The Role of Church Leadership In Promoting Sustainable Development In Zimbabwe

John Moyounotsva Marava

Abstract


The Church’s obligation to proclaim liberty, peace and justice for the good of the people compliments the triple concepts of globalisation, good governance and democracy which have dominated current international discourse. However, the church has been widely recognised as just an institution championing the spiritual growth and little is documented on its role in sustainable development. A study was conducted to investigate initiatives by church leaders in Zimbabwe to attain sustainable development in line with Agenda 21 which is meant to be a road map to sustainable development. A qualitative design was used in this study using questionnaires, interviews and secondary data from church archives as research instruments. To analyse the collected data, philosophical analytical models based on new hermeneutics were employed. The study revealed that the church’s participation in developmental projects is tremendous. The mainline and Pentecostal churches are the leaders ahead of white garment churches in terms of supporting objectives of sustainable development. There has been the establishment of educational institutions, vocational training centres and old age people’s homes in many areas around the country. Key challenges identified that militate against the church’s efforts to contribute to sustainable development were the varying church doctrines, conservative behaviour of churches and gender imbalances as well as church politics in terms of vision to follow. Thus, the church therefore cannot afford to be indifferent and isolated in the face of glaring socio-political and economic challenges enveloping Zimbabwe. This paper has given an insight of how the progressive Zimbabwean Church leadership has been deploying all its resources in order to effectively and efficiently contributes to the attainment of sustainable development. Thus, there should be a refocus on the undermined role of the clergy in influencing sustainable development.


Keywords


liberty, peace and justice, good governance, democracy, church leadership, sustainable development.

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