E (Community Health Evangelism) is a true best practices model for integrating evangelism and discipleship with community based development. The first programs were done in Africa in the 1980s. CHE was then taken to other parts of the world where it proved adaptable to a wide-range of situations. Today CHE is being used around the world by churches,denominations, mission agencies, non-government organizations, and national and local governments to lift whole communities out of cycles of poverty and disease.
CHE is initiated in a community by a two- or three-person CHE training team—dedicated Christians who speak the language of the community and live close enough to visit frequently. CHE trainers are generally supervised by a local organization—whether a church, an association, a denomination, a mission agency, or an NGO.
As they start out in the community, they raise awareness of need and opportunity, 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, and a development process is catalyzed.

imageThe 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, which is prepared for its work by the training team. Then the CHE program is officially launched by the community.

The success of a CHE program can be measured by the following transformational indicators. These are the outcomes that we consistently see in mature CHE programs around the world:

  1. Shared vision: The community sees a better future and has hope that it can be achieved.
  2. Leadership: Godly Christian leaders are positioned and equipped to lead the community toward the accomplishment of its vision.
  3. Ownership: People are taking responsibility for their own health and well being.
  4. Cooperation: People are united and working together for the common good.
  5. Volunteers: People are taking initiative and acting sacrificially to meet the legitimate needs of others.
  6. Dignity: People have recovered their identity as made in the image of God and their vocation as stewards of creation. Instead of being controlled or victimized by their environment, they are stewards of it.
  7. Learning, Skill, and Resources: People are equipped to identify needs and resources, put together a plan, and mobilize volunteers to accomplish their vision. People are continually reflecting on what is happening in order to learn how to be more effective.
  8. Christian Community and Witness: Believers are meeting together for fellowship, prayer, Bible study and worship, and are sharing Christ with their neighbors in word and deed.

Once the above outcomes are achieved, communities begin to change. Health improves, infant mortality decreases, agriculture becomes more productive, jobs are created, water systems, roads, schools and clinics are built, and churches are established or strengthened. All of this is achieved at the initiative of the people. Peace, justice, compassion, and righteousness are witnessed in the community and God is glorified.