Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mission and Projects

We are trying to develop our mission project that is linked to the churches where I work. We have discussed and researched and I am just getting more and more confused. In some ways this is good because it is forcing me to get back to the basics. Why do we run 'projects' in our churches? What do we really mean by mission (in the social justice sense)?
But I am also struggling to get to a place of understanding!
The project that we saw at Learn To Earn is basically a school for adults teaching commercially useful skills such as sewing and woodwork. It has a Christian ethos, but basically it is a school. It seems to me that there are many opportunities in and around Mitchell's Plain for people to attend similar training. I might be wrong.
I think that Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain are worlds apart, because of the way Khayelitsha sucks people in from the Eastern Cape.
Should we be doing 'mission' in Khayelitsha? The Methodist Church already has a strong presence in Khayelitsha and attempts to work together have not historically been successful.
The Western Cape government has a lot of stuff up and running to help people get a hold on their lives and they do it a whole lot better than I am likely to do.
The bottom line, for me, is that the church needs to offer the community the power of Jesus in their lives - it doesn't need any more skills projects.
And - the people running our project are committed but don't seem to have passion. If they could just get a vision we could fly. I have vision . . . but I don't think we are ready for my vision. I don't think it fits with the people currently involved in the project.
Complicated!

2 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

Perhaps this article can help -- let me know what you think Makhalafukwe | Khanya

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Steve, that is a helpful post. It also raises the question as to who is responsible for 'development'. You say government should spur churches and ngo's on. Others say churches should spur government on.
In some ways it was easier during apartheid - because the government didn't care about certain people. So I am glad that mission is harder! But yes, look for what the community needs and motivate the people to solve their problems.
Thanks.