Faith Fellowship Witness Policy plan 2012-2016
Tabel of contents 1.
2. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
For the kingdom A permanent calling A challenging context The role of the church and the GZB Policy choices
5 5 6 8 9
3. I. II. III. IV.
Serving in the kingdom Church development Service Linking and learning Involvement
10 10 12 14 14
4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6
With and through partners Role of the GZB Partners overseas The church and the congregations in the Netherlands Sending mission workers Partnerships with Dutch organisations Financial Support
16 16 16 18
5. 5.1 5.2 5.3
Fundraising Position of the GZB Developments Goals for the coming years
20 20 20 21
18 19 19
6. Internal organisation 6.1 Development of the GZB 6.2 Financial goals
22 22 22
Results partner consultants Annex 1 Context analysis Annex 2 Program development
23 24 28 3
FORWORD You now have the policy plan of the GZB in your hands, written for the years 2012-2016. We are thankful that it has come thus far. After the past policy period, the executive organisation and the board have taken time to reflect and think about the work of mission in our times and context. This policy plan focuses on the major topics coming from this reflective process. It is not a detailed plan, which makes it hopefully better accessible to those who are interested in reading it. Faith, Fellowship and Witness are the three keywords of this new policy plan. In the following pages, you can read how this will be put into practice. Here, I would like to mention the new slogan which has been presented: Mission Connects. Through faith, we are bound to Christ; the crucified and the risen One. At the same time through the work of the Holy Spirit – we are also connected to each other. The Holy Spirit inspires fellowship, locally and also worldwide. We recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, called as we are to be witnesses of God’s great name. The GZB wants to be a learning organisation. This means that we want to implement this policy in close partnership with our partners overseas and in interlocution with the many local congregations in the Netherlands which support the mission work with gifts and prayers. We have refrained from supplementing this policy plan with annexes, not because the annexes in the last policy plan have lost their significance, but because we have come to the conclusion that a policy plan is not the right place to highlight the details of subtopics in the mission field. The chapter ‘Linking and Learning’ explicitly mentions our commitment to study different missiological themes together with the various partners involved. A policy plan is always meant to be a work plan as well. It is our heartfelt desire that this policy plan will pave the way for people to come to Christ; to be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (adapted from Eph. 3 : 18). On behalf of the board of the GZB, Rev. K. van Meijeren, Chairman
FOR THE KINGDOM For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3: 14-19)
2.1 A permanent calling
The Christian congregation – and thereby every Chris-
The GZB is a church-based mission organisa-
tian – has the task to be a witness of Jesus Christ and
tion within the Protestant Church
is therefore involved in spreading the Gospel through
in the Netherlands (PKN). Mission is essential
preaching and service, so that all nations will know,
for the congregation of Jesus Christ. Therefore
serve and worship God.
it is the task of the church to send people who testify of Jesus Christ as the Son of God into
the world. The Father sends the Son, the Son
As a mission organisation of the Protestant Church in
sends the Spirit and the Spirit sends the con-
the Netherlands, the GZB supports the church congre-
gregation (John 20: 21-23). The initiative comes
gations in carrying out the biblical task of spreading
from the Father and the congregations follow
the Gospel of God’s kingdom to the world.
in obedience. The GZB wants to be an instrument of the congregation in this missional movement.
The sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and the
People are also connected to each other,
tota Scriptura (all of Scripture) is crucial to the
united in Christ in one fellowship, locally and
reformed identity. The Bible is the source and
worldwide. In preaching and service, this fel-
norm of the vision and mission, the policy and
lowship bears witness to the Gospel. People
the implementation of the work of the GZB.
become living testimonies of Christ in their
Besides the sola Scriptura, the reformed con-
words and deeds. The GZB calls this the move-
fessions also stress sola gratia (only grace) and
ment of ‘Faith, Fellowship and Witness’. Here,
sola fide (only faith). This is the foundation of
God’s kingdom is beginning to take shape. It is
the work of the GZB.
God’s work, but He works through people.
God works His salvation through the pages of history and has promised to continue doing so until Christ’s second coming. Because of this, everything is put into the perspective of His kingdom: a realm that is now and is to come. Through sin, the world which God created has become a broken world. The consequences of this fundamental break between mankind and their Creator is visible in the rebellion against God, unbelief, injustice, oppression, poverty, disease and death. However, God did not abandon the world but formed a covenant with Israel in which He personally provided atonement. This was fully realized in the coming, suffering and dying of His Son Jesus Christ and His victory over death. Through Jesus Christ, God’s kingship over this world is restored and will finally be fulfilled according to God’s promise. Through judgement, the whole earth will be renewed on which all people, Israel and the nations, know God, and peace and justice will prevail. We live “in between”: now, after the cross and the resurrection, everything is characterized by the coming kingdom to which the Spirit leads us. Where the Holy Spirit reigns, God’s kingdom becomes visible in the reconciliation and renewal of sinful people despite opposition. Sinful people are brought to faith in Christ through the power of the Spirit and they rise in a new life with Him. This affects their whole existence: their relationship with God, with each other and with creation.
2.2 A challenging context The world in which the congregation is called to be Christ’s congregation is constantly changing. At this time, a number of different developments play a role. Globalisation Distances are bridged more easily and worldwide contacts increase. Electronic communication has changed the way worldwide contact is maintained. The West is no longer culturally and economically dominant. Migration flows change societies worldwide. Crises Climate change and environmental problems threaten humanity. The political situation in many countries is increasingly unstable, partly due to the food and water crises. The absolute poverty in the world is decreasing, but the gap between the rich and the poor remains just as large. Socio-cultural changes Globalization and urbanization change the way people think. Individualism increases and the collective value patterns change in character. Social connections are threatened. This results in big social problems, especially in the cities.
The Kingdom of God
2. The Kingship of God is global in nature
The concept of the Kingdom of God plays an increasingly
The Kingship of God refers to God’s authority over the
important role in missiology. Partially due to the worldwide
whole world and therefore also over all people (it is univer-
experience in the mission field, the primary focus on the
sal). According to Paul, it was God’s original intention that
words of the Gospel shifted to a more balanced focus on
all mankind would seek Him (Acts 17:27). Initially, Jesus
both words and deeds. This has stimulated thinking of mis-
only sends His disciples out in Israel (Matt. 10:5), but later
sion in terms of God’s kingdom and this is reflected in the
to the whole world (Mark 16:15), so that eventually every-
work of the GZB. The Kingdom of God has different aspects:
one will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. The GZB wants to serve in this area by moving people to faith and
1. The Kingship has authority
by equipping congregations to be witnesses of the Gospel
The Old Testament speaks of the Kingship of God and
emphasizes His authority and refers to God Himself. We see this in creation and in reconciliation. God is the Creator
3. The Kingship of God is comprehensive in nature
and gave man the task of ruling the earth (Gen. 1:28,29; Ps.
The Kingship of God points to the authority of God over
8) and of submitting to the commandments of God (Gen.
the whole world and therefore over all creation (holistic).
2:16). The earth is cursed (Gen. 3:17) because man did not
Jesus himself makes this visible, His work is all about the
recognize this authority. The God of creation is also the
reconciliation between God and man, but He also heals the
God of reconciliation. God took the initiative to heal the
sick, and delivers people from the devil. Matthew sum-
brokenness of this world and to atone for the sin of man.
marizes the work of Jesus by mentioning two activities:
This is manifested in the way he dealt with Israel, and in
teaching and healing (Matt. 4:13; 9:35-38). The preaching of
His Son Jesus Christ. Starting with Israel, Jesus Christ has
Jesus unites words and deeds. Both elements belong toge-
re-established the kingship, visible in His preaching (words)
ther. Churches in the South have pointed us to the unity of
and healing (deeds). The Kingdom of God was not yet there
Jesus’ work of redemption. The Gospel is about the whole
when Jesus left this world, but He sent His Spirit and gave
cosmos and the whole person.
man the task to witness of Him (Matt. 10:7; 24:14; Acts 1: 6-8). This is how God’s kingdom will come. In this way, His
The Great Commission urges mission workers to follow in
kingdom spreads from God’s chosen people through the
Jesus’ footsteps. The focus is on reconciliation between
rest of the world, to all nations (Luke 24:47). This sheds
God and man, and also on the whole cosmos. God is King
new light on the task which may seem burdensome or
over the whole cosmos and over the whole person. ‘Prea-
stressful. The Kingdom of God belongs to God and not to
ching’ and ‘service’ testify of God’s love, manifested in His
man, not to a church or to a mission organisation. It will
Son. In terms of the goal of the GZB: Faith is about recon-
surely come (Hab. 2:14) and all nations will praise God (Ps.
ciliation and living in the light of God. Fellowship refers to
67). This assurance lies in the kingship of God Himself. But
a congregation as a healing community that witnesses the
God also uses people. He gives each Christian, each congre-
Gospel in both words and deeds.
gation and therefore also the GZB the task to be a witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Phil. 2:10-11).
These developments affect churches and
2.3 The role of the church and the GZB
local congregations worldwide in the
In this fast changing world, the congregation and every belie-
ver is called to be involved in the missional movement which is characterized by the triad Faith, Fellowship and Witness.
Changing attitude towards religion
This is applicable to the congregations in the Netherlands
There is a growing interest in religions. On the
and worldwide. In all facets of its work, the GZB believes to
one hand, because of radicalization within
be called to contribute to the fulfilment of the calling of the
the different world religions, on the other
congregation. Within the various programmes, we would like
hand because the importance of religion is
to realize the following main goals:
increasingly recognized. There is (still) receptiveness to the Gospel, although we notice a
• The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God,
greater aversion to the exclusiveness of the
through which people come to faith in God. The Holy Spirit
Christian faith in particular, especially on our
convinces them, so that they believe that Jesus Christ is
Lord and the Son of God (Mark 1:1, 1 John 4:15).
Shifts in the global church
• Strengthening the fellowship with God and each other
It is possible that in 2025, about two-thirds
through which God’s kingdom is made visible. The congre-
of all Christians live in Africa, Asia and Latin
gation is the body of Christ in which all members form one
America. There is a strong growth among cha-
body, to glorify God and to build each other up (Rom. 12; 1
rismatic groups which attract especially the
Cor. 12; Eph. 4,5).
youth. The growth of the ‘prosperity gospel’ threatens the church.
• Witnessing the Gospel by proclaiming that in Jesus Christ, God’s kingdom has come near. Just as Jesus was sent, He
Changes in relationships between
sends His disciples as witnesses of God’s kingdom to the
churches and church traditions
ends of the earth and till the end of the world, trusting
There is a growing awareness that believers,
that God is with them (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1: 6-8).
and also churches, need each other. There is increasing openness for meeting up and
The work in Israel has a special place. Because Israel has its
working together. Sometimes there is little
own place in God’s outreach to this world, we do not refer
attention for developments in society and
to mission but instead to encounter with Israel. In this
there is the danger that churches retract into
encounter, we seek the dialogue with Messianic, religious
their own subculture. There is an increasing
and secular Jews. The keywords in this encounter are: serving
understanding for the need for integral mis-
– listening - witnessing. God goes His own way with Israel.
At the same time, we believe that Jesus is also the Messiah for the Jews. Through this, the encounter with Israel can
Weak church structures
not be non-committal. We want to bridge the gap between
Churches are often deeply rooted in the local
Jews and Christians and to support Messianic Jews in their
context, but structures can be weak and/or
extremely difficult position. The work within Israel is carried
largely dependent on others. In established
out in partnership with CIS (Centre for Israel Studies). The
churches, youth involvement decreases and
GZB also works with Palestinian Christians, and we hope
church abandonment increases. There is a
that the modest way in which we are involved will contribute
lack of well-trained pastors and preachers
and there is a growing gap between the
level of education of preachers and (young)
The way in which support is given to the missional calling of
the congregations is summarized in the following core values:
3. The GZB explicitly wants to invest in missi-
Because mission work is the work of the Holy Spirit, bearing
ological reflection and increased participa-
witness to Christâ€™s name can only happen through prayer.
tion in the ecclesiastical and public debate about mission. Reflection on these issues
will take place in close dialogue with the
The love of Christ compels us to share with others what we
partners. Mission from a clear reformed
identity has an important contribution to make to world mission.
Together Mission work is done together: with an involved support base
4. Network development on different levels:
and our partners overseas.
a. Exchange will be stimulated within our partner network.
vation of the responsibility of each one involved.
b. Partners will be stimulated to participate in relevant networks.
Cooperation takes shape in equality, with respect and preser
c. Relations with knowledge centres will be strengthened and they will be acti-
vely involved in the work in different
Mission work goes hand in hand with good stewardship and
responsibly dealing with Godâ€™s creation.
d. The GZB will reflect on the relationship with migrant churches in the Nether-
2.4 Policy choices
lands and actively search for possibili-
The GZB wants to serve in Godâ€™s work in the present-day
ties for dialogue and cooperation.
context of the world. In the coming policy period the following issues will be emphasized:
5. The number of possibilities for congregations in the Netherlands to get involved
1. The GZB needs to stress the content of its work and to
in mission work will be increased. More di-
make the added value clear to the congregations in the
verse ways of sending out mission workers
Netherlands. Therefore, it wants to focus more in its policy
will be developed. New possibilities will be
and working areas. The active presence will be brought
created to get involved in projects and to
back and be limited to a coherent package of themes and
develop partnerschip with congregations
regions. Decisions will be made about pioneer work in
elsewhere in the world.
closed countries and regions. 6. The GZB will continue to invest in streng2. The GZB develops programmes that can be carried out in
thening and extending the relationship
various countries/regions. Together with local partners tail-
with the support base. The GZB will keep
ored country programmes are developed based on a good
presenting itself as mission organisation
context analysis. Besides the attention for mission work in
for the congregations in the PKN rooted in
rural regions, there will be more emphasis on the work in
the reformed confessions.
the cities. Urban mission and the development of communities have to become elements in the various programmes. In all programmes it should be clear how people can be involved as bearers of the Gospel.
SERVING IN THE KINGDOM The missional movement of ‘Faith, Fellow-
• Linking and Learning: Lessons learnt
ship and Witness’ affects all congregations
within and beyond the organisation,
and all believers. The GZB supports Dutch
are translated into policy statements
congregations and partners in their involve-
and are used in the broader missiological
ment. Four main programmes are developed.
These programs demonstrate how the GZB, together with its partners, can contribute to
The GZB focuses on work elsewhere in the
the development of missional congregations
world, but at the same time fully recognizes
in which people are saved through faith in
that this work is also affecting the congre-
Christ and become His witnesses. Being mis-
gations in the Netherlands. Involving Dutch
sional is essential for the congregation and is
congregations in the worldwide movement
expressed in concern for those nearby and far
will be given special attention.
away. As a missional and therefore a witnessing congregation, the church and the local congregations are involved in:
• Involvement: Congregations become and remain aware of the worldwide missional calling and of the fact that mission work
• Preaching: driven by the desire to reach people with the Gospel, congregations are
is not one-way traffic. Congregations and Christians can learn from each other.
planted and supported. • Service: congregations show concern for
The challenges the GZB and its partners will
those in need, within the congregation
continue to work on in the coming policy
and in the community.
period are briefly discussed below. Tailored programmes will be developed for each
These two programmes are different, but they
complement and support each other.
I. CHURCH DEVELOPMENT Much can be learnt from each other by
serving together in the kingdom. A special
programme is set up in the coming policy
Where the Gospel is preached, God’s Spirit
period to enable us to learn from and with our
brings people to faith. They start to follow
partners and to pass this on to others.
Christ and they unite in congregations.
Motive Spreading the Gospel is an essential step in bringing people to the knowledge of Christ. Believers form communities, but often there is a lack of trained preachers, Bibles and other
• (National) churches support these activities by equipping people on different levels. • Congregations develop missionary activities in their own community.
materials (in their own language) that can
Through this, the missional awareness in the
help them grow in their faith. Congregations
congregation (including that of the leaders)
and churches are not and do not stay missio-
is enhanced and missionary activities become
nal automatically. Those in closed countries
need to be reached as well, even though this is difficult. The sometimes very small and
In closed countries, this means:
vulnerable congregations really need the sup-
• Team members have a clear vision on their
port of fellow Christians.
missional task and increasingly work together with local Christians.
Core of the programme Evangelism/Church planting How new congregations grow, depends on the context. In ‘closed countries’, the Gospel is
• Team members develop personal contacts with the target group. • Teams develop attractive and contextual evangelisation material.
spread in creative ways such as involvement
• The partner has a good relationship with
in social activities. Where possible, congrega-
the local authorities for the sake of its
tions are actively involved in evangelism and the planting of new congregations.
non-missionary activities. This contributes to a growing involvement of local Christians in evangelistic work and
to a growing number of non-Christians being
The training of leaders is of utmost importan-
reached with the Gospel. We hope that the
ce for the development of a congregation. This
non-missionary activities will be supported
includes training of church members (prea-
and respected by the local authorities and
ching, teaching, including Theological Educati-
there will be more openness for preaching
on by Extension, TEE), lay leaders and pastors.
Challenges for the future
Congregations grow more and more in living
Congregations are growing in faith and
up to their missional calling. Missional
fellowship with each other, and are looking
congregations are confessing congregations
for new possibilities to bear witness to the
in which the Word and the sacraments are
Gospel. In closed countries, Christians find
central. They are congregations with a Bibli-
creative ways to make the Gospel visible
cally-based church model in which everyone
and if possible audible. This is often done
is involved and the gifts of each individual
by teams in cooperation with international
are recognized and in which people care
organisations. These teams serve in planting
for each other. These congregations are
and empowering local (house) congregations,
embedded in the local culture and have a
in which people profess their faith, are con-
distinct local colour. The (national) chur-
nected to each other and get involved in their
ches contribute to the formation of these
community. This means:
congregations and have a contextualised
• Churches/congregations have a vision on
vision on this. This means:
their missional calling.
• Partners develop a realistic vision on
equipping congregations, adapted to their
own context. • Methods and materials to nurture and equip congregations are available. • Essential leaders are trained and equipped
Goal Christians care for people in need. Churches, congregations and individual believers all
(Theological Education by Extension, TEE,
have their own responsibility in giving to mar-
plays an important role here).
ginalized people an opportunity to develop
• Congregations are broadly equipped to live and act as confessing and missional
their gifts and talents and in contributing to a sustainable society.
congregations. Through this, the whole congregation is
nurtured and equipped to fulfil its calling as
Due to several causes (natural disasters,
a confessing and missional congregation. Ef-
political instability, violence, economical
fective, creative and contextualized methods
and technological underdevelopment) many
of equipping and nurturing congregations will
people live in extreme poverty. Because of
ongoing urbanization, slums around many big cities increase in size rendering ac-
companying social problems. Often human
Theological institutions focus their activities
actions are an important cause of poverty. It
on the church(es) they serve. They train prea-
is therefore not only about poverty, but also
chers and equip leaders in Servant leadership.
The focus is on the missional calling of the preachers and leaders. Equipping members of
Core of the programme
the congregation is essential for strengthe-
Mission is aimed at meeting the needs of the
ning the church. These trainings fit within the
whole person and wants to change the com-
local context and are also supported by local
munity positively (holistic and transforming).
congregations. This means:
The church itself and its local congregations
• Theological institutions have a clear vision
are responsible for diaconate in and by the
on the relationship with the churches
congregation. In many countries, churches
which is reflected in their policy.
and Christian organisations play an impor-
• Organisation development and strengthening of the local staff. • Development of a relevant and contextual curriculum. • The partner has become more financially independent. • The implementation of new training me-
tant role in the broader community. They fight poverty and injustice. This programme focuses mainly on the improvement of basic needs (especially basic health care and education). Although the scale of these projects is larger, the involvement of the local congregations remains crucial.
thods, such as e-learning. Through this, the cooperation between the
The need to take care of people becomes ur-
institutions and the churches will deepen,
gent when disasters occur. Local churches and
and will be anchored in its policy. We also
congregations cannot remain aloof. Besides
hope that this will increase the relevance and
providing direct support to people in need,
quality of trainings offered.
the church also has the task of opposing injustice in the community in general. Lobby and advocacy are therefore an important part of projects and programmes.
Diaconal projects are also carried out in closed countries. This makes it possible for mission workers to be there, but a good and professional execution of these projects remains a first requirement.
• The partner makes a relevant contribution in improving the well-being of the target group. • Training and capacity building of the local population and/or local organisations are an integral part of all programmes.
Challenges for the future Churches and congregations: Diaconate Partner churches and their congregations are called to take care of each other and have compassion for each other. In diaconal
• Local leaders of the congregations are actively involved in programmes. • The partner is involved in lobby and advocacy in order to enhance justice and righteousness in the community.
activities, the focus lies more and more on
Through this, partners will make more stra-
the whole person (holistic). Church members
tegic choices in their relief activities. These
acknowledge and practice this principle. This
activities contribute more effectively to the
well-being of the population.
• A holistic and transforming vision has been developed and translated into the
Together with a number of other organisati-
activities of the partner.
ons, the GZB will carry out larger programmes
• The partner has integrated this vision on
in the field of basic needs, including behavi-
diaconate into various forms of training.
oural change (especially relevant in comba-
• A growing number of churches/congrega-
ting violence against women and girls, HIV,
tions develop activities that focus on the
acceptance of the disabled etc.).
needs of those around them. Congregations as a whole become involved in
Churches: Emergency relief
helping people in need and churches stimu-
Humanitarian disasters challenge the church
late the diaconal involvement of their mem-
to become directly involved in relief acti-
bers. These activities become more relevant in
vities. Partners have to be prepared to act
the local context. By developing a clear vision,
adequately and be able to provide relevant
churches will be more committed in seeking
information in emergency situations. We
justice and peace.
hope that partners will participate in relevant relief networks .
Churches: Social calling (Inter)national organisations strengthen
and often contribute to the social calling of
Churches and partners are constantly develo-
churches. Churches are partners and ensure
ping and expanding their capacity to be able
that people who need help, receive help. They
to take responsibility more effectively and
are not ‘development organisations’, but have
efficiently. This means that:
their own responsibility. They are involved in
• Organisations have the capacity to
meeting the immediate needs of the people,
carry out technical, logistical and service-
and sometimes in fighting structural aspects
of poverty. In cooperation with Christian organisations, it is crucial to involve as many local churches and congregations as possible. The
• There is growth in the participation of the target group in planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects.
GZB has a number of partners who play an
• Partners are actively involved in various
important social role and who can carry out
networks and are able to share their
larger programmes. This means that:
experiences and lessons learnt.
This will equip partners to carry out planned
activities more efficiently and effectively,
• Participating in networks relevant for the
enabling them to receive support for their
work of the GZB and developing specific
work from sources outside the GZB.
policy on networking. • Facilitating and supporting networking
III. LINKING AND LEARNING
between partners and other organisations.
• Partners have their own networking policy
Learning from and sharing experiences with
which supports them to function opti-
each other play an important and inspiring
mally as a learning organisation.
role in the missional movement of ‘Faith, Fel-
lowship and Witness’.
• The GZB has developed a policy about the position and role of the Netherlands
Motive Mission is God’s work and can only become
in mission work, and has translated this policy in its work.
meaningful when people know they are called
The GZB is developing itself as an active
and sent out by God. We see this happening
partner and contributes to the reflection on
on all six continents. There is a global dialo-
present-day mission. Partners are motivated
gue going on between churches, believers
to actively participate in this. With partners
and organisations about the spreading of and
and commissioned mission workers, the GZB
living out of the Gospel. People with different
wants to develop itself into an organisation
experiences are connected more than ever in
with a passion for learning, among others
a globalizing world.
about the meaning of the Christian faith for society. We hope that our partners are open
Core of the programme
to this and actively highlight the role of the
Stories about God’s work in people’s lives and
church in society.
congregations are shared in Dutch congregations, among the partners and within the
GZB. The Bible forms the basis of this dialogue and we expect believers worldwide to be
able to learn from each other, to encourage
Mission connects. That is why, the relati-
each other and point out God’s great deeds.
onship between the congregations in the
The experiences of partners, congregations
Netherlands and the worldwide missional
and mission workers become visible in the
movement is so important. Congregations
programmes of the GZB.
and church members in the Netherlands have to become more aware of the fact that they
The GZB is involved in three areas:
are part of the worldwide kingdom of God.
Within this relationship, the Dutch congre-
• Relevant knowledge within the organisati-
gation also becomes a receiving party and
on and among partners is made available. • Reflection on certain themes is stimulated
this strengthens, broadens and deepens the support for mission work.
and the knowledge and experience gained are integrated in the way we work and are
shared with others.
Secularization, the rise of a relativistic cul-
• The partners are actively involved in the ‘Linking and Learning’ programme.
ture and individualization all threaten the basis of mission. Besides, the developments in
science threaten the broadly accepted biblical
a sending organisation only, but also as an
truths. Members of the congregation live in a
organisation that contributes to the mission
society in which they increasingly belong to
debate by focusing on a few specific themes
a minority. Sometimes, this leads to isola-
in its information and awareness campaigns.
tion and holding on to traditions, but on the other hand also to assimilation. The number
Mission workers are role models for members
of organisations that are involved in mission
of the congregation, especially the youth.
and development work has grown strongly.
People who feel called to the mission field will
Moreover, there is a growing number of local
be supported in their reflection and decision-
initiatives. In a short period of time, the world
has become a global village due to the advancement in technology. Nevertheless, mission
This means involvement at three levels:
is still something far from the hearts of many
• The support base is aware of the meaning and the importance of church-based
Core of the programme The emphasis on the congregation, the message of the reformed confessions and
mission. • They are also aware that mission includes mutuality.
the biblical unity of preaching and service,
Involvement of members and donors:
still bears fruit. It leads to the growth of the
• More members are actually involved in
worldwide community of the church and it is a blessing for the congregations in the Netherlands. This is a reciprocal relationship:
mission as a unity of word and deed. • More youth want to participate in church-based mission work.
the church in the Netherlands also learns
Involvement of the congregations:
from Christians from other traditions. Today,
• More congregations are aware that they
mission can be brought close to the people.
are part of the worldwide church and they
Through new and social media, contacts can
see the value of contact with believers
be easily maintained and members of the
congregation can be kept updated. The terms Faith, Fellowship and Witness become dyna-
• More congregations are involved in mission work.
mic and come to life. This touches the whole congregation, including the youth. The congregation needs to become aware that mission also means ‘learning from each other’. Brothers and sisters living far away can teach us the reality of living in a marginalized situation, in which God’s Spirit gives direction. It is an encouragement for us to see the growth of the church in other parts of the world. On the other hand, we can share the pressure Christians experience in some countries.
Challenges for the future The image of the GZB in the Netherlands will be strengthened. It should not be known as
WITH AND THROUGH PARTNERS 4.1 Role of the GZB
history in their country or region. Their pre-
As an executive organisation within the Pro-
sence is permanent even in times of danger.
testant Church in the Netherlands, the GZB
A long relationship of trust paves the way for
is closely connected with a large number of
a mutual learning process.
congregations in the Netherlands. Many congregations are supported in living out their
Basic principles for cooperation with our
missional calling. Their involvement in mission
is strengthened, and relationships are built
• The partners are independent organisa-
between them and the worldwide church.
tions/churches with their own vision and mission which closely matches that of
4.2 Partners overseas Partner organisations are supported, each
the GZB. • There is a recognizable similarity in the
bringing its own gifts and talents. Activities
confessions of faith of the partner church
are executed in cooperation with national
and the congregations in the Netherlands.
churches with a similar mission and vision. In some cases, when cooperation with the church is hard, cooperation with local congregations is possible. The contacts with these
• The partners are strongly involved with the local population and are firmly anchored in the local community. • The relationship with the partner is ge-
congregations are used to involve the church
nerally long-lasting and based on mutual
as a whole in the missional movement.
trust and respect. However, the way in which a relationship develops is open
In certain cases, other partners are involved in
programmes, such as (interdenominational) theological training institutions, Christian re-
Goals and methods are agreed upon and
lief organisations and mission organisations.
tailored to local contexts. Policy can become
In regions without a partner organisation, a
more focused through conversations and
local organisation will be set up.
evaluations. The cooperation in the different programmes will be frequently evaluated in
The partners have a strong relationship with
order to formulate new goals for the next
the target group. Churches often have a long
The GZB plays a supporting role in the imple-
close partnership. In the course of time, the
mentation of this policy. People and resour-
relationship changes from being a supporter
ces, made available by congregations, are pas-
to being a partner in dialogue.
sed on to partner organisations. Sometimes mediation is offered in seeking financial sup-
Together with its partners, the GZB wants
port from other donors. Partners also receive
to participate in the worldwide missional
support to strengthen their activities.
dialogue because she recognises the value of questioning and being questioned in relati-
A partner network is being developed in
onship with others and because she believes
which financially bigger projects can be im-
that churches and organisations worldwide
plemented. Expertise in the field of capacity
are given to each other to work together in
building will be developed in the coming
the missional calling.
period. During disasters, partners are actively supported in organising emergency aid.
In the coming policy period, partner relations will be evaluated. This includes topics like
Financial support often creates financial
information-sharing, communication and
dependence, resulting in inequality which can
degree of partnership. A format will be deve-
in turn undermine the relationship. The aim is
loped which shows how these relations take
to build relationships which go beyond finan-
shape, can be deepened, and which role joint
cial support. Working closely together on the
dialogue and mutual reflection can play here.
biblical commission for mission can lead to a
4.3 The church and the congregations in the Netherlands
Within the partner network, there is a need
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands has
mission workers are involved in the projects
acknowledged the GZB as a mission orga-
and programmes of the GZB, sometimes
nisation. It is called, on the basis of its own
in cooperation with other organisations.
tradition, to discuss mission and relief work
Together with the partners, workplaces are
with others, such as “Kerk in Actie” (Church in
defined which contribute to the missional
Action). The GZB wants to be involved in the
movement. There are several possibilities:
broader missional debate, contributing to the
• Short visits within the framework of the
dialogue on current missiological themes. Na-
for personnel from the Netherlands. These
‘Partners in Mission’ programme
turally, support base and (returned) mission
• Internships and short-term missions
workers will be involved in this.
• Expert missions, guest teachers • Long-term missions
The GZB can have great significance for the congregations in the Netherlands. It has an
In principle, a mission worker is sent out for
extensive international partner network
a limited period of time. After thorough pre-
through which a lot of experience has been
paration, the mission workers fulfil the tasks
gained in planting and nurturing churches,
agreed upon, working towards the goal of
the training of local leaders, diaconal pro-
transferring these tasks to local people. Mis-
grammes, relief work etc. This knowledge,
sion workers are sent out for three consecu-
summarized in the four main programmes
tive periods of two years. Incidentally this can
(described in chapter 4), is available for
vary, for example due to the family situation
congregations in the Netherlands. In this way,
of the mission worker or the local situation.
they can become involved in mission work
The mission workers are employed by the lo-
through projects and the sending of mission
cal partner organisations and are accountable
workers. The GZB monitors spending, sup-
to the partner organisation and the GZB.
ports mission workers and together with its partners is accountable for the work to the
Mission workers can be connected to se-
veral congregations as ‘partners in mission’. Among the Dutch congregations as well as
In the execution of the main programme
the overseas partners, a desire is felt for
‘Involvement’, we closely cooperate with the
involvement in various types of mission work.
HGJB and the IZB . With both organisations
The final commissioning of a mission worker
we will cooperate in the development of pro-
depends on the outcome of the fundraising
grammes, aiming at mission awareness among
efforts. The sending congregation is asked to
congregations, especially targeting the youth.
be responsible for one-third of the mission worker’s financial support. There is a strong
4.4 Sending mission workers
relationship between the sending congrega-
The GZB recruits people from PKN congregati-
tion and its mission worker, but the mission
ons. They are subsequently sent out by such a
worker also invests in the relationship with
congregation. Recruiting people is an ongoing
other partnering congregations.
process. People who feel called are guided in
their search for a ministry in God’s kingdom.
Support can also be given to a congregation
Together with its partners the GZB develops
if their missionary is sent out by another
opportunities in which they can fulfil their
organisation. In that case, the GZB does
calling to serve in the kingdom of God.
not give financial support, but supports the
congregation in the recruiting, selecting and
preference for specific projects. However,
(if necessary) coaching process. Hereby, the
they have to fit within the policy plan of the
quality of the commissioning is safeguarded
partner organisation and there has to be
and it also gives the assurance that the mis-
enough local expertise to carry out the pro-
sion is well-organized.
ject in a responsible way.
4.5 Partnerships with Dutch organisations
In the Netherlands, there is a need for small
Sending missionaries in cooperation with
the growing contact with mission workers,
partner organisations is possible as long as
this is likely to increase. Projects initiated by
certain requirements are met and formulated
mission workers also need to be in line with
in an agreement with the involved Dutch
the policy of the partner organisation. The
partner. A home-congregation within the PKN
GZB seeks a balance in the division of funds
is a prerequisite in this process.
between its mission workers and the funding
projects which appeal to people. Because of
of projects. At the moment, the aim is a diviWith a limited number of Dutch partners, a
sion of 60%- 40% respectively.
more strategic form of cooperation is pursued, in which the work in the mission field is carried out together. In this cooperation, agreements are made about the content of the work, and the coaching of people in the field. A mission in partnership is only possible if a congregation takes the responsibility to cover two-thirds of the budget for a period of 4 years. This can (repeatedly) be extended for a period of 2 years, if the congregation agrees. The GZB wants equal working conditions for GZB mission workers and workers sent out by partner organisations regarding â€˜the Dutch partâ€™ of the contract. However, differences exist in the staffing requirements concerning residence and salary for the two types of mission workers when working overseas.
4.6 Financial Support Within the four main programmes, partners develop projects which stimulate the missional movement and make Godâ€™s kingdom visible in this world. Requests for financial project support need to meet the criteria agreed upon with regard to submission of the report and accountability. Within one programme, multiple-year projects can be supported as well. Content-wise, there is no
FUNDRAISING 5.1 Position of the GZB As a church-based organisation, the GZB has a special position among the many charitable organisations. Some of the Protestant congregations choose the GZB as their mission organisation. The church council is responsible for mission work and provides the financial resources. These funds are raised through offerings and special fundraising activities. The church council appoints a mission committee to coordinate these activities. The mission committee can make use of the knowledge and materials available within the GZB. Individuals can become members of the GZB as well. Individual church members support the mission work through gifts, contributions, inheritances and bequests.
5.2 Developments Several important developments regarding fundraising: â€˘ There is a decrease in membership within many PKN congregations. Church attendance is on the decline, resulting in a decrease in income from church offerings. â€˘ The Netherlands has an increasingly greying population which is reflected in the GZB membership database. The number of members is slowly decreasing, the average age of a member is rising and the growth of young members is limited. â€˘ People are less inclined to donate to general charities and large organisations.
They prefer to donate to a specific charity
popular nowadays. There is willingness to
with local impact.
support mission work, but for a limited period
• The quick developments in social media
of time. Voluntary donations are therefore
offer new opportunities to involve people
better geared to the wishes of supporters.
directly in mission work. This is especially
On the other hand, as an association the GZB
applicable to young people, who use social
requires membership. The GZB offers both
media on a daily basis.
options to supporters.
• It is getting more an more accepted to bequeath to charity. This is some-
Good cooperation with local mission commit-
thing charity organisations are actively
tees must lead to an increase in the number
of individual donors. Information about the possibilities of bequeathing will be provided.
5.3 Goals for the coming years
A campaign will be developed and individual
guidance will be offered.
As part of the PKN, the GZB together with ‘Church in Action’, is fully involved in the dia-
conate and strives to strengthen and expand
Over the years, good relations have been built
the PKN fundraising programme for diaconal
up with various foundations and trust funds.
projects “Listening in Service”. In terms of
Several projects are financed with their help.
fundraising, the GZB also cooperates with
In the coming years this will be continued
other organisations within the Church, e.g. in
and possibly expanded. Furthermore, afflu-
the biennial diaconal project with the HGJB.
ent members or donors will be approached to donate to mission work.
The Congregation The success of fundraising depends on the
image of an organisation. The GZB will clearly
It is known that the average gift giver decrea-
and distinctly position itself as a mission
ses their church offerings last. Nevertheless,
organisation which offers congregations
a continuous effort is required to maintain
quality in all aspects of mission work over-
the level of revenues. The proclamation of
seas. In order to involve congregations more
the Gospel is worth the offerings. The coming
directly in the work, several instruments will
years growth in income is aimed for. The
be developed. The direct support of mission
growth that is visible in direct involvement
work through a mission worker, whether or
in mission work shows that this ambition is
not commissioned from the own congrega-
not unfounded. That is why, in fundraising
tion, is essential in this process. Fundraising
the emphasis will be placed on direct involve-
among congregations will emphasize the pos-
ment. The aim is an annual income growth of
sibility to support missionaries directly. The
5 percent from congregations and individual
increased financial support required to realise
the sending of a worker, matches the desire to donate to specific causes. Mission committees and missionary support teams are provided with knowledge and good materials to raise funds. The Members (of the congregation) Membership is a form of support that is less
INTERNAL ORGANISATION 6.1 Development of the GZB
6.2 Financial goals
In the coming policy period, changes initiated in the structure
There is a fixed budgeting system for the
of the board and the executive organisation will be further
allocation of resources. The budget is drawn
defined and tailored to the more programmatic approach of
up after consulting partner organisations and
working. Both the structure and the capacity of the organisa-
mission workers. Annually, agreements are
tion will be worked on. The following goals have been set for
made on the division of resources over the
the coming period:
various programmes and regions. In annual
• The organisation is able to react fast and adequately
country plans, it is made clear which resour-
in its support to partners in emergency situations.
ces (financial and personnel) are needed.
• There is a well-functioning PME-system, providing insight into the realisation of the goals. • Partners can be advised and coached in the process of capacity building. • The experience gained and the lessons learnt will be shared with others.
90% of the budget will be spent on the objectives, of which over 75% is aimed at work overseas. Reducing the costs of the organisation is aimed for. The following standards apply in the coming policy period:
As a professional and transparent organisation, the GZB is
a. Management and administration
accountable not only to its members, the congregations and
the general synod of the Protestant Church, but also to its
b. Costs of fundraising
partners overseas. Procedures and internal systems such as
relations management, project management, internal control
c. Total costs of the executive organisation
and risk policy, will be improved. To achieve this, the new soft-
max. 4.5% of expenditure max. 5.5% of expenditure max. 20% of expenditure
ware programme Charibase will be further developed, providing more insight into expenses and achieved results.
Expenses and core figures are compared with similar organisations (benchmarking). Based
The GZB works according to a fixed policy cycle which includes
on these findings, an annual report is pre-
the current multi-annual plan. The multi-annual policy plan
sented to the board. To ensure continuity, a
is drawn up after consulting employees and partner organi-
reserve is kept. Its size is proportional to the
sations. The implementation is monitored and an interim
estimated risks of the organisation.
evaluation takes place after 3 years. Obviously, reviewing and tightening the policy can take place whenever necessary.
Results partner consultants Annex 1
24 More integration of African countries, growing contact between churches in different countries.
The West is losing the dominant position in het world.
Tribalism and ethnicity, corruption and therefore loss of trust by donor communities. Politicians misuse the churches. Poverty trap, including lack of high-quality education and weak health system.
Growing political instability, also because of the food- and water crisis.
Unsolved poverty problem.
Climate change and environmental problems.
GZB policy paper
New forms of communication and new media available: especially internet and e-learning.
More opportunities to travel/ to communicate.
Migration changes society everywhere.
GZB policy paper
Urbanisation/migration (due to poverty)
The Diaspora gives opportunities for the Gospel.
(New) media create threats and also opportunities for the Gospel.
Growing mobility of the people changes Europe.
Stress on concepts as freedom, relativity of the truth, human rights. Growing impact of individualism and western lifestyle (mass media). People still live as a community, but the extended family is changing due to economic-social developments. Gender issues: abuse of women, genderbased violence.
Globalisation and urbanisation changes the worldview of the people. Growing individualism.
Social cohesion is threatened.
Growing social problems, esp. In the cities.
Freedom of religion and worship. The church is present in the whole country and well-established. Growth of Islam: Very provocative towards Christianity, also through education and material support. In most cases there is still openness to the Gospel.
Growing interest in the important role of religion in society.
Radicalisation in different world religions.
Still an openness for the Gospel.
Aversion in the west towards the exclusiveness of Christian faith.
GZB policy paper
Attitude towards religion
GZB policy paper
Social and cultural changes
Openness to the Gospel in many countries (fertile soil), in Indonesia due to the concepts of tolerance and harmony.
Growing radicalism in society.
General respect for Christians: lifestyle, care, education and health services.
Loss of social structures
Search for cultural identity: revival of traditional beliefs. Growing individualism.
growing openness for religiosity. Itâ€™s not possible to make the ultimate claim in the West.
Growing interest in religion: You are more credible now if you say â€œChrist is the only wayâ€?. Students say: the truth is not everywhere.
Encounter with Islam.
Attitude to religion differs from country to country.
Growing awareness of social problems e.g. the position of children, youth.
Lack of social cohesion. Status very important
intellectualism in former communist Eastern Europe.
26 Growing Pentecostalism. Probably because of the lack of a sound African theology. Growth of ‘prosperity gospel’ and liberal theology.
The majority of the Christians lives in non- western countries.
Strong growth in charismatic movements, esp. among the youth.
‘Growing prosperity gospel’ endangers the church.
Africa consultation Growing unity of the church in times of crises (incl. poverty), more cooperation between churches. Role of the church among the poor (services). Lots of opportunities for partnership with other organisations. The church is widely respected. The Bible is available in many local languages. Growing recognition of the African world view as closer to the biblical view than the view of the West.
GZB policy paper
Growing awareness that churches and believers need to cooperate with each other.
Sometimes to little attention for the social issues.
Increasing understanding of the need for integral mission.
Changes in relationships between churches and traditions
Africa consultation Still mission workers seen as part of the colonial powers. There is suspicion about the agenda.
GZB policy paper
Changes in worldwide Christianity
Lack of unity among churches/ denominations.
Growing influence of ‘prosperity gospel’.
Growth of extreme charismatism/Pentecostalism, but also of sects like Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormons.
Church is focussing on the poor but also at the rich people.
Partnership and cooperation between historical and evangelical churches.
Growing pentacostalism and charismatic groups, esp attracting the youth.
Role of Christians from abroad.
• Conflict between cultural beliefs and Christian ethics: people still judge teachings of the church by their cultural beliefs, including witchcraft and polygamy. • Do we reach the people as a whole, including the youth? • The impact of hiv/aids is still affecting the church: pastors and leadership. Stigma is high, ARVs available. • NGOs, even Christian organisations, refuse the use of the word ‘church’, due to dependency on government funding (MFS). This creates a difference between church and social work. Brings dualism in the church: focus is on physical OR spiritual needs. Secularisation is growing: young people are still involved. The majority of the congregation are women. Loss of youth from the church is ‘the big elephant coming to our churches’. Nominal Christianity: lack of discipleship.
Churches are often deeply rooted in the local context, but structures are not always effective.
In established churches the involvement of the youth is decreasing.
Lack of well trained pastors and preachers. Possibilities for training available. Still Growing gap between the level of educalack of trained and competent leadership tion of pastors and members. in the church: quality of pasturing and preaching is weak. Sometimes lack of commitment among pastors.
GZB policy paper
Lack of training among church leadership.
Influence of foreign missionary agencies and individuals. Development of Christian subculture: creating walls.
Lack of training pastors/lay: How to preach the Gospel that let people experience Christ? Lack of ability to talk about your faith.
The line of secularism/ enlightenment seems to divide Europe.
Churches are young and dynamic (Albania) – need experience and learning – others belong to the oldest ones.
Through this, the missional awareness in the congregation (including that of the leaders) is raised and missional activities become more effective.
Challenges • More vision is needed on mission and church planting (criteria, strategies, the role of ‘pastors’, evangelists, support etc.). At the moment two main strategies: a. Reaching out to new areas (if there are no biblical churches, if people are unreached by the own church, if there are no Christians). b. Dividing congregations: need to divide in order to be effectively served (manageable by one pastor) • How to sensitise/mobilise existing churches to become a missional church. • It should be part of the training of pastors. Need for training of congregations on all levels. • Theological reflection on mission, including issues like polygamy and syncretism, independent churches. • Clarity on the area where you want to plant (rural/urban). • Clarity about the approach: use of evangelism/cell groups; care for the ‘new church’ by an evangelist/neighbouring pastor/mature Christians; establishment of an independent congregation.
Church planting: it is better to speak about establishing new congregations. Mostly focussing on the un-churched, not the unreached. It is a responsibility of the whole church/congregation.
Church planting depends on the context. Where possible, congregations are from the start involved in the planting of new congregations. Congregations growing in their faith look for new possibilities to witness to others.
Challenges • Churches have a vision on their missional calling. • (National) churches support these activities by equipping people spiritually on different levels. • Congregations develop missional activities in their own community.
GZB policy paper
Programme “Church development”
Challenges • Create awareness and involvement of the whole church to reach out (not only professionals). There is a need to establish missionary congregations right from the start: attitude. • Cooperation with other churches: common strategy for mission. • Building new congregations by networking: everybody is a missionary • Need for training (including TEE) • Use the season
Contextualize the strategy: look for local possibilities. Church planting should focus on unreached areas. Do not focus on the own denominations, but focus on the Kingdom and be open towards others (not building walls but bridges). New churches should be cross-cultural, not ethnic.
Challenges • vision development in churches: type of churches to plant, culturally adapted and based on discipleship (more than on models/ formal structures) (planned) process related to movements of church members. • CP is a first step followed by church development and discipleship. • requires called and equipped local people willing to serve and have godly lives. people. • support from abroad is possible, but requires long term commitment. • support structures needed to support CP: Supervision, teaching, material development. • social projects to strengthen the position of the church.
‘Church planting’ is not a biblical term. Focus on support of the 3G movement in new area’s or among unreached groups. Goal: independent and involved in their own church planting project. Should be cultural appropriate, not necessarily copying existing structures.
Challenges • Partners develop a realistic vision on equipping congregations, adapted to their own context. • Methods and material for equipping and nurturing congregations are available. • Essential leaders are trained and equipped (TEE-work plays an important role here). • Congregations are broadly equipped to be professing and missional congregations. Through this, it becomes possible to reach the whole congregation and to strengthen it in being a professing and missional congregation. Effective, creative and contextualized methods of equipping and nurturing congregations will be developed.
In order for a congregation to develop, the training of church leaders is of utmost importance. This includes training of church members, lay leaders and pastors.
Church development and ‘capacity building’ bring in NGO mentality. We prefer ‘church maturity’ (Col.1: 28) and ‘nurturing the church to growth’. It is a process (Eph.4: 11-18).
A mature church Congregations become missional congregations. They confess their faith, and Word and sacraments are central. They have a Biblically-based church model in which everyone is involved and the gifts of each individual are recognized and in which people care for each other. They are embedded in the local culture and have a distinct local colour. The national churches contribute to the forming of these congregations and have a contextdependent vision on this.
Challenges • Everybody should be trained according to their gifts/roles and be supported to use their gifts. Pastors should be ‘trainers of trainers’/vision carriers • good/relevant curriculum, incl. TEE (part of pastor training). • Day-to-day involvement (discipleship): bible study groups/ alpha courses. • Create an atmosphere of belonging. • Different models in different contexts: willingness to experiment in the church • Give room to the Spirit. • Focus on the youth: vision development -> different approaches for specific groups; create sense of belonging. o Development of material/curriculum. o Train youth leaders/youth pastors. • Training of parents in religious education.
A mature church Aim: living up to the fullness of Christ. The church is an organism but has an enabling structure (organisation). To keep the balance requires serving leadership. Focus being the symbol of the Kingdom of God. Unity in diversity. • It is a family, shows mutual love. • It must be contextualized and biblical (=Christ-centred) in order to be relevant. • Part of the society where it serves. • It is constantly in a process of renewal. • Accountability/good stewardship • It has a proper infrastructure: building, premises are clean and attractive.
GZB policy paper
Issue of ‘sheep stealing’ • It is not the aim, the focus is on people without church affiliation • We need to respect each other. Build relationships with other churches. • We need a kingdom perspective, not a focus on our own denomination. Need to focus on non-Christians. • Improve the services of the church. People have their spiritual needs and they should be provided for. They make their own choices (people are not owned by the church).
Challenges • Strategy development: special groups (youth leaders, elderly) • We have to keep it a spiritual process: it starts with prayer and a personal relationship with God. • Training and exchange: we have to learn from each other
A mature church • Focused on God: reflecting God’s character as the body of Christ. Discipleship! • A relevant structure and procedures in the church. • Committed leadership, also empowered and equipped for their task • Responsible for the development of their own leaders. • A mature church develops relationships with other churches: networking, able to correct each other and prophetic.
Challenges • discipleship training is essential: • teaching the basics of Christianity • in depth training • contextualised local material for training and worship
• balance between structure and movement (model of the family). • Appropriate leadership, producing own leaders. • conveying the gospel to the new generation and others • Is also diaconal: out of fellowship takes care of each other
A mature church church development is spiritual in nature (understanding faith, Bible and life): discipleship. Its also contextual: no blueprints. Requires in different phases different types of leadership.
Special issues from the consultations:
Through this, the cooperation between the institutions and the churches will deepen and will be anchored in its policy. We also hope that this will increase the relevance and quality of trainings offered.
• Too much focus on university model, focus on the church! • Continuous education is needed. Keep pastor motivated and committed (increase responsibility of the congregation).
Challenges • Need for improvement of the quality of training. Revising the curriculum. In China, training of the younger leaders is needed, they train the people at home. • Staff of TEE (Nepal) need training in development of material. • Translation of material is needed for training of local people (small minorities). • Attitude of trainers is important. Integrate knowledge, skills and attitude.
Sustainability of theological training institutes (Africa consultation) a. Start a platform about sustainability and African theology. b. Not only look for increase of income, also manage the costs. E.g. is the church able to afford the growing costs of highly improved training? c. Scholarships: keep students related to the local church that cares for them and looks after their practical work, and is involved in the recruitment of students. d. Need for fundraising: institutes will never be sustainable from the fees of students. We have to learn from each other. e. Income-generating project for institutions? f. Create a good name by providing quality. Important role of the alumni. g. Exchange visits between colleges: leadership, students etc. We need empowerment. h. Clear view on the church base of an institute is necessary: interdenominational, non- or denominational? Who is in charge of the curriculum? The institute or the church?
Challenges • Relationship with the congregations is strengthened. • Congregations are involved in screening (clear criteria) and evaluation of students (attitude). • Need for ‘bonding’ of students to serve a church for a certain period. • An African curriculum (based on the needs of the local church, e.g. witchcraft, practical issues like management. • Within the institution also focus on spiritual attitude and skills • Development of teaching skills for the pastor, • Key: serving leadership developed by mentoring.
Theological institutions focus on the church which they serve. They train preachers and equip leaders to serve. The focus is on the missional calling of preachers and leaders. Equipping members is essential to strengthen the church. These trainings fit within the local context and are supported by local congregations.
Challenges • Theological institutions have a clear vision on the relationship with the churches which is reflected in their policy. • Developing the organisation and strengthening the local staff. • The development of a relevant and contextual curriculum. • The partner has become more financially independent. • The implementation of new methods of training, such as e-learning.
Asia consultation Some trainings focus on the local church, others on formal training (pastors). Local churches can train their own leaders and may partner with educational institutions. Training of trainers, interactive education, discipleship training relevant for the context. Focus point for training is the Kingdom: has a local dimension but also a more (inter)national one! Training should fit within the local context, this is the starting point of all trainings.
Africa consultation Theological institutions need a strong relationship with congregations/synod. They must become more effective and helpful to the church to become mature. The focus is on theological training: pastor, missiology, theological reflection etc. Not only for ordained ministers, also diploma courses etc. They must be needdriven. It is important to strengthen the relationship with other training programmes in the churches.
GZB policy paper
Challenges 1. Developing leadership. Include in curriculum for students relevant skills, like: gardening, protection from polluted water, planting trees (health and sanitation/environment) and lobby skills 2. Deal with the burden on a pastor by sharing with others. 3. Vision development about the role of the church. 4. Poverty is also a mindset, people need to be transformed to see their own powers. This needs teaching and discipleship. 5. Churches become too much involved in social issues and forget about preaching the Bible. We need to keep the balance. 6. Coordination is needed between different diaconal programmes, also with local churches!
In Africa, every church leader is a community leader (teacher, judge, advocate of the community). There is no dualism! Providing for the needy is not only about money/food etc, but also about care/counsel. The church speaks against evil, social injustice and economic injustice.
Partner churches and congregations take care of each other and have compassion for each other. This requires a focus on the whole person (holistic). Church members acknowledge and practice this principle.
Challenges • A holistic and transforming vision has been developed and translated into the activities of the partner. • The partner has integrated this vision on diaconate into various forms of training. • A growing number of churches develop activities that focus on the needs of those around them. Congregations in all sections become involved in helping people in need and churches stimulate their members’ diaconal involvement. These activities become more relevant in the local context. Through the development of a clear vision, churches will be more committed in seeking justice and peace.
GZB policy paper
Challenges • To strengthen the role of the church, especially the local teaching on the diaconal task of the church/believers. • Support teaching etc., but not by developing institutionalized activities within the church. • Not so much development projects, more by gifts. They stress grace, prayer, do not create expectations etc. • Keep it small: small initiatives to show love.
Diaconal work is part of a missionary congregation. It is the responsibility of every individual Christian and congregation: requires local ownership of all members. Not institutionalized/more or less spontaneous. It is supported by church leadership (deacons).
We have to focus on: • Teaching • Development and use of relevant models
Diaconal work is a part of the Christian calling. Diaconal work is closely related to fellowship and is more than give food.
32 Africa consultation Clear distinction is needed between church and NGO. They should not take over the responsibilities of the church. Christian organisations like to call themselves para-church: not parallel to the church, but an institution that supports the church as the body of Christ. They complement the work of the church, work with the church. Key word: facilitation. Implementation only in areas the church cannot do. A strong relationship with the local context is needed (prevent NGOs from pursuing their own agenda!). Challenges • Improve implementation of NGOs on society level: relief/ education/health. If the church is too much involved, it may even kill the church. • Develop good relationships between NGOs – church. This requires mature churches and a serving attitude of NGOs. • Churches need to answer the needs in society. Many times this the task of the government. Taking the role of the government might change the focus of the church. • We need to be complementary. As a church we have to work from our own focus are. In this way, you contribute to the whole. • Key question: if you are involved, what do you contribute to ‘your • hospital/schools’? And what is this institution contributing to your mission? Western influence • The role of the NGOs: supporting certain groups creates jealousy. Start with listening to the community and follow the flow of the existing mechanisms. Western NGOs operate to much from the viewpoint of dualism.
GZB policy paper
Churches are strengthened in their social calling by (inter)national organisations. Churches are partners and ensure that people who need help, receive help. They are involved in meeting the immediate needs of the people, and sometimes in fighting structural aspects of poverty. In the cooperation with Christian organisations their emphasis lies on involving as many local churches and congregations as possible. The GZB has a number of partners who play an important social role and who can carry out larger programs.
Challenges • The partner makes a relevant contribution in improving the well-being of the target group. • Training and capacity building of the local population and/or local organisations are an integral part of the programmes. • Local leaders in the congregations are actively involved in programmes. • The partner is involved in lobby and advocacy in order to encourage justice and righteousness in the community. Through this, partners will make strategic choices in their relief activities. This contributes effectively to the well-being of the population.
• Short-term missionaries: focussing on the material needs of the people/orphanages. No linkage with the churches. This enhances the dualism of the West. No diaconal work without pronouncing the name of Christ!
Challenges • Local churches should not be used by NGOs as project organisation (also from within: projects as job creation). • NGO/private initiatives may have negative impacts on the local church, including brain drain. • Real participation of churches/local people is needed in programme design. • Develop mature partnerships: open discussion, questioning on both sides.
Clear vision needed on NGOs and church foundations. The latter are institutionalized activities of a church and mostly interdenominational. They have a clear relationship with the church: it contributes to development of the churches. Christian NGOs: • Focus should be on the Kingdom: incl. evangelism in closed countries or new areas. • Christian values necessary. All workers have to accept these, all workers or majority should be committed Christians. • Internal discipline and clear policies and structures needed to ensure that the NGO stays close to its mission.
European consultation Not applicable for the situation of the partner churches in Europe.
Relationship between the church and secular NGOs (Africa consultation) 1. Nearly all churches work together with secular NGOs. Because of their role in the community and pressure from the government, the church cannot refuse. This affects the church negatively: I Recruitment of staff: non-Christians/Muslims are working within the churches II The culture of the staff is the culture of the big cities (high salaries/lifestyle) III Values of those NGOs differ from Christian values (integrity, tendering, corruption) 2. Donor network: relationships with churches are shared in a donor community and relationships are sometimes handed over to other donors. 3. Effects on church programmes: I It is more difficult for church programmes to become sustainable (pressure to follow NGO practices II It demotivates volunteer work (sitting allowances) III It strengthens the dependency syndrome (they pay everything, no input from the community) IV Staff comes from outside (no capacity building of the community) 4. NGO-NGO problems: agendas may conflict, ‘no sound development practices’ from others create many problems, destroying the communities. This is also true when it comes to mission organisations (they compete, some creating dependency instead of fighting it). 5. How to use it as an opportunity? I Churches should be more proactive in setting the norms. II They should speak out against the negative consequences on all forums (NGO networks etc.). III Churches must be more clear on their values and policies (incl. type of interventions). IV Start the dialogue with NGOs. V Influence NGOs from the bottom up via local leadership (requires a mature and strong congregation) VI The church must be more aware of their own strengths. They are present locally, have influence. 6. The GZB can mediate between churches/NGOs and fulfil the role of broker: facilitate access to funding
34 Subjects for networking/discussion 1. Women work: how to develop it. Good to learn from others. 2. Youth work: no networks available yet. 3. Methods of outreach/church planting 4. Fundraising: best practices/sustainability of colleges 5. Reconciliation: learn from others. 6. The role of lay people in the church: how toe equip and train them more. 7. Contextualised theology: how to address the issue of prosperity gospel. 8. Hiv/Aids, stigma and gender issues from the church 9. Biblical reflection on ethical issues: facilitation by the GZB
The GZB is involved in different areas: Increasing knowledge: • To make existing knowledge within the organisation and among partners available. • To reflect on the knowledge and experience and to integrate it in her method of working and share it with others. • Involve partners actively.
Exchanging knowledge: • The development of a networking policy based on relevance. • To develop a role as facilitator between partners and other organisations. • Partners have developed a networking policy, which supports them to function optimally as a learning organisation.
Africa consultation Linking can take a lot time: we have to be careful to link up with organisations with the same values/mission. Important instruments are: • exchange visits; • development of a data base with studies, best-practices, conference results, curricula etc.; • discussion group on the internet: to share results and discuss; • peer review facilitated by the GZB.
GZB policy paper
Programme ‘Linking & Learning’
• Capacity building programme. • Exchange for study in coaching and mentoring. • Develop programme on spiritual development consultation. • Room for discussion on issues by specific teams. • Sharing knowledge and experience. • Support team for topics like advocacy, mission in the big city, migration, integral mission, climate change, organic agriculture etc. • Support team for topics like advocacy, mission in the big city, migration, integral mission, climate change, organic agriculture etc. • The bee (GZ=BEE!) function of spreading pollen from one flower to another.
Possible themes for study 1. the encounter with Islam 2. the relationship with migrant churches 3. mission and leadership 4. possibilities and need for intervision in mission 5. the dynamics of church planting 6. Role of finances in mission 7. appropriate ME systems for mission organisations/ churches
• Organise expert meetings (informal or formal/long term dynamic communities). • Creating learning possibilities e.g. exchange programmes. • Creating learning possibilities e.g. exchange programmes. • In some areas GZB may lead. • Functional: the GZB may be in the position (if needed) to support partner organisation in their networking activities.
European consultation Learning form each other is the focus, more than formal ways of networking. We learn by sharing our lives. In doing that we create learning opportunities. Prerequisite for learning and sharing is equality of partners, respect is required for interactive learning.
Asia consultation The main aims of local networking are: empowering, sharing, learning, advocacy and pastoral counseling. One must prioritize networking time and effort.
Partnership (Asia consultation) • Project format not too complicated and not forcing on the partners. • Policy document still a draft. Later this year, after all the consultations, we will send a final copy. • Is there a need in other countries for the development of a missionary organisation like EZ/NZR/HKI? • TEE: renewal and coordination is needed to enhance and ensure the quality of the programme (linking and learning) • In the selection of new workers, a key issue is the willingness to serve and to learn. Short-term experience (6 months - 1 year) may be helpful in the selection process. • In the selection of new workers, a key issue is the willingness to serve and to learn. Short-term experience (6 months - 1 year) may be helpful in the selection process. • There is need for an English newsletter to send to the partners regularly and inform them about what the GZB is doing. Our struggles, our concerns, reasons for thankfulness and experiences from other organisations.
Partnership (Africa consultation) • In order to strengthen the partner relation with the GZB, regional coordinators may be better stationed in the region and not at the head office. Reporting twice a year and one annual visit may not be helpful enough. • The orientation phase for mission workers who come for a longer period of time must be strengthened. • In order to enhance partnership, representatives of churches should not only visit the GZB but also the Synod of the PKN. • The GZB connects Dutch congregations only with their mission workers, not with the partners. More direct contact with the people in Africa is needed (‘witness-based reporting’). • GZB is too afraid for contact: ‘There is nothing more beautiful for an African church than being the host of other people’. But the partner should be in control.
36 Possibilities • Send someone around to scribe the stories we tell. • Make money also a spiritual thing. • It’s not too much work to give a three monthly report. Reporting is good, but also send the reports to the churches that are involved. And let us meet these churches. • Short-term visits without being a burden are a challenge in itself. We are open to it, but it’s for the organization to make policy on that. • It’s also possible to have a partnership with a congregation, not only with the worker.
Possibilities • Long- and short-term (2 weeks-3 months, youth groups/ summer camps). Young and old! Criteria: giving, sending, learning, loving, going. • Look for creative options: football team, business group, teachers, prayer trips, lecturers. Specific groups can reach different groups. • Video presentations • Pastors visiting the mission field • Exchange of theology students • Testimonies, life stories, social media • Capture the elders in the church, make sure the lay people are mission-oriented.
Conditions for youth groups 1. Clear plan and purpose for the visit from the receiving church. 2. Good preparation: some knowledge is needed about the partner church (ethics). GZB should play a role in the training of the people who come. There is also a need to prepare the people here (role of the partner). 3. Visits have to be well-organised: accompanying elders. 4. Purpose and not money-driven: should be discussed with partner and GZB. 5. Increases church commitment in receiving countries as well.
1. Direct contact is sometimes difficult: local congregations lack experience/logistical resources. 2. Strengthen the link between partners and congregations. 3. Strengthen the link between partners and congregations. 4. Strengthen the link between partners and congregations. 5. Exchange requires openness on both sides: their must be openness towards each other (not condemnation). 6. Partner organisations can contribute articles for the GZB magazine.
All the different forms takes a lot of time. We search biblical principles (Acts 14 – Antioch). Share what God is doing and find forms without burdening the workers. There are a lot of possibilities to give form to the relation. It’s an integrated story.
Partners can still use many people. Many missionary vacancies. Also opportunities for short-term missions. Important to match expectations, to do an assessment with the people applying for a missionary position, to organise the visit properly and there should be mutual benefit.
Develop ways of communication between partner and congregations. Linking must be organised, develop a ministry of presence. The church (NL) must identify their needs. The West is a mission field and needs testimonies and more real stories of faith and life. May Christians in the West become more open in communicating the Gospel. People must connect on the local level, especially youth visits are positive.
How partners may contribute to the programme ‘Involvement in the Netherlands’
Postbus 28 3970 AA Driebergen The Netherlands +31 343 - 51 24 44 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gzb.nl Bank 69.07.62.445