Integral mission is a holistic response to the brokenness that exists in our world. As Christians, we seek to follow Christ’s example and restore the world’s broken relationships in his name, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Integral mission is what we are each called to be and do: it means living out our faith with our whole lives – through our words, actions and character.
God started this mission of restoration and will finish it when Jesus comes again. Until then, we – all Christians who are part of the church, the body of Christ on earth – are called and commissioned to continue that mission. We are called to follow Jesus’ example and do the kinds of things he did while he was here on earth. As we do, the world sees what the kingdom of God looks like, experiences his love and understands that it is possible to enter a relationship with him.
Having life "to the full" means restoring an individual’s relationship with God, creation, others and themselves – giving them a taste of God’s shalom, and the well-being, connectedness, depth of intimacy, security and fruitfulness that comes with it.
This practical outworking of integral mission, seeking to restore relationships – and by doing so, tackling poverty at its root – is what we believe will lead to church and community transformation (CCT).
"When I was being trained in integral mission, we were asked: 'if we were to do ministry as Jesus did, how would we do it?' Honestly, our pattern of ministry changed from that one question: we became participatory, using local resources that we mobilized ourselves. Today, we have a health center and a primary school. Teenage marriages and pregnancies are lower, and there are fewer divorces because relationships have improved between men and women. Many theological colleges have come to learn from us because the change is so great."
Venerable Isaac Danung, Nigeria
The Light Wheel
The goal of integral mission is for individuals and communities to have life "to the full", which means restoring an individual’s relationship with God, creation, others and themselves.
The Light Wheel gives us a framework to help us think in a more practical way about the areas of everyday life we must consider if we want to see relationships restored and lives fully transformed. It is made up of nine aspects of well-being that are depicted as spokes on a wheel to demonstrate their interconnectedness.
The Light Wheel also helps churches to measure their contribution towards that restorative change by reflecting on their journey towards CCT, identifying where change is happening and deciding how they might adapt a CCT process to improve its effectiveness and impact for their particular community. Churches and facilitators can use the Light Wheel’s set of data collection tools to measure the change that is happening in each of the nine aspects of well-being.
For example, a community might decide that livelihood training would be a good program to run, to help their most vulnerable people to generate an income by starting a business.
As well as improved Material assets and resources, it is also likely that participants’ Capabilities and Emotional and mental well-being will improve and that they will develop Social connections in their community.
The ultimate proof of CCT is in the many thousands of people around the world who have experienced the transformation described in this resource. But the journey is ongoing. The commitment to integral mission is lifelong and the challenges to overcome are many.
We invite you to join us on a journey to achieve church and community transformation and, in so doing, experience the “life in all its fullness” that Jesus promised.