Listening and learning from various entities on the perceived dynamics that help children thrive: Implications for practical action towards holistic mission and discipleship of children

Research paper

Background of the Study This section is adapted from Menchit Wong’s prospectus for PH CAR Forum entitled, “Moving from Risk to Thriving: On Mission To, For, and With Children-At-Risk” (Wong 2018, 1). The 2010 Third Lausanne Compress on World Evangelization produced the Cape Town Commitment (CTC) Call to Action on Children. This was truly a defining moment in Evangelical Church history. Never before has a global movement in world evangelization produced a foundational document that holds the worldwide church accountable for its actions toward holistic nurture, protection and advocacy for children-atrisk. The CTC Call to Action on Children provides the mandate for the Church worldwide to: (1) Take children seriously, through fresh biblical and theological enquiry that reflects on God’s love and purpose for them and through them, and by rediscovering the profound significance for theology and mission of Jesus’ provocative action in placing ‘a child in the midst.’ (2) Seek to train people and provide resources to meet the needs of children worldwide, wherever possible working with their families and communities, in the conviction that holistic ministry to and through each next generation of children and young people is a vital component of world mission. Finally, (3) Expose, resist and take action against all abuse of children, including violence, exploitation, slavery, trafficking, prostitution, gender and ethnic discrimination, commercial targeting, and willful neglect. Fast forward to 2014 and 2017, the Lausanne Movement convened two global forums to accelerate theological reflection, conversations on praxis, and exchange of learning all geared toward increased and effective collaboration on behalf of children-atrisk. The two forums have produced three foundational documents, namely, (1) The Call to Action on Children-at-Risk, (2) Who are Children-at-Risk: A Missional Definition, and (3)The Lausanne Occasional Paper (LOP) on Children-at-Risk. Furthermore, the 2017 Forum formally established the Lausanne Issue Network on Children-at-Risk, which is a global community of holistic ministry practitioners, global and local church leaders, theologians, and academics that have committed to global action groups and global projects to fulfill the Cape Town Commitment call to Action on Children-at-Risk. One important commitment made during that 2017 Forum is to expand this learning community and to bring the conversations and multi-disciplinary/multi-cultural collaboration to the national and local level, where action is most felt and impactful to the children we serve. Thus the decision to convene in 2018 the very first Lausanne Movement Philippines National Forum on children-at-risk. One of the major goals of this forum is to become a “community of learners,” to “listen and to learn” from various entities across cultures, across age groups, across disciplines, and across social contexts (Minutes of Meeting held at APNTS on June 20, 2017. In this light, the team composed of Menchit Wong, Josefina Gutierrez, Sofia Jingco, Dr. Dan Brewster, Dr. Catherine Stonehouse, Dr. Floyd Cunningham, and Dr. Nativity Petallar expressed that for this to happen, we need to listen to the children, theologians or persons in the academe, ministry practitioners, parents, church leaders and members, policy makers on the factors that children need so they will experience Christ’s transforming love. Thus, the respondents of the study consisted of these people from various groups of the society. The findings of the study were the basis of identifying recommendations for effective ministries in the home, church, the academe, and the community. The research team is composed of faculty and students of the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological (APNTS). APNTS offers a PhD in Holistic Child Development so this research is part of the advocacy of the seminary. The PhD students were all from three PhD programs in APNTS, namely, PhD in Holistic Child Development (HCD), PhD in Transformational Learning (TL), and PhD in Transformational Development (TD). The researchers believe that this study would benefit those who are working to, for, and with children that includes the parents, church workers, seminary professors, NGOs, and the children themselves.


Subscribe to Listening and learning from various entities on the perceived dynamics that help children thrive: Implications for practical action towards holistic mission and discipleship of children