Summary Recommendation of the Development Consultation

KL Malaysia, Sept 2-4, 2012

  1. Focus Group on “The Role of the Church – Transformation and/or Conversion?”
It was recognized that there was still a need to engage in theological discussions at the church level on the holistic, transformational nature of the Gospel. In parts of the Asia Pacific, this will mean a re-education at a theological level of some of pastors and church leaders. The question for theological educators is: How does this not only occur at seminary/theological college level, but who is engaged at the post-graduation level with pastors that may have been educated with a fairly narrow view of the Gospel? The Development practitioners at the Consultation committed themselves to continue the conversation they had at the Consultation on this theology back into their churches.

 2. Focus Group on “A Holistic Development that Results in Sustainable Marketable Livelihoods”.
This focus group requested that our seminaries provide theological and practical awareness training on integral mission, which includes the role of enterprise, business and sustainable economic activities for the poor. This was request as it was felt the Church can facilitate enterprise development, but this needs to be underpinned by appropriate theological training and practical awareness training.

3. Focus Group on “The Church’s Stewardship of the Environment”.
As with the Church and Environment Symposium in Sth Korea in 2011, it was recognized that our theology of the environment was either non-existent, under development or destructive, where pastors mostly ignored teaching about the theology of the environment. There was a call for our theological colleges to teach our pastors about eco-theology.

4. Focus Group on “Lessons Learnt from Mobilizing the local Church in Disaster Risk Management and Response”.
There was a recognition that the local church are often the first responders in disasters, and that there is a need for development of good leadership in the relief tasks. There is a need to introduce into the curricula of seminaries training on these issues for church leaders.

5. Focus Group on “Conflict Sensitive Development in Responding to and Mediating before and after Ethnic Conflict”.
There is a need to provide training to church leaders in these peacemaking endeavours. Basic training in peace making could be a part of every pastors training, as well post graduation training for pastors.