discussions before the Forum.
Pieter F. Theron (editor and convenor), South Africa/ Philippines
Wafik Wahba (co-convenor), Canada
Theresa Lua (facilitator), Philippines
Victor Babajide Cole (theologian), Kenya
Michael Raiter (co-editor and theologian) Australia
Kumar Abraham Sri Lanka /Philippines
Stuart Brooking Australia
Larry Caldwell U.S.A. /Philippines
Ebenezer Samuel Chelladurai India
V.C. George Cherian India
Jim Chew New Zealand
Paul Cornelius India
Les Crawford U.S.A.
David Fenrick U.S.A.
Mark Grace New Zealand
Brian Harris New Zealand
Laura Humphries U.K.
Dusan Jaura Slovakia
Jesudason Jeyaraj India
John Macdonald U.S.A.
Dieumeme Noelliste Jamaica
Brainerd Prince India
Wolfgang Schulze Germany
David Scott U.S.A.
Kwai Lin Stephens Mongolia
Andrzej Turkanik Austria
David Turnbull Australia
Colleen Yim India
Barnabas Chelliah India
Not at forum but contributed
Alfred Itiowe Nigeria
Esther J. Kibor Kenya
Michal Klus Czech Republic
Iman Iragaba Mushishi South Africa
- Chris Wright, Truth With a Mission: Towards a Missiological Hermeneutic of the Bible. (Leicester: RTSF, 2002). ↑
- Banks, Robert, Reenvisioning Theological Education: Exploring a Missional Alternative to Current Models, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1999), 131-132. ↑
- Padilla, C. René, “Introduction: An Ecclesiology for Integral Mission” in Tetsunao Yamamori and René Padilla, The Local Church, Agent of Transformation: An Ecclesiology for Integral Mission, (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Kairos 2004), 19. ↑
- The following is a summary of the characteristics as explained by C.R. Padilla 2004, 20-49. ↑
- C.R. Padilla 2004, 23, 27. ↑
- C.R. Padilla 2004, 20. ↑
- C.R. Padilla 2004, 43. ↑
- Conn Harvie M., “Theological Education and the Search for Excellence” in Westminster Theological Journal 41:2 (1979), 331. ↑
- Rowen, Samuel, “Missiology and the Coherence of Theological Education” in Duane Elmer and Lois McKinney, eds. With An Eye on the Future: Development and Mission in the 21st Century (Monrovia, CA.: MARC, 1996), 96. ↑
- S. Rowen 1996, 98-99. ↑
- Ferris, Robert, “The Role of Theology in Theological Education” in Duane Elmer and Lois McKinney eds. With An Eye on the Future: Development and Mission in the 21st Century (Monrovia, CA.: MARC, 1996), 103-05. ↑
- Farley, Edward. Theologia: The Fragmentation and Unity of Theological Education (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983) 43f. ↑
- S. Rowen 1996, 96f. ↑
- R. Banks 1999. ↑
- Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism, (Manila: O.M.F. Literature, 1975), 19. ↑
- Michael J. Wilkins, Following the Master: Discipleship in the Steps of Jesus, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, l992), 142. ↑
- Rick Yount, “Jesus the Master Teacher” in D. Eldridge ed. The Teaching Ministry of the Church (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 33. ↑
- R. Coleman, 1975, 28. ↑
- Allan Coppedge, The Biblical Principles of Discipleship, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, l989), 61. ↑
- R. Coleman 1975, 61, 63. ↑
- Juan Carlos Ortiz, Call to Discipleship, (New Jersey: Logos International, 1975), 67, 68. ↑
- David Watson, Discipleship, (Great Britain: Hodder and Stoughton, l981), 83. ↑
- D. Watson 1981, 50. ↑
- M.J. Wilkins 1992, 143. ↑
- D. Watson l981, 83. ↑
- R. Yount 1995, 35, 39. ↑
- Ted Engstrom, The Fine Art of Mentoring, (Tennessee: Wolgemuth and Hyatt l989), 20. ↑
- D. Eldridge 1995, 48. ↑
- D. Eldridge 1995, 57. ↑
- Business Council of Australia, Training Australians: A Better Way of Working: 27 case studies from leading Australian organizations of their best training strategies (Melbourne: Business Council of Australia, 1990), 10-11. ↑
- M. Stackhouse, Apologia: Contextualization, Globalization and Mission in Theological Education (Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans, 1988), 167. ↑
- W.D. Taylor, “From Iguassu to the reflective practitioners of the global family of Christ” in W.D. Taylor ed., Global Missiology for the 21stCentury: The Iguassu Dialogue (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2000), 3-12. ↑
- R. Kinsler,, ‘Mission and Context: the current debate about Contextualisation’ in Evangelical Missions Quarterly (January 1978), 23-29. ↑
- B. Nicholls, “Doing Theology in Context” in Evangelical Review of Theology (July 1987), 101- 106. ↑
- D. Gilliland, ed., The Word Among Us: Co ntextualizing Theology for Mission Today (Dallas: Word, 1989), 28. ↑
- D. Whiteman, “Contextualisation: The Theory, the Gap, the Challenge” in International Bulletin of Missionary Research (January 1997), 2-7. ↑
- J.R. Davies, “Biblical Precedence for Contextualisation” in Evangelical Review of Theology (1997), 197-214; D. Gilliland, ed., The Word Among Us, chs. 2 and 3; A. Glasser, “Help from an Unexpected Quarter or, the Old Testament and Contextualisation” in Missiology October 1979, 403-410; D.J. Hesselgrave, and E. Rommen, Contextualisation: Meanings, Methods and Model (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1989), ch.1. ↑
- Missiology is a difficult word to define. Alternative definitions are legion. See Michael D. Raiter, “Sent for this Purpose’ Mission and Missiology and their Search for Meaning” in Ripe for Harvest: Christian Mission in the NT and in Our World (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2000), 106-150, and T. Steffen, “Missiology’s Journey for Acceptance in the Educational World” in Missiology: An International Review 31:2 (April 2003), 131-153. ↑
- Steffen, 2003, 139ff. ↑
- It should also be noted that many immigrants did not take part in the US Census for fear of eviction (overcrowding in apartments), or because they are undocumented. ↑
- Research and surveys conducted by Religious Information Resources in City Scope Report – Twin Cities, 2003: Census Updates, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St Paul’s Pioneer Press, Operation World. 21st Century Edition, ed. Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk (Waynesboro: Paternoster, 2001), The Catholic Spirit, Cedar-Riverside Neighbourhood Action Plan, and a Directory of Non Profit Organizations in Minnesota (4th Edition, 2000). ↑