A Summary of a Thesis ochTHEOLOGICAL REFLECTION ON ‘DIAKONIA’ WITH APPLICATIONS TO CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN MADAGASCAR (FJKM)
This thesis presents a practical theology in which the social context of the church FJKM is taken seriously. The focus is on ‘diakonia’ in a response to discipleship that failed in the life of the church FJKM, especially the credibility and future witness of the church in Madagascar. The major attempt here is to enlighten the understanding on ‘diakonia’ and to propose possible solutions. The aim is to provide a method to apply to the situation in my church and to create a new vision to help congregations with their related problems.
Both concepts discipleship and ‘diakonia’ under discussion is a reflection of what is the meaning and the application of these words in Jesus’ time and in the early church. Analysis shows that the church FJKM should imitate Jesus’ ministry and the Apostles’ actions through faith. This is because ‘diakonia’ is not for eligible people, but for all God’s people, the Body of Christ. In addition church members are called upon to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. Then they are called upon to promote love even the enemy and to bring about reconciliation. ‘Diakonia’ becomes part of the life of each church member. The faith, life, and witness of the church members in the context of Madagascar now and in the future must follow Jesus’ teaching through the gospel to fulfill some important aspects of its calling and mission.
The theology of discipleship, and the theology of ‘diakonia’ guide church’s thinking to prepare the training for theses understandings. Even though the resolutions may not be complete I hope that this writing can help the church to participate in the new way towards Christian discipleship and face the society. Each Christian must use their spiritual gift from God and obey God’s call about the mission of the church. That is because the church suffers if the members misused their talent. The goal can only be achieved, to witness and to do mission, if and only if discipleship and ‘diakonia’ are properly understood and taken seriously.