Church and Resilience

Tearfund believes the local church has a significant role to play in helping communities to build their resilience. To achieve this aim, there is an emphasis on the participation of the community, analysis of vulnerability, appreciating the potential within the community and practical application. This is not just about following an approach; it is also about appreciating partnership and valuing networks to encourage learning, best practice, reflection and sustainability.

I have learnt that the best way to succeed is to find ways of making the community doing the things themselves. Then they will produce the information and strategies themselves

Community Facilitator in Zimbabwe

One approach we are developing and piloting is called Church and Communities Building Resilience. By working through five steps using Bible studies, tools and activities, churches and communities develop plans based upon their vulnerabilities and capacity to cope with the shocks and stresses they face. The purpose of this approach is to offer a ‘recipe’ that will enhance resilience by creating space for churches and communities to discuss and plan for risks. The five steps are displayed in the diagram below:

Church and community

resources on church and resilience

REVEAL Toolkit
Reveal is a collection of tools and activities to help churches and others work with communities. It helps a process of community empowerment become even more effective, by providing tools to help uncover, explore and address hidden issues, and by providing technical advice and support for community actions and projects. Reveal also encourages Facilitators to access information locally, and build on their own community knowledge.

Overview report - Building resilience with local churches and communities
This report will unpack some of the learning and reflections gleaned by our staff, peer agencies, partners and community members around how we can partner with churches and communities to build resilience. This is an evolving process. Our aim with this report is to reflect and share where we are at, and to share our learning and plans going forward.

Case study: the Church in Zimbabwe and DRR