Local Transformation Initiatives
Community Development refers to a sustainable, well-designed, and structured process aimed at improving conditions in a specific community by means of a facilitator or change agent that facilitates a process. This is usually a person that is trained and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform this task. We, therefore, would like to see Community Development as a structured approach that distinguishes itself from similar but less structured processes. The involvement of the community during all the stages is a key factor in the process.
Community Development Workbook
The workbook is our effort at designing a tool to help churches and organizations to bring about positive change in their communities. It can help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls in the process. This manual was compiled as a guide that can be used as a stand-alone tool although some input from a person experienced in community development will be helpful. It is not an academic workbook although the information was sourced from the academic literature on the topic, and supplemented by personal experience. Each module has handouts and practical exercises.
- What is community development and what are the major constructs of community development? This includes an overview of major policy documents that influence community development projects globally. An introduction to the concept of community development and its constructs is given.
- Defining Community Development. The implications of Community Development. Community Development vs. Social Development. In this module, Community Development has been defined more accurately.
- Purpose, Goals, and Objectives of Community Development. Implications of the Community Development Strategy. The aim of this module is to identify the purpose, goals, and objectives of community development.
- When is the Community Development Approach most applicable?
- Roles of the Community Development Agents
For more information on the content of the workbook please visit the
following page here
The Local Church and Community Development
Many factors influence and determine a particular churches' involvement in community work. These include the churches':
- denominational affiliation,
- vision and mission,
- resources and resource network,
- geographical location,
- demographic compilation,
- the unique culture and
- leadership style.
It is, therefore, no surprise that many churches face a serious challenge in deciding if, and where to engage their communities. Getting this step right has launched many churches on an exciting journey. The church is seen in society as one of many community structures that together with many others, play a significant role in community transformation. It is therefore often criticized when it is not involved in any form of community work, upliftment, or development.Here are a few action steps that can help a church to initiate its own community development project.
Action Steps for Churches
Action Steps for Churches
- Formalize the church's decision to get involved in the community (get it on paper).
- Secure the commitment of church members in the project (form a working group).
- Appoint a coordinator (preferably hands-on).
- Perform a needs and situation analysis (establish what the community needs).
- Identify and analyze the obstacles (involve the community and formal structures).
- Formulate a plan of action (involve the community).
- Implement the strategy (with the community).
- Evaluate as a working group.
- Give feedback to the local church.
- Celebrate breakthroughs achievements.
- Pray before, during, and after the initiative.