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Isais Memo - Text Only


THOUGHTS ON L.A.M. POLICY RE CHURCH-MISSION RELATIONSHIPS

I. Relationship with AIBC

The time has come for the Mission to take official action which will allow the AIBC to develop independently of Mission control in every sense. Mission representation on the Junta Directiva should cease. Financial "subsidy", as such, should cease. If the Mission wishes to make an "offering" to the Association this could be done, but there should be no attempt to use money to influence policy. If the offering were on a purely voluntary basis with no guarantee from year to year as to how much it would be the Association would need to make its plans without counting in advance upon the money. If the offering were agreed upon in advance, it could be discussed each year and with the understanding that it would be on a diminishing scale.

Personnel of the L.A.M. could be loaned to the AIBC, upon request from the AIBC for help along specific lines. Once assigned, the missionaries would be supervised and assigned by the AIBC.

Other L.A.M. personnel living in Costa Rica would be related to the local congregations on a purely "lay" level, as other members of the evangelical community. Full membership in local churches would be the ideal arrangement. The Missionaries should not dominate the standing committees of the AIBC, even though they might be elected to membership. Their presence on such committees would be in the manner of members of the churches who are chosen to serve.

II. Local Institutions of the L.A.M. in Costa Rica

The institutions considered as local are Colegio Monterrey, TIFC, Hospital, Camp, Orphanage and Farm, Bookstore, Escuadron.

The time has come to make definite policy decisions as to the direction to be followed in regard to the future of these institutions. The Mission, first of all, must study this matter to weigh the alternatives. The institutions should be taken over as rapidly as possible by Costa Ricans if there exists or could be created genuine interest on the part of evangelicals in the country in the institutions. If the present interest in the institutions is insufficient the Mission should take steps to find out what must be done to create the interest. It may be that leadership must be trained; it may be that the operation of the institution must be reduced to find some hope of being within the means of the local evangelical constituency. Such steps will not be taken until it is decided that certain goals should be reached.

1. Colegio Monterrey. It has become evident that the school, under present management of the Junta de Gobierno composed of laymen backed by the resources of the L.A.M., holds little hope of becoming self-sufficient. The evangelical public is not yet sold on Christian education to the extent of sacrificing to support it. Those who are most likely to have the needed interest and concern are the evangelical teachers of Costa Rica. One suggestion would be to offer the school to an Association of Christian Teachers. The total responsibility would be theirs, but with the understanding that before the property could be used for anything else except an evangelical educational institution it must revert to the L.A.M. Missionaries of the L.A.M. could be loaned to the school, if requested, with the understanding that they would be on the same level as Costa Rican teachers and responsible to the owners of the school.

2. TIFC. Christian laymen of Costa Rica are the most interested and best prepared group to take over TIFC. If a group of them could be organized or incorporated into the existing Board of Directors, and offered the station on the condition that if it were to be used for purely secular purposes it would revert to the LAM, there might be a possibility of developing local sources of support sufficient to run the station.

3. The same general principles might be followed in turning over the other institutions of the Mission. Each one represents special problems, and needs to be studied, but the essential thing is to decide on the policy of the Mission regarding the future of these institutions. If this policy is to be that of giving ownership and control of these institutions to Costa Ricans then the implications and required steps may be studied and taken from this point of view. For lack of a policy of this type the progress towards our professed goals of local support for local institutions is insufficient for the days in which we live.

III. International Ministries and Institutions of the LAM.

The Division of Evangelism, Editorial Caribe Publishing House, Radio Division, and Seminary are those activities of the LAM which come under this heading.

It is conceivable that the LAM could serve the continent and relate to churches, missions and other agencies in Latin America as a independent service mission without special ties organizationally to any of them. For this to become a reality it would be necessary for the LAM to become independent of local church ties with the AIBC and in Colombia in order to treat all groups on the same level.

1. Editorial Caribe, freed from local bookstore responsibilities, could become a publishing business, affiliated with LEAL as are other publishers in Latin America.

2. The Seminary could continue to serve as now, under the wing of the LAM, but aim toward more support in the form of personnel and money from Latin American sources.

3. The Radio Division, freed of direct administrative and financial responsibilities for local stations, could cooperate actively with DIA in the continental outreach.

4. The Division of Evangelism would be the central thrust of the LAM. Evangelism-in-Depth activities could absorb an increasing number of prepared workers from both the North American and Latin American Church.


CONCLUSIONS

For the present the most urgent matter is delineation of policy. If the LAM is definite and clear in its statement of policy to the local evangelicals there is hope of progress in getting them to undertake local responsibilities with vision and enthusiasm. Having set the policy and having turned over responsibility and even ownership, the attitude of the LAM must be consistent in allowing local Christians to run the work without pressure from us.


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Last Revised: 12/13/96
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005