MISSION AND EVANGELISM
The ELCT respondsto the great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to proclaim the Gospel to all Nations (Mt. 28: 19-20). Programs are in force to bring the Good News to non-Christians to enable them accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and be incorporated in the Church.
Nurturing and strengthening the faith of all converts has been the task which is so central to the ELCT Mission and Evangelism Department. The Church's Mission has a holistic approach, which is to render both Evangelism and Social Services.
The vision of the Department on the 21st century is to reach with the Gospel the fifty percent un-reached people in Tanzania. To receive the Macedonian call from the neighboring countries. To enable people to understand their rights and social responsibilities.
Each Christian is made aware of the involvement in the Mission activities. The involvement of members of the congregation in Mission work has enabled the Church to grow tremendously and have stabilized Church leadership founded in the leadership patterns of our Lord Jesus Christ. The ELCT is in which the lay persons play a very significant role for propagating the Gospel.
2.Growth of the Church
When the seven Churches merged in 1963 to form the ELCT, the Church had 500,000 members scattered in those Seven Churches. By January 2012,the membership was over 6.1 million in a population of approximately 45 million Tanzanians. The growth is due to the effective strategies to reach the people with the gospel. Some of the strategies are Evangelism Campaigns, Open air spiritual meetings, teaching, visitation programs, choir songs/cassettes, Radio Voice of the Gospel (SW and FM), healing Ministry,
Bible Studies and house-to-house evangelism. Christian Services are rendered to all the people without discrimination for instace in schools or health facilities of the Church, etc.
Mission and Evangelism is the backbone of the Church. The Church needs to focus all its activities on Mission and Evangelism. Such a Focus is a positive response to the Great Commission of our Lord to proclaim the Gospel to all Nations. Mission and Evangelism Department was established to meet this end.
The Department has been coordinating the Mission work within Tanzania, and it also involves Mission work of the Lutheran churches in the neighboring countries whereby it participates in sending pastors and evangelists, offering scholarships to the indigenous personnel to study in ELCT theological institutions and attends consultative bodies that are also known as Joint Mission Boards.
Following the creation of two dioceses in 2013, the mission areas in Tanzania are Rukwa, Tabora, Kigoma, Mtwara/Lindi, Zanzibar and Ruvuma. ELCT operates Seafarers Mission work (also known as Mission to seamen program) at the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga, etc. Some Dioceses have been assigned by the Church to be caretakers of these Missions working in cooperation with the Mission Department as the Coordinator, facilitator and advocate.
The Department participates in Mission outreach programs to the neighboring countries of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Uganda. The Department prepares the Church Literature e.g. Hymn Books, ELCT Bible Calendar, Books of Confirmation class and Sunday school. It also deals with Christian Education and Theological issues of the Church and Ecumenism questions. Radio Voice of the Gospel, inter-faith and coordination dialogue on inter-faith relationship is part of the work done in Mission and Evangelism Department. The Youth Desk was established in 2010 to become part of the Mission and Evangelism Department.
4.Neglected areas of Mission
The Department has to increase the efforts in exploring the possibilities of propagating the Gospel to the neglected Communities. These neglected Communities are the fishermen along the lakes and rivers; solders in the Army barracks; prisoners in the prisons; people or other faiths, minority African tribes (Barabaig, Tindigas etc), the sick in the hospitals; workers in industries and factories, street youths and children of whom the growth is becoming high and most of them are alcoholics or drug abuse; The tourists flocking into Tanzania; etc. The Department is preparing programs to reach the above communities with the Gospel message.