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CHE - Community Health Evangelism

Goal of CHE

The goal of Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is to establish a development ministry whose purpose is to bring together Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 25:37-40). This is accomplished by training community members as Community Health Evangelists (CHEs) who regularly visit 10 – 15 neighboring households, sharing the gospel and promoting principles of disease prevention and healthy living. The program is designed to be transferable, multipliable, and ongoing after the training team leaves the area. 

Biblical Basis

In addition to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, Jesus made a startling statement in Matthew 25:34-40. He asserted that as we give food and drink to those in need, take in strangers, clothe the naked, look after the sick, and visit those in prisons, we are doing these things to Him. Jesus calls us to be His disciples, sharing the gospel and serving others in love, meeting them at the point of their need.

Jesus not only calls us to be disciples, but also to make disciples. He wants our ministries to multiply and His love and truth to reach the ends of the earth, touching individuals, households, and communities, now and eternally. Christian community development is rooted in obedience to the commands of Christ. It is driven by a desire to see individuals come to faith in Christ and to see lives, households, and communities transformed by obedience to the principles of God’s Word.

We are told in II Timothy 2:2 to train faithful men to teach others who, in turn, will teach others. Here is multiplication as each one teaches those who will go on to teach others both spiritually and physically. 

When Jesus walked this earth, He ministered to the whole person. As Christians, we too are responsible to meet both physical and spiritual needs and to train others to do so also.

When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples to minister to others, He commanded them to heal the sick, being concerned for the physical needs of others, as they preached the Good News of Jesus Christ. Today, if we are to follow Christ’s example, we too must be concerned for physical and spiritual healing as were the disciples.

The Need

There are immense needs in the two-thirds world. One-half of those who die in the villages of developing countries are under five years of age! Most of these deaths are due to a combination of malnutrition and infection. Diarrhea and gastrointestinal diseases abound, due to contaminated water and food, improper waste disposal, and poor hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition. UNICEF reports 40,000 children die each day of diseases that are preventable. 

Serious respiratory diseases occur frequently because of overcrowded living situations, low resistance due to poor nutrition, and lack of knowledge of how to prevent transmission to other family members. Typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough are common diseases that can be prevented through the use of inoculations (vaccinations). Environmental health diseases transmitted by snails, insects, and other animals can be prevented by the use of other modern medicines.

CHE is a multifaceted, community-based, development strategy that deals with the whole man – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Our training teams equip local villagers as CHEs in the needed physical, social or emotional topics, and spiritual area. The CHEs then put into practice what they have learned in their own lives and share this with 10 – 15 neighboring families.

Historically, most of the available medical personnel and funds in the developing world have been committed to hospitals, which provide curative care for only five to ten percent of the population. In most of the two-thirds world countries, 80 percent of the health professionals are found in cities, while 80 percent of the people live in rural areas. The majority of the clinics and hospitals are also in the cities.

The best medical care is to prevent the disease before it occurs. Curative medicine seeks recovery from existing diseases rather than preventing diseases. It is expensive and not available to the majority of the people, especially those in rural areas and villages. Therefore, CHE places its greatest emphasis on prevention, which involves community development. However, there is still a need for resources of curative care, such as clinics and local hospitals for dealing with the more serious illnesses.  

Although most diseases are preventable through health education and immunizations, we also train CHEs to recognize basic diseases and treat them in the home.  As an example, in Africa worms can be treated with pawpaw milk.  In addition, CHEs are taught how to recognize the signs and conditions severe enough to need treatment at the hospital.

CHEs also meet needs in another critical area – malnutrition. CHEs teach how to grow and properly prepare vegetables and other foods. The “Food 3x3” lesson plan is an easy way to remember what foods to eat at every meal: (1) an energy food – potatoes or bread; (2) a body-building food – beef or fish; and (3) a protective food – oranges or pineapples.

Sanitation can be a problem in houses made of mud and when access to water is limited. A crucial factor for health is to train people to build pit latrines and keep clean homes. Many villages have no running water, so people walk three to four kilometers to draw water from a dirty river. CHEs teach villagers how to find a clean source of water and how to protect it to keep it clean. They also teach ways to purify water. In addition to teaching the villagers about sanitation, the CHEs tell them how Jesus Christ can cleanse their lives of sin permanently.

Three Phase Training of Trainers (TOT)

The training process is broken into three, one-week phases with several months between each phase to allow trainees to practice what they have learned.

Phase I Focuses on development philosophy and how to start a CHE Program. Spiritually, the emphasis is on evangelism. 

Phase II Focuses on developing teaching materials, methods, and curriculum. Spiritually, the emphasis is on follow-up.

Phase III Focuses on evaluation, project expansion, multiplication, and management. Spiritually, the emphasis is on discipleship.

Brief Description of Trainings

Vision Seminar

A two-day seminar that introduces the CHE concept to other agencies when beginning work in a new area or country. The participants are usually leaders of organizations who are interested in an integrated approach to community development and health. As a result of the seminar, the leaders normally choose people from their organization who have the capability and interest to implement CHE in a target location. These people then participate in a TOT I. 

Training of Trainers I (TOT I)

A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training, designed to equip Christian leaders and organizations to implement their own integrated ministry of community health and evangelism. Those who attend a TOT will be equipped to set up a CHE program and to train CHE volunteers for work in their communities. All teaching is in a participatory style using large and small group discussions, various hands-on activities, and methods that can be replicated to the village setting. 

Training of Trainers II (TOT II)

A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training. After a community has been mobilized, TOT II focuses on developing teaching materials, methods, and curriculum. As a result, the trainers are ready to train committee members and CHEs. 

Training of Trainers III (TOT III)

A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training. After a CHE program is successfully adopted by a community, TOT III focuses on the evaluation of the project as well as how to multiply the project into other areas. This training is not required for a CHE program, but is very useful for evaluation, multiplication, and management of a program. 

CHE Family-Based TOT

A specialized training primarily for nationals who live in a creative access country and who will be the only CHE workers in a village. The training incorporates 12 hours of TOT I to give participants an overview of how a CHE program works. Health and development teaching is included for instruction in how they can help their neighbors physically. 


A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training, that focuses on the development philosophy of what CHE is and how to use the CHE strategy to address HIV issues in a community. The training teaches how to create community awareness, advocate lifestyle and behavior changes, prevent infection, and offers compassionate care of those already infected. The training incorporates fifty-percent of a “standard” Training of Trainers (TOT).

Urban TOT

A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training, that focuses on the preparation needed to begin a CHE program in an urban slum. The training is aimed at U.S.-based programs and uses the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. The course incorporates fifty-percent of a “standard” Training of Trainers (TOT).

Community Health Evangelism Perinatal Support (CHEPS)

A pregnancy support and education program designed to work within a CHE program. Specially trained CHEs are enabled to teach important pregnancy issues which promote healthy pregnancies and provide emotional support throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period, including infant care. Note: this training does not teach infant delivery skills.

Kingdom Business

Kingdom Business training encourages Christian businesspeople to use their business for the Lord. As a result, changes can occur in how they treat their employees, customers, suppliers, and even their competitors in a more Christian approach. In addition, they are challenged to use profits from their business for Kingdom work. 


A week-long course designed to educate and train individuals and finance new, very small enterprises to improve the participants’ and their families’ economic stability and well-being. The increased employment and family income improves the diet, health, and overall well-being of a given family. These participants do not normally have access to such services.

NGO Capacity Building

Capacity Building is designed for small Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBO) to be better able to manage their organization. This training is similar to the Kingdom Business skills seminar but adapted for the small nonprofit business or agency. It too is built around being a servant leader. The training helps the organization appreciate what the organization is doing well right now and to dream what it might become as they learn about the organization and structures that should be in place for this to happen.

Participatory Agricultural Development (PAD)

PAD is an extension of CHE into the economic arena, using crop and animal production and marketing. The community elects a committee of farmers chosen for their interest in research (innovation) and willingness to serve. The testing (research) of new ideas/varieties/methods is the core activity. 

Salt and Light Training (SALT) is a practical education program for local churches. The training will help to equip and encourage the church to serve their communities. SALT has been developed by LifeWind and applied in many churches in the developing world. Pastors, local churches, and organizations are taught wholistic ministry from a biblical perspective. 

Women’s Cycle of Life

A week-long course, consisting of 35 hours of training, that focuses on the complete cycle of a woman’s life – birth, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. The training covers a variety of topics including physical health, emotional support, family relationships, and spiritual truths.

*Information quoted from "CHE Overview" by: 

- Life Wind International

- Global CHE Network 

Jeffrey Smith,
Sep 13, 2010, 2:46 AM