African churches strengthen work on diakonia and development

Students at seminar for strengthening work on diakonia, development and sustainability.
Students at seminar for strengthening work on diakonia, development and sustainability.

More than 70 African ecumenical leaders will take part in training seminars for diakonia and development, improving human resource development capacities of churches across all regions of the continent.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) facilitated three seminars in cooperation with the All Africa Conference of Churches in this Summer. The All Africa Conference of Churches has recently finalized its Strategic Plan for the next five years, having ecclesial leadership development as one of its programmatic focuses.

The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical partner supported by the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund apportionment, which enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations.

“These seminars was designed to strengthen churches in the region in their human resource development capacities for diakonia and development through exchange of best practices, use of resources and methodologies, and mutual analysis of the challenges and issues in their region”, said Rev. Matthew Ross, WCC’s program executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building, adding that the WCC is grateful to Brot fuer die Welt for its support for the project.

The seminars were designed to enhance relationships and knowledge sharing between churches, increasing their capabilities for addressing the challenges of sustainability in a rapidly changing context. Among the topics covered in the seminars was organizational behavior and management, personal leadership development, human resource management, and strategic planning as well as resource mobilization for sustainability and return on mission.

Thirty participants were expected from English-speaking countries in East and Southern Africa to attend the seminar in Nairobi, Kenya. Twenty-five participants were expected from French-speaking countries in Central and West Africa to attend the seminar in Cotonou, Benin, and 20 participants were expected from Portuguese-speaking Angola and Mozambique to attend the seminar in Maputo, Mozambique.

“If the church is to successfully fulfil its mission and vision for diakonia and development, it must have trained leaders who understand the responsibilities of human resource management and church leadership”, said Ross.

At a time when many church institutions are undergoing major leadership challenges, training will enable effective service and strengthen capacities of the churches, including their organizational and financial sustainability.

The skills gained will contribute in strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.  “This will enable the church in Africa to play the catalytic role in entrenching effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”, added Ross.

excerpt of a story from World Council of Churches website

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund apportionment at 100 percent.