The Changing Paradigm of Missions

““From Charity to Justice, the Changing Paradigm of Mission” ”

Team Members/Contributors

Theophous Reagans Allen Temple Baptist Church Contact Me

About this pastoral study project

In 2009, I visited South Africa for the first time with a South African friend and preacher. The

trip inspired and rejuvenated me. I decided to return the following year. During that visit, the

pastor of W.W. Brown Church (Soweto) asked me to meet with the church youth. I met with

the youth and their strong faith and humility moved and inspired me and inspired me to bring

Allen Temple youth to South Africa. Inspired by this encounter I developed a cultural

exchange, service learning, and capacity building program—Faith In Action (FIAT). I returned

to South Africa in 2011 with a group of youth from Allen Temple, and again in 2014, 2016, and

2019. African American millennials, who identify as Christian today, seem to be less

passionate about their faith, and less committed to church membership and participation than

their parents and grandparents.

Our FIAT cultural exchange, service learning, and capacity building program seems to help

youth and young adults in Oakland, California, and Soweto, South Africa, reconnect with their

faith, and connect their faith to their desire to change their circumstances, and the

circumstances of their communities. In short, young people who have participated in what

evolved into our FIAT program, missioners and hosts alike, because of their involvement, seem

to be able to connect their faith with both their personal concerns and their innate need/desire

to engage in social justice advocacy.

After eight years of programming, we now seek to better document and evaluate our FIAT

program, including standardizing our training curriculum and training materials and building in

an evaluation component to the program.