Mobilising the church

Working through the local church

Joy and celebration in the local church can spill out into the community, bringing hope. Photo: Richard Hanson/Tearfund
Joy and celebration in the local church can spill out into the community, bringing hope. Photo: Richard Hanson/Tearfund

Churches, like other faith communities, are very well placed to mobilise local resources for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.

The process of church and community mobilisation (CCM) helps local churches and communities build on the resources and skills they already have. It inspires and equips people with a vision for determining their own future with their own resources.

CCM is an expression of ‘integral mission’, which is the work of the church in contributing to the positive physical, spiritual, economic, psychological and social transformation of people.

Francis Njoroge, a Christian leader and CCM trainer, described the process like this:

‘The church goes out and stirs up that community so that they – the church and the community – hold hands and move out to look at issues that have always held the community down, and how those issues can be addressed jointly to bring total transformation.’

Here’s what people have said about church and community mobilisation:

‘Before [CCM], the church was passive. It served its own needs. It did little for the community. Now, the church is active. It serves the community’s needs. The chief has given us newfound respect. This sends out a positive message to the community.’

Rev John, Rungaviga Community, Kenya

‘Where there is an “Integral Mission” local church, active transformation happens. In other communities there is fighting, disagreements, disunity. Not here. We cannot imagine faith and social action being divided.’

Pastor Valdimir, Caroá, Paraíba, Brazil

‘The “light came on” and I realised that I have resources! Since I have been in a study group, I have changed the way I think and I now know that I can use the small resources around my house.’

Mrs Loeng, Cambodia

‘CCM is infectious. Neighbouring communities have seen what has happened to our community and now they are copying.’

Rev Moses, Kenya

Four steps of CCM


Tearfund resources for church and community mobilisation

Mobilising the church

This PILLARS Guide builds understanding, based on biblical teaching, of the role of the church in combining preaching the good news with practical involvement in the lives of poor people. It encourages leadership and facilitation skills and the development of small Bible study and support groups. 

Guide Our Steps 

…is a collection of 101 Bible studies that follow themes relating to development and encourage group study and discussion. It is an ideal resource for anyone who is involved with CCM. They can be used in group meetings or during workshops and seminars. Developing skills in participatory study and group discussion helps build confidence and vision for the future. 

Umoja Facilitator’s Guide

‘Umoja’ means ‘togetherness’ in the East African language of Swahili, and it is the name given to a CCM process with resources developed by Tearfund. The Facilitator’s Guide contains Bible studies, activities, energisers, tools, advice and a step-by-step process to help a church and community become inspired and start working together for transformation.