Mission - Resources - Guidelines

Guidelines for Development Programmes in the Anglican Communion

From Towards Dynamic Mission: Renewing the Church for Mission

Mission Issues and Strategy Advisory Group II (MISAG II) 1993


Development is affirmed as part of the mission of the church along with other ministries of evangelism, teaching, pastoral care and the provision of social services. The Brisbane mission agencies Conference affirmed `a holistic understanding of human development which recognizes that the spiritual, social and physical cannot be separated in the transformation of people and society'.

Development is understood as part of the process which creates a community in which it is possible for all to realize their full potential - physically, socially, and spiritually. A development programme helps members of a community analyze the factors which prevent them from realizing their full potential - `I am come that they may have life in all its fullness' (John 10:10). There may be individual or personal reasons i.e. personal sin or reasons which stem from how society is organized locally or internationally, i.e. structural sin.

A development programme is organized in such a way that the entire community participates to determine what needs to be changed so that each member can reach their full potential. A development programme empowers and mobilizes the community to secure the necessary resources to implement change that is sustainable. Thus, development promotes transformation - the deep rooted changing of people and society in order to embody the values of the Kingdom of God within the lives of individuals, communities and the structures of society.

The following questions are suggested as a guide to help the churches of the Anglican Communion identify aspects of good development activities in the light of planning for the overall mission of the church.

  1. Development enables the transformation of individuals and society.
    1. Does the programme help people to become aware of the factors that prevent them from reaching their full potential? Does it assist people in identifying a common strategy for change?
    2. Does the programme seek to change the root causes of suffering, poverty or injustice or does it respond only to symptoms of a particular problem?
    3. Are the elements of development which relate to health, water supply, agriculture and human rights integrated with one another?

  2. Development is participatory and empowering.
    1. Is the programme initiated in such a way that it promotes self-reliance and avoids fostering a dependency on others for solutions?
    2. Are those most affected by the activities of the development programme involved in planning its goals and objectives?
    3. Does the programme benefit the whole of the community or does one part of the community gain by the programme at the expense of others?
    4. Will the women of the community take part in the planning and implementation of the programme?
    5. What are the tangible contributions to the programme by the community that indicate that they have ownership in the programme?

  3. Development needs to be sustainable.
    1. Is there provision for training those in the community who will carry out the programme?
    2. Is there adequate management skill to implement the programme?
    3. Can the technology used be maintained long term?
    4. Is the natural environment respected and conserved?
    5. Is the planning such that the programme is sustainable after external funding, if any, has finished?

  4. Development is part of the overall mission of the local and international church.
    1. Is the development programme recognized by the local church as part of its overall mission?
    2. Is it co-ordinated effectively with other mission activities of the local church?
    3. Do (i) the size of the development programme, (ii) the financial resources available for development and (iii) the personnel requirements complement or adversely affect other mission priorities of the church?
    4. Is the programme something from which others could learn and could it be adapted by other parts of the worldwide church?
    5. Does the programme help churches to understand and address international factors which impede full human development?
    6. Are we proposing to act on our own when we could be acting with other Churches