Nineteen Christian caregivers from the fields of counseling, pastoral ministry, psychology, psychiatry, social work, and theology met in Mexico City 6-9 January 2009 to explore the future role of Christian counseling in the Church’s global mission of taking “the whole gospel to the whole world.”
After considering current trends, opportunities, and threats, consultation participants reached agreement regarding the rising challenge of poverty and suffering around the world, the necessity of addressing this challenge with holistic and integral transformation, collaborative and creative processes, local and indigenous initiatives, and the pursuit of biblical social justice and healing. The participants, from eleven countries, were united in a desire and vision to bring the whole gospel to the whole world through the channels of care and counsel as mission.
As a result of this consultation, plans were made to create a network of international mental health workers and scholars and to connect Care and Counsel as Mission with local churches, mission agencies, seminaries, and other organizations. The group looks forward to future collaborative research projects and the development of an institute that will provide an opportunity for study and training in culturally-appropriate forms of Christian counseling.
At the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization Congress (Cape Town 2010), “Care and Counsel as Mission” will have an opportunity to share its vision through plenary addresses and workshops. In addition, several members will be involved in providing actual care and counsel at the congress through a prayer and guidance center available to those attending the congress.