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Faith Fellowship Witness Policy plan 2012-2016


Tabel of contents 1.

Forword

4

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


1.

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

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2.

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)

Vision

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

Mission

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.

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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.

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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

worldwide.

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).

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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-

following ways:

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

European continent.

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.

sion.

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

to reconciliation.

and there is a growing gap between the

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level of education of preachers and (young)

The way in which support is given to the missional calling of

congregation members.

the congregations is summarized in the following core values:


Dependent

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 Christ’s name can only happen through prayer.

tion in the ecclesiastical and public debate about mission. Reflection on these issues

With passion

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

have received.

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.

With respect

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-

Responsible

vely involved in the work in different

Mission work goes hand in hand with good stewardship and

regions/themes.

responsibly dealing with God’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 God’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.

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3.

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.

debate.

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

region/country.

complement and support each other.

I. CHURCH DEVELOPMENT Much can be learnt from each other by

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serving together in the kingdom. A special

Goal

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

more effective.

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

Nurturing congregations

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.

the Gospel.

Challenges for the future

Nurturing congregations

Evangelism/Church planting

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

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equipping congregations, adapted to their

II. SERVICE

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

Motive

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

be developed.

ongoing urbanization, slums around many big cities increase in size rendering ac-

Theological education

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.

about injustice.

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.

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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

means that:

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

Capacity building

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

related tasks.

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.

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This will equip partners to carry out planned

Exchanging knowledge:

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.

Goal

• 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-

Policy development:

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

IV. INVOLVEMENT

GZB. The Bible forms the basis of this dialogue and we expect believers worldwide to be

Goal

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.

Increasing knowledge:

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

Motive

shared with others.

Secularization, the rise of a relativistic cul-

• The partners are actively involved in the ‘Linking and Learning’ programme.

14

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

making process.

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

General awareness:

church members.

• 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

elsewhere.

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

15


4.

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

partners are:

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

to change.

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

16

The partners have a strong relationship with

order to formulate new goals for the next

the target group. Churches often have a long

time period.


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

17


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-

congregations.

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

18

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 ‘the Dutch part’ 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 God’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

19


5.

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: • 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. • 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. • People are less inclined to donate to general charities and large organisations.

20


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

encouraging.

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

The Church

guidance will be offered.

As part of the PKN, the GZB together with ‘Church in Action’, is fully involved in the dia-

Funds

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

Revenue growth

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

donors.

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

21


6.

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.

22


Results partner consultants Annex 1

Context analysis

Annex 2

Program development

23


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

Crises

Africa consultation

New forms of communication and new media available: especially internet and e-learning.

More opportunities to travel/ to communicate.

Migration changes society everywhere.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Globalisation

Urbanisation/migration (due to poverty)

Asia consultation

The Diaspora gives opportunities for the Gospel.

(New) media create threats and also opportunities for the Gospel.

Asia consultation

Context analysis

Annex 1.

European consultation

Growing mobility of the people changes Europe.

European consultation


25

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.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Attitude towards religion

Africa consultation

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.

Asia consultation

Loss of social structures

Search for cultural identity: revival of traditional beliefs. Growing individualism.

Asia consultation

growing openness for religiosity. It’s not possible to make the ultimate claim in the West.

Growing interest in religion: You are more credible now if you say “Christ is the only way�. Students say: the truth is not everywhere.

Encounter with Islam.

Attitude to religion differs from country to country.

European consultation

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.

European consultation


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.

Asia consultation

Growing influence of ‘prosperity gospel’.

Growth of extreme charismatism/Pentecostalism, but also of sects like Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormons.

Asia consultation

European consultation

Church is focussing on the poor but also at the rich people.

Partnership and cooperation between historical and evangelical churches.

European consultation

Growing pentacostalism and charismatic groups, esp attracting the youth.

Role of Christians from abroad.


27

• 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.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Church structures

Lack of training among church leadership.

Influence of foreign missionary agencies and individuals. Development of Christian subculture: creating walls.

Asia consultation

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.

European consultation


28

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.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Evangelism/Church planting

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.

Asia consultation

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.

European consultation

program development

Annex 2.


29

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.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Nurturing congregations

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.

Asia consultation

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.

European consultation


30

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.

European consultation

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

Theological education


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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.

Africa consultation

GZB policy paper

Church-based diaconate

Programme ‘Service’

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).

Asia consultation

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.

European consultation


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.

Social calling

Asia consultation

• 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.


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Special issues

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.


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Special issues

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.

European consultation

Asia consultation

African consultation

How partners may contribute to the programme ‘Involvement in the Netherlands’


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