August 31, 2011
(MNN Online) Community transformation is a key component to the work of e3 Partners. A part of that transformation is planting vibrant churches — something they’ve been doing for 25 years.
Todd Szalkowski, South America Regional Director for e3, outlines what community transformation means to e3. “Our desire is that each of those churches that are planted are transformational in its community, from a spiritual and also a health and material ability to function in a community.”
The question is: Why would communities need transformation? Szalkowski says, “In many parts of the world, it’s difficult for people to hear the Gospel if they’re so hungry they may die of starvation. So it’s a desire to meet physical needs in a non-dependence-creating way that allows people to realize that those needs are being met by the love of Jesus Christ through the local church.”
Tanzania is just one example of where e3 Partners wanted to “build a coalition of church leaders as well as local government, educational, and other leaders who were willing to sit down together to prioritize the needs of their community and the assets that are already in that community.”
This is where evangelism transformation can take place, by starting discipleship groups though existing alliances. “The easiest way to keep a discipleship group together is to inject discipleship into an existing, natural group of people,”says Szalkowsk.
It can be community leaders, families, or other like-minded members of a group.
Szalkowski says community transformation couples with it the”I Am Second” movement, an initiative that encourages people to find their God-given purpose in life and gives them the tools to make a difference physically and spiritually.
If you’d like to help e3 Partners, Szalkowski says, “We would ask your listeners to consider contributing Bibles and funds toward the effort to expand a very easily reproducible discipleship program among all the nations.”