Office of Community Development
To increase the capacity of MB Mission to give tangible expression to the gospel in all of its mission activity.
a. We value the theology of God's Reign
The Reign of God is the biblical framework that undergirds the holistic nature of our ministry.
Therefore we aim to express the totality of God’s Reign which is presently breaking into the world through Christian acts of love, justice, healing, peacemaking, service, and proclamation. Consequently, our focus is not merely upon proclamation, or alleviating poverty, but upon transformation – more particularly - upon the restoration of God’s Creative design back to its intended order.
- “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Mat 6:10
- “Mission is concerned with the building of God’s Kingdom” (Peter Kroeker)
b. We value holistic ministry
The demonstration and the proclamation of the gospel are integrally linked, so that the efficacy of one is contingent on the other. Therefore, our acts of charity, service and social concern are deemed to be visual and physical expressions of the in-breaking Kingdom, that together with proclamation might lead people to a fuller knowledge of Christ and his Kingdom.
- The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. Luke 4:18-19
- The Christian message is an embodied message, carried by living witnesses. The clarity and attractiveness of this message is dependant on the quality of life with Jesus, and our willingness to give expression to that life through word, deed and sign. (Bryant L. Myers)
c. We value local Church communities
We view the Church as the primary and foundational agent of community transformation.
We are committed to Christian communities that are working towards Kingdom goals of development and justice, over and above individual development strategies that are disconnected from the body of Christ. We see God’s people as the locus of his redemptive activity, and deem the development of relationships to be more important than institutional growth and other quantitative outcomes.
- “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Eph 1:22-23
- “The central reality is neither word nor act, but the total life of a community enabled by the Spirit to live in Christ, sharing his passion and the power of his resurrection.” (Leslie Newbiggin)
d. We value the poor
We aim to reflect God’s special concern for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, imprisoned, vulnerable, marginalized, persecuted and oppressed.
We aim to assist them in practical ways, meeting their needs in a holistic fashion. We don’t however simply value the poor as beneficiaries of our social concern, but as grassroots partners in the work of the Kingdom. We value their unique insights, their cultural perspectives, and their vision for the transformation of their communities. They are integral to our strategy of initiating developmental processes that work from the ground up.
- “Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Luke 6:20-26
- At the supreme moment of history when God took on human flesh, the God of Israel was still liberating the poor and oppressed and summoning his people to do the same. That is the central reason for Christian concern for the poor. (Ronald J. Sider)
e. We value empowerment
We strive to enable our partners so that their own holistic objectives might be accomplished.
We recognize that there is a biblical mandate to care for the poor in a manner that is both self-effacing and empowering. Therefore, we do not aspire merely to achieve our own project objectives, but to train, encourage, facilitate and resource our partners so that they can achieve their own goals in a mutually supportive environment.
- "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. 18 "Bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied…”
- My prayer is that we in the Christian movement will learn what some governments have learned, that long term subsidy for those who are in need can and should be replaced by helping people learn to stand on their own two feet. And, as can be shown, there is biblical evidence for everyone learning to carry his or her own part of the load.”
- “The first and foremost task of development is to turn on the engine of creativity inside each person.”