This strategy document is not exhaustive and does not include many important things. It is a document that has been and will continue being evaluated and updated regularly. The North American Missionaries have given their input. District Leaders/Provisional Conference Superintendents have enthusiastically supported the document. There are three other large priorities that need investigation and development at an Area level.
- Latin American Missions Agency: There is a need to facilitate the exchange of missionaries or “intra- Area ministerial collaboration.” The developing proposal should include a process of identification, selection, supervision, and economic support of each missionary. Missiological training and cross-cultural communication should be a part of the preparation of all pastors. A useful model for Latin America might be the APFMA in Asia.
- Training of Leaders, Pastors, and Missionaries: For good reasons, the focus of training in Latin America has been pastoral. The Quito Covenant (that lists the minimum academic requirements for ordination in the Free Methodist Church of Latin America) needs to be broadened. It should include the development of a system of preparation that includes theology, missiology, and leadership.
- Holistic Ministries: Even though there are many examples of holistic ministries in our churches and districts, there needs to be much more. As a sign of the kingdom of God, to be faithful to our Wesleyan heritage, and because of the needs of our people, there needs to be an increase in understanding and practice of the principles of Christian community development and micro-finance. In the process, we should minister to the needs of the people, help pastors and members sustain themselves economically, and develop channels of resources to sustain churches and districts. A proposal for the expansion of holistic ministries would explore strategic alliances with other groups that specialize in community development and the formation of micro-enterprise. SEED, Heavenly Treasures, and International Child Care Ministries are NGO’s that are affiliated with the Free Methodist Church who could partner with us in this area of work, but there are other organizations outside of the Free Methodist Church that should be investigated as well.