Empowering Churches To Transform Communities
The contemporary world is compounded with many challenges and brokenness arousing skepticism on reality of God’s existence in terms of responds to the needs of His people. It is on this backdrop that we have numerous religious groups with diverse beliefs, philosophies and doctrines geared towards providing answers to community challenges. However, the more the religious groups, churches and Christians, the higher the level of brokenness, poverty and hopelessness.
The church is disengaged from the culture and from the social and physical needs of the community and the nations. The church seems not to have understood the Great commission, rather than discipling the nations at the level of culture, churches are being discipled by their nations and influenced by retrogressive cultural beliefs. This foundation of the cultural dichotomy of the sacred verses the secular pushed the church to the extreme end of spiritual care devoid of social and physical touch.
Africa's response to Christian faith has been remarkable, especially from the second half of the twentieth century when membership of the Christian community rose from about 60 million in 1960 to 599 million in 2018 having the most Christians globally. These impressive figures does not reflect corresponding levels of development, if indeed faith does impact development. The church has missed theology in which the apparently ordinary issues of life, such as food production, social justice, peace-building, governance, health and wealth creation among others are intricately interwoven with the fundamental doctrines of the faith. They are not additions to the Christian mandate but part and parcel of the Mission of God.
In view of the above, the church is still the solution. It is an ordained agent for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. A local church is placed in community as the most important strategic institution that should bring social and cultural transformation. It is the church that has a mandate to represent God’s agenda to bring restoration. Members of the church are found in every sector of the society and most importantly, God works through the Church to bless, heal, and disciple the nations. God’s agenda must be understood and lived by the church and Christians for purposeful change and transformation. The church, as the embassy of God’s kingdom, is expected to be a true representative of God by bringing transformation not only to communities but to entire nations as alluded in the Great commission.
It is on this backdrop, therefore, that TCN programs were established. The programs place special emphasis on the importance of mindset transformation and presents the Biblical worldview as the key to social and cultural transformation.
This program was designed to address the problem of profound human need and interrelationship between physical, spiritual, social, and mental. Church leaders are challenged to engage in healing relationships, care for environment, inculcate ethics in doing business, create wealth to increase job opportunities, embrace new methods of agriculture, care for the vulnerable and advocate for their rights, address emerging challenges such as corruptions, negative impact of social media, while engaging in discipleship, evangelism and mission.
As much as this being an ordained function of the church, it cannot be achieved if the Church is not trained, equipped and encouraged to fulfill their God given role in advancing His kingdom.
Hence the program seeks empower and equip the church and other change agents on biblical worldview for social and cultural transformation which is a holistic incarnation ministry practically lived out – “The Jumla model”. The programs form a foundation that facilitate Christians discover the sufficiency of God rather than relying solely on other intervention.
TCN is an interdenominational network registered in 2013 under section 10 of the Non-Governmental Organization Co-ordination Act registration number OP.218/051/12-0749/9211.
It is registered as a Faith based Charity organization to empower and equip leaders on Transformational development through a program named “Theology and Sustainable Community development” for community holistic transformation.
To see a transformed and thriving communities
To empower and equip churches on holistic approach to community transformation through partnerships in order alleviate of abject poverty.
These are our irreducible minimum:
Holistic, Honesty, Hard work,
Our Approach: “JUMLA” is a Kiswahili word which means whole, all or total and in this context means “holistic – touching all aspects of human life; socially, spiritually and physically”
To provide an environment conducive for holistic transformation through training and practice in all aspect of human life at the household level for improved and diverse community livelihoods
TCN end point achievement is:
To establish sustainable, transferable and multi-pliable program that holistically transform lives in communities
Holistic approach to ministry is traced back to Lokichar in Turkana County located in the dry lands of Northern Rift valley. I was serving there as a missionary, preaching the gospel throughout the villages.
In one of the villages, after my fiery sermon, an old widow came to me. I thought at first, she was coming for prayers to get saved just like the rest. But amid everything, she whispered to me,
" I am a local brewer, i brew the local beer to sell so that my kids can eat and go to school, If i come to church you will tell me to stop brewing, what will i do for my kids to survive?"
That question was a slap to my face, to my understanding of the gospel, my theological orientation and became an eye opener to social and physical needs of the people around. I had no words to respond at that moment. i went back to re-read the scriptures; what Christ could have done in such a situation. I was a young pastor who had believed that my only business was to preach the gospel for people to believe and go to heaven. No much thoughts came to me about their daily needs. I spend time in prayers seeking God's guidance.
One day somebody from oversees sent me a booklet called "The Transforming story" which is a Discipling Nation Alliance material. That was what i needed and i started reading, soaking myself in it. I attended training on transformational approach to ministry as well named “vision conference” and Community Health Education”. I later became a facilitator of the same. I started training pastors. I went back to Lokichar to tell the widow and others that i found the answer. I facilitated for them to establish Porridge business as a livelihood source in place of the local beer brewing. others join different types of businesses.
Holistic approach to ministry training was first held at Kenya Highlands Evangelical University in 2005 under the name “vision Conference”. The training was conducted by Samaritan Strategy Africa through Dr. Denis Tongoi and World Gospel Mission through Dr. Philiph Reinfroe.
In 2009, a ministry to spearhead the holistic concept within Africa Gospel Church (AGC) was formed). . This was with the intention of mobilizing the whole church reach out compassionately to communities around them. The training reached a notch high when the church leadership embraced it as a tool to be used during the National leader’s conference in 2014 which was done at the regional level.
Earlier on, around 2012, pastors from other denominations enrolled for the training. They had seen that those who had been trained were different in their approach and had created impact in communities. They later proposed for an interdenominational network to spearhead the holistic training program. Therefore, in 2013, Transformational Compassion Network (TCN) was registered as a charity network; non- governmental organization.
Ministry support had been through fee charged to students, friends and partners donations and grants. The ministry hope to sustained itself through establishment of income generating projects and a small interest charged through micro finance program called “seeding livelihood” targeting the vulnerable.
In 2016, Transformational Compassion Network, AGC Compassion ministries, and Kenya Highlands Evangelical University collaborated to start holistic training at the campus targeting mostly church leaders from different denominations. The official launch of the training was done on 15th August 2016. The training program was named “Theology and Sustainable Community Development” where the first class was conducted from 16th to 19th August and attracted 217 students. 154 students managed to graduate in September 2017.
REV. WALTER RUTTO
CEO AND FOUNDER
TRANSFORMATIONAL COMPASSION NETWORK
TCN Board is elected by TCN members who are officially registered subscribers of TCN organization. The National Board appoint CEO and at least two other officers to form administration team. The Administration team recruit the other officers as need arises, who, together with the Administration team forms National Management. The Management recruit county officers and coordinators to form County management. The County management recruit recommend Training Centre Officers and qualified facilitators to National management for appointment. The Advisory Board is constituted by the National Board. Advisory board members are key donors and partners of the organization. National Management approves prospective members of the organization.
Rev. Walter Rutto