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Studying "Stewardship in Mission"

in Cambodia

By Rev. J. P. CIMA

In December 2018, Rev. J. P. CIMA, Theological Educator in Southeast Asia for the LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM) and Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) Visiting Faculty, taught an intensive course for four Cambodian students enrolled in the B. Th. programme.

The 3-credit course titled "Stewardship in Mission" explored the biblical and theological foundations of Christian stewardship for the first three days. The final two days were spent applying those foundations in the context of cross-cultural mission. Specifically, students considered the stewardship of outside/foreign organisations when they enter a local context with plentiful resources. What are the benefits and pitfalls of such resources? How can outside/foreign organisations be good stewards of their resources? How can local churches effectively engage with outside/foreign partners in fruitful and sustainable ways while encouraging local stewardship as well? This topic is particularly relevant in the context of the Cambodia Lutheran Church (CLC), a young church body established by the passionate work of local and foreign entities working together for the sake of God's kingdom.

This course continues a unique and strategic partnership between CTS and the LCMS OIM by providing tertiary theological education for key leaders in local church bodies. In this case, CTS shepherds the students through the programme of study resulting in a degree, while the LCMS OIM supports this programme with necessary human and financial resources. These multilateral partnerships are critical in today's global mission context. The opportunity is welcomed by the leadership of the CLC as a way to bolster the capacity of its leaders and to practise our unity in the Gospel, our admiration for the Scriptures and our commitment to the Lutheran Confessions.

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