Tearfund's approach to humanitarian and development response is to work wherever possible with and through the local church. This is because, as a Christian NGO, Tearfund considers itself to have a specific calling to work alongside local communities of Christians to help bring transformation to the lives of those living in poverty. Whilst acknowledging that the church is a flawed human institution, and that no one is beyond reproach, Tearfund believes that, at its best, the church is an organisation with the potential to help reshape the lives of the communities it serves across the world.
This approach brings three key advantages to international development work, in that local churches are:
1 INTEGRAL – the situation of the church in local communities affords the benefits of:
2 INSPIRATIONAL – the Christian identity of the church acts as an asset in:
- a whole-person approach
- a biblical mandate to help those in need
- the influence of church leaders
3 INFLUENTIAL – the reach of the church at all levels, from local communities to international organisations, gives it:
- the influence to shape attitudes and the ability to speak up on behalf of the poor and oppressed
This makes the church a highly distinctive and effective partner for this work, and brings value to humanitarian and development responses that is by no means commonplace in the sector.
You can read the report here (PDF 1.1 MB).