Unuhia te rito o te harakeke kei whea te kōmako e kō
Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o te ao
Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
Remove the heart of the flax bush and where will the kōmako sing?
Ask me, ‘What is the greatest thing in the world?’
I will reply, ‘It is people, people, people!’
This well-known whakatauki (Māori proverb) uses the analogy of a flax bush and people to emphasise the central importance and interconnectedness of human relationships. If people are to fulfil their God-given identity and destiny, we must cultivate them lovingly and carefully, giving them the room and resources they need to grow into who they are meant to be in Christ. This cuts to the heart of the first goal in The Salvation Army’s Māori Ministry Strategic Plan by acknowledging the importance of establishing strong, sustainable relationships (whakawhanaungatanga) and encouraging partnerships at every level within The Salvation Army.
Our systems, policies and procedures are entirely dependent on people—from the grassroots work of an individual at a corps or centre, to collective groups and departments, and right through to our most senior leaders. We want everyone to see they have a part to play in helping to implement, develop and realise this goal!
Spirituality and healthy relationships bring stability
Ko te wairua tētehi pou o te whare tapawhā. Spirituality is one of the posts that stabilises the house.
Professor Mason Durie developed Te Whare Tapawhā, a Māori model of health and wellbeing. With its strong foundations and four equal sides, the wharenui (meeting house) illustrates the four dimensions of Māori wellbeing: Te Taha Hinengaro (mental and emotional health), Te Taha Wairua (spiritual health),Te Taha Tinana (physical health), and Te Taha Whānau (relational health).
Professor Durie sees the correlation of a person and their spirituality as one dimension that needs to be strong. He says people need to be self-confident and self-assured to be healthy in mind, body and soul. If all sides of the whare are strong, so too is the person and the collective.
Nā, tēnei te mau nei te whakapono, te tūmanako, te aroha, ēnei e toru; ko te mea nui rawa ia o ēnei ko te aroha. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
This Bible verse supports Professor Mason Durie’s whakatauki. Without these three things—faith, hope and love—we are incomplete. In the same way, when people are disrespected, it is hard to maintain solid relationships.
But when a person’s faith, beliefs and values are acknowledged and respected, they will thrive, gain in confidence and excel.
Te Whare Io
Te Whare Io is a Māori discipleship programme embraced by The Salvation Army. Wānanga (schools of learning) are being held to train kaiārahi (facilitators). The aim of Te Whare Io is to:
Native American author and educator Richard Twiss says critical contextualisation is the successful communication of the Gospel with faithfulness to the integrity and testimony of scripture in cultural situations. He believes there is no general way to communicate the teachings of Jesus that is equally understood in all cultures. This fact requires that we find distinctive avenues to present these teachings in all settings to all people.
Ideas for being church together
by Trevor Mclean (c)