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Understanding pentecostal motivations for undertaking community development in South East Asia : evidence of an expanded understanding of holistic mission
journal contributionposted on 2012-12-01, 00:00 authored by Anthony WareAnthony Ware, Vicki WareVicki Ware, Matthew ClarkeMatthew Clarke
A shift has been observed in the activities of by Western-based, pentecostal mission organisations in mainland South East Asia. Where once these mission organisations avoided formal community development programs as a distraction to their understanding of mission, the funding for and implementation of such programs has increased dramatically in recent times. This shift in focus is best understood by considering motivations and changing pentecostal perceptions of mission. The research is based on new primary data collected through interviews with long-term and senior pentecostal mission practitioners engaging in development projects in mainland South East Asia. It explores their motivations for engaging in community development, and in particular the extent to which community development programs are seen as a strategy for proselytisation as compared the extent to which they are conducted out of other humanitarian motivations. Analysis of this data challenges preconceived notions of proselytisation being the primary motive of pentecostal mission agencies, and demonstrates a more holistic idea of mission.