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Why does Tearfund work with local churches?

In communities around the world, churches are supporting some of the most vulnerable people in areas which organisations can struggle to reach. Church leaders are often respected and act as role models within their communities – as such, they are well placed to lead development initiatives.

We believe that poverty exists as a result of broken relationships with God, ourselves, others and creation. The church can play a key role in helping to restore these four broken relationships, bringing whole-life transformation to individuals and communities.

Our vision for church and community transformation

Our vision is to see local churches actively responding to the holistic needs of their communities in practical and sustainable ways, using their God-given potential and resources. This is a life-long journey, and the destination is ‘church and community transformation’ (CCT). Tearfund’s role is to kickstart this journey by helping churches to recognise that they can play an active role in bringing about the change they long to see.

In fact, a recent independent study for Tearfund found that an incredible £28 of social value can be created for every £1 invested in the church and the community.

People in CCT communities are...

Envisioning and mobilising churches

We believe that the church is called to restore brokenness and engage with the needs of individuals and the community – physical, spiritual, emotional, economic, environmental and social.

Tearfund’s approach is to envision and equip the church in practical ways to work with the local community, identifying needs and mobilising resources to bring about restoration and transformation.

How the church and community respond may include:

  • Establishing community self-help groups
  • Improving facilities
  • Advocating for improvement of services, access to services or changes to unjust laws
  • Improving relationships where there have been barriers and hostilities in the community

In church and community mobilisation, the local church works with the local community to identify and respond to their needs together. The process is open-ended and the resulting initiatives are managed by the church and community together.

To date, Tearfund has introduced church and community transformation processes in more than 40 countries.

Our church and community work: in-depth

In 2022, Tearfund partnered with impact specialists, State of Life, to assess the impact of Church and Community Transformation (CCT) processes in four African countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. You can find out more by reading the study on our partner website, Tearfund Learn.

Read more on Tearfund Learn

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