Church of Christ in Congo (ECC) and Church of Christ in Congo (CDCC) Report
The General Vision of the ECC 10-CDCC from now until the year 2015
The General Vision of the ECC 10-CDCC from now until the year 2015
Co-founding Community and member of the Church of Christ in Congo, acronym ECC, the Church of Christ in Congo/10-Community (ECC/10-CDCC ) of the Disciples of Christ in Congo counts more than 100 years from its implantation in the Democratic Republic of Congo by American missionaries who came to this country in order to evangelize the people of God.
In these one hundred years of existence, the ECC/10-CDCC has been involved in four sectors of activities, such as: evangelization, education, health, and social work having to do with the well-being of people.
The experience thus accumulated now gives occasion to the Community to redefine its vision for the next eight years; that is, what would it be like to have and to produce, from now till the year 2015, with regard to the internal context of the CDCC itself, the national context, and the newly born context of globalization?
CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION
The vision develops from a context that is both internal and national. Also, because of the great importance of the question of globalization, and taking into account the relationships of the partnership that the CDCC holds with other Churches and Christian organizations outside the country, the world-wide context must also be examined logically to justify the factors which militate in favor of a new vision.
1.1. Internal context
If, in its beginnings, the ECC/10-CECC was greatly involved in activities of a spiritual nature through evangelization, with time it is equally interested in the service field, notably through the construction of hospitals, health centers and associated schools, without forgetting starting up philanthropic works.
The Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo is socially visible in the provinces of Equator, Oriental, Bandundu, Bas-Congo, and in the city of Kinshasa.
These days it counts a membership of about 650,000 faithful, divided into 350 Parishes, making a total of 22 ecclesial Posts.
Having 360 primary and secondary schools, the ECC/10-CDCC has trained many people who have become staff and technicians in several domains and occupy positions of high responsibility in the country. The health sector is not idle with 6 hospitals and about 50 health centers and dispensaries.
The field of evangelization (chapels, health care infrastructures, schools, literacy centers, etc.) thus implanted in the country, makes the ECC/10-CDCC a go-between and an undeniable partner with the State in matters of education, health care, and development.
But, it’s always the case that in accomplishing its mission, the Community is confronted by a certain number of challenges that risk, in the long run, reducing the effectiveness of its actions, namely:
a) The top positions of the Church are often sought after with battles for positioning;
b) A leadershipwhich is sometimes contentious;
c) The financial inability of the base to participate in the functioning of existing structures;
d) The strong financial dependence on external partners;
e) The lack of an effective communication network between headquarters and the base, and, on the other hand, between the different elements of the base themselves.
It can be seen that the internal context presents both the strengths and the weaknesses that must be taken into account in the process of defining a new vision. The Congolese environment in which the Community evolves merits special attention.
1.2. Context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
After many years of dictatorship and wars with catastrophic social, ecological and economic consequences for the people, the time has come to see the Democratic Republic of the Congo start out on the road of its reconstruction now that democratization has been established with the organization of general elections throughout the country.
In fact, the present national context is marked by strengths, weakness, opportunities, and menaces in almost every domain.
The ECC/10-CDCC points out:
a) Rich and fertile soil;
b) An ingenious and creative population which strives to be responsible for itself;
c) Cultural diversity combined with an immensity of artistic works;
d) The feeling of belonging to a single nation, in spite of cultural diversity.
We mention here:
a) The political changes taking place in the administration and management of the country’s affairs;
b) The people who aspire to improvement of their living conditions, respect of their fundamental rights, and access to education and health care;
c) The ruined country which needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom.
About this the ECC/10-CDCC observes:
a) The general state of deterioration of basic infrastructures;
b) The inadequacy between supply and demand concerning major consumable products;
c) The general state of poverty that confronts almost all families;
d) The entrenchment of negative values in many forms: theft, corruption, pillage of national resources, lack of respect for the common good, and sexual violence;
e) Violations of human rights.
As is evident, these are huge challenges that the ECC/10-CDCC is called upon to confront as a religious institution dealing with the welfare and development of mankind created in the image of God.
In the precise context of the activities of the CDCC, the following are considered menaces:
a) The rapid growth of awakening churches, independent ministries, as well as Islam, in areas where the ECC/10-CDCC is established;
b) The recrudescence of major endemics and epidemics, as well as sexually transmitted diseases;
c) The recrudescence of spots of tension in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that risk having negative effects in the zones of activity f the CDCC;
d) The perverse effects of globalization, notably in matters of competition.
1.3. Global context
At the world-wide level, the analysis is made on two levels: the relationship between the CDCC and its partners, and/or the world-wide environment.
1.3.1. The Community with its partners
For many years the ECC/10-CDCC has enjoyed relationships with Global Ministries, the MEU and the German “sister” districts in various domains related to the life of the Community.
More than once, especially with respect to the Germans, the three partners have had to modify and subordinate their cooperation with the ECC/10-CDCC by major changes in the management of the Community with respect to perceived weaknesses in the use of funds, especially those designated for specific activities.
However, a discontinuation of the cooperation was decided by certain German “sister” districts to some ecclesial posts of the CDCC.
All this called upon the Community to rethink its manner of administration in this new era of globalization.
1.3.2. Global environment as such
The world that has become a planetary village presents new realities in its globalization. It is influenced by different orders of mutations by reason of several factors of which the most important are:
a) Evolution of technology as fruit of research and skill;
b) The world market is open rather than closed;
c) Human resources, such as manpower and employment, have became globalized ;
d) The merger of large formerly prosperous organizations for mutual reinforcement in the face of competition.
- Virtual organizations replace more and more those that have remained bureaucratic;
- Cultural competence has become synonymous with knowledge and openness;
- The appropriate new technology is based on information management.
It is seen as an undeniable reality that globalization brings, for a Church as for all other organizations, the following consequences:
- Every organization must be flexible, supple, open and learning;
- Progress depends on performance, effectiveness and, as such, the development of the human factor.
All these elements unite to call the ECC/10-CDCC to redefine its vision.
II. ABOUT THE VISION
The question of the vision is asked in terms of: WHAT COMMUNITY OF DISCIPLES OF CHRIST IN CONGO DO WE WANT FROM NOW UNTIL 2015?
From now until 2015, the ECC/10-CDCC would like to be a community:
- Of one;
- Truly in the service of the edification of the Lord’s work;
- Effective, strong and dynamic.
What is implied by Community:
- Encourages dialog and helpfulness between the organs and the different members.
2.2. Truly in the service of the edification of the Lord’s work
Under this aspect, the ECC/10-CDCC undertakes to:
- Announce the good news of Christ to people of different cultures and groups not reached by the Gospel, even in the farthest corners;
- Effectively put the Word of God into practice whatever, the circumstances;
- Share the Gospel with every person, physically or morally, who is involved with the whole man, body, mind and spirit.
Which is to say: structured, functional, open with respect to the interplay of its present and future context, and whose administration rests on the unity of leadership and the respect of legal documents.
The democratic principle understands:
- Freedom of expression;
- The importance of listening and feedback;
- The majority rules in making decisions.
2.5. Effective, strong and dynamic
It is a question of a Community:
- Which more and more takes responsibility for itself in order to guarantee its autonomy and its growth;
- Open to an internal and external partnership directed toward the exchange of experience and helpfulness;
- Which is capable of adapting to any change;
- Which is oriented toward progress in view of the welfare of mankind.
III. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS
3.1. Strategic objectives
Outside the vision thus decreed, the indicators to recognize that l’ECC/10-CDCC is on the way of progress towards the accomplishment of this new vision are summarized in these terms:
a) Consolidate the unity of the Community in its different aspects;
b) Multiply pastoral and work visits between the different levels of the structures of the Community;
c) Restore and equip the education sector;
d) Promote the health sector;
e) Stimulate throughout the Community actions concerning self-responsibility;
f) Make the existing infrastructure income-producing;
g) Mobilize local and variable resources;
h) Develop and/or reinforce managerial abilities;
i) Promote an entrepreneurial spirit among the faithful;
j) Reactivate relationships with former missionaries and partners;
k) Contact new partners.
To attain these objectives the ECC/10-CDCC must have, from now until 2015, the following resources:
Staff, technicians, and workers, (men and women, lay and clergy) competent, competitive and specialized in their domain, sharing the vision of the ECC/10-CDCC and affirmed in the Christian faith.
- Material of communication
- Dues from members
- Offerings and tithes from the faithful
- Participation of the units of production
- Financial partnerships with other Churches and Christian organizations (interior and exterior).
- The constitution and by-laws revised.
- Members affirmed and involved.
- New mission fields, if possible.
Uniting all these means, from now until 2015, the Church of Christ in Congo/10-Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo must mark its presence in the following activities:
(1) Hold consultations and evaluation discussions between the summit and the base, between units of the base, and between units of the summit;
(2) Put in place new methods of work thanks especially to management procedures;
(3) Promote permanent training at all levels;
(4) Make the administration of all the entities of the Community transparent;
(5) Rehabilitate existing infrastructures and, if possible, create new ones.
Results expected in terms of the assets of the ECC/10-CDCC in Congolese society:
(1) Competent men and women, firm in the Christian faith, fearing God, etc.;
(2) Services of quality appropriate to the needs of the people in the different domains: health, education, development, social work, etc.
(3) The quality of life of the population: culture of peace, detente and harmony, respect of differences, freedom of expression, etc.
(4) Taking effective responsibility for retired servants of God.
3.2. Strategic actions
Starting from the objectives described above, the steps to accomplish the new vision thus defined are laid out as follows:
3.2.1. Immediate actions
a) Approval of the new vision by the General Assembly;
b) Making this new vision known across the Community;
c) Restructuring of the General Secretariat;
d) Eviction of the former agents still illegally occupying houses of the Community.
3.2.2. Short term actions
a) Supply the Posts and the Parishes with necessary material for evangelization;
b) Negotiate a new type of partnership with Churches and Christian organizations;
c) Establish and develop a network of communication and telecommunication across all the Community;
d) Accomplish the rehabilitation of the real estate in Mbandaka;
e) Achieve the rehabilitation and extension of the residential complex of Kinshasa/Macampagne.
f) Rethink the management of the units of production.
g) Define a rational and coherent policy concerning taking care of retired Pastors.
3.2.3. Median term actions
a) Reconstruct and modernize the Hospital of Bolenge;
b) Provide services and equipment for schools;
c) Erect a residential building of three stories in the “missionary” neighborhood;
d) Develop the Polyvalent Dr Elonda Center.
3.2.4. Long term actions
a) Provide the Community with a 6,000 ton boat, both for the needs of evangelization and for auto-financing;
b) Build a 3-star hotel complex in Kinshasa.
Such is the new momentum under which and in which the behaviors, the efforts and the activities of all the constituent entities of the ECC/10-CDCC will have to be inspired and mobilized. In this perspective, the Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo intends also to find internal and exterior partners that can accompany it.
Mbandaka, 10 July 2007
Rev. ELIKI BONANGA
Community President and Legal Representative