Community Health - Working from the Ground Up
With nearly 2.2 billion people comprising the Global Church, there are more followers of Jesus in the world today than at any point in history. And yet, 21,000 children die silently every day from preventable and treatable diseases. Across the world, 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.50 daily. More than 260 million Africans cannot read or write. And, perhaps most troubling of all, the vulnerable and marginalized have no voice and no ability to respond to the systems and power structures that keep these realities exactly the way they are.
It is time to wake the giant. It is time for the local Church and her 2.2 billion members to break out of her walls and intentionally push against the tide of disease, famine, illiteracy, extreme poverty and injustice. Across the world and in our own backyards, the local Church is perfectly positioned to bring about lasting change in its local community.
But, community betterment activities can only be transformational when they are rooted in the Mission of Jesus. Lasting change must be gospel-centered and focused on the integrated nature of spiritual, social and material realities. Life in its fullness is rooted in Christ, pursuing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Transformational development must come from the ground up, with an integrated approach that cultivates local leadership and requires the participation and ownership from the community itself. It means walking with the community, and not doing for them what they can do for themselves once equipped.
We must employ multi-faceted solutions that address the specific root causes of poverty within each community. Our solutions should aim to:
Promote Health and Prevent Disease
Educate the Marginalized
Empower The Poor with Economic Opportunities
Equip The Vulnerable to Break the Cycle
Only then, will transformational development take place, and we will begin to see the Kingdom on earth, as God intended.