Church community transformation does not work by the partner telling a church what to do to address issues of poverty, nor is it prescriptive. Rather, the partner will journey alongside the church and its leadership to dialogue with their community and to work out what they, together, want to change first.
Tearfund supports the Anglican Church of Kenya to work specifically with diocesan leadership, church committees, clergy and lay leaders who are trained to lead and facilitate community group bible studies. This is a critical part of the process which aims to teach people that God has given each person great worth and has provided them with the resources needed to lift themselves out of poverty. People identify their resources and work with each other to generate an income that will start to turn their lives around.
In the Kenyan context, the Anglican Church is scaling up church community transformation through ‘Msamaria Mwema Groups,’ which is translated as the ‘Good Samaritan’ groups. These groups are formed as a result of the envisioning stages through the bible studies; enabling the church and community to work together in developing innovative solutions to tackle some of the immediate needs facing their specific community or family.
Results we have seen
Through Church community transformation, whole communities are envisioned and the process is helping people to start businesses, join self help groups and advocate to local governments. These results have been instrumental in empowering those who feel trapped in cycles of poverty to boost their self esteem and cement relationships between church and community. Such unity and holistic transformation has also been a catalyst for stimulated economic growth.