Community Health Evangelism ministries often begin on a national or regional basis and then are brought down to the village or community level. The following six steps provide an understanding of how CHE is implemented.
Step 1: Casting a Vision for Wholistic Ministry in a Country or an Area
CHE Coordinators do vision seminars with leaders from churches, mission agencies, faith-based organizations and governments. Alliances are formed, plans made, workers recruited and funding secured.
Step 2: Equipping the CHE Team
CHE Coordinators train a team of three or four national Christians, equipping them to implement Community Health Evangelism programs in multiple communities. CHE Coordinators visit the teams they train and continue to mentor and coach them through the course of the development process.
Step 3: Community Awareness and Organization
As CHE teams begin working in a village or community they raise awareness of both the needs and opportunities, and facilitate a process by which the community itself identifies solutions and begins to work together in an organized way. The community gains hope and vision for a better quality of life. Our trainers assure that community leaders understand CHE as a way they can address their physical, social and spiritual needs themselves, not a program that offers them money. The key to CHE is the community’s willingness to take responsibility for addressing its own problems. Through a series of open meetings, the community decides whether or not to do CHE as a community. If the training team has done its initial work well, most communities decide to do CHE. The community then selects people to serve as their local leadership committee.
Step 4: Training and Mobilizing Volunteers
The CHE team trains the development committee and equips it to lead the development process in their village. The development committee selects other community members to be trained as volunteer CHEs – community health educators and evangelists. The work of these dedicated volunteers is crucial to achieving results. Through frequent trainings, the CHEs are equipped to implement health-improving steps in their own homes. They then visit homes in their community sharing God’s Word while meeting felt needs. The CHEs may teach about immunization and then escort the families to a clinic to get their children immunized, or teach about good nutrition and help the families dig kitchen gardens, or teach about the importance of clean water and help families with ways sanitize their drinking water. These home visits begin to build a web of relationships through which information can flow. Changes are introduced one topic at a time. The combined influence of the training team, the development committee, and the CHEs creates a dynamic process of learning and change in the community. Physical and social health improves, projects are accomplished, and spiritual growth occurs as people come to faith in Christ. The community changes from the inside-out.
Step 5: Capacity Building and Church Planting
The CHE team continues to mentor and coach the committee, assisting them in a continual process of identifying problems, researching solutions, finding resources, making plans, recruiting volunteers, and evaluating results. Self help groups are formed for livelihood, economic, and agricultural development. People who come to Christ are discipled in new life groups and churches are established with a vision and plan for wholistic ministry. Church and community work together for wholistic development and the church is recognized as a transforming agent in its community.
Step 6: Multiplication
The CHE team moves to another community to repeat the process in nearby communities. The CHE team multiplies itself by equipping selected committee members and volunteers as trainers. These volunteers join with a member of the original CHE team in reaching out to a neighboring community.