Core Principles

Seven core principles form the foundation of the TCT program.

depending-god

Depending on God

Depending on God

Our success does not come from applying the program well; it comes from God.  The Bible is very clear about what produces success: delighting in God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-3), abiding in God (John 15:5), and obeying God (Joshua 1:7-8).  We are reminded in Psalm 43:4 that, “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.”  As program leaders, we must put our trust in the right place—not in the program but in God.  We need to be listening to Him and coming before Him in prayer and fasting. Transformation can happen, but only with Him.

Churches Depending on God

Partner churches also need to grow in dependence on God. When we see communities facing difficulties, we want to jump in and solve their problems. But we need to be careful. Maybe God is teaching the community or leaders something through this problem. If we intervene too quickly, the community could miss out on God’s best for them. Oftentimes God’s solutions are beyond what we could imagine. (See story: Out of Debt)

The story of the prodigal son challenges us because of what the father did not do. He did not pursue his son.  He did not use his resources to coax him home. Instead, he waited. Struggles and trials can be healthy. We need to imitate the father’s patience, remembering it takes time for communities to overcome the poverty that has crippled them for so many years.

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Nurturing Truth and Confronting Lies

Nurturing Truth and Confronting Lies

Our beliefs significantly impact how we behave. Our program begins by identifying the key lies that hold communities in poverty and aims to combat those lies by bringing an understanding of God’s truth.

In the areas where we work, the lies that often hold people in poverty include:

  • We are born poor and will die poor. In almost all the communities where we work, the people are fatalistic. They believe they are born poor and will die poor,  so they make no effort to try to change their future.
  • We are subject to the gods. People often believe that gods or spirits control everything–the quantity of the harvest, illness and health. Many families end up in debt from sacrificing animals to appease false gods.
  • We are too poor to give. Many who are poor believe they are not required to give, but should instead receive from others.  They miss out on the blessing of giving.
  • We cannot do anything without outsiders to help us. Often, the poor are unable to see the many resources God has given them, including their own creativity, resourcefulness, time and energy. When mobilized, each of these gifts can help them make significant differences in their communities.
  • We are insignificant. This belief prevents the poor from even trying to solve problems. However, as they begin to understand their value before God, they start to believe that they can also have dreams for the future.

God has promised us that His truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). As people understand and begin to apply truth to every area of life, they start to move out of poverty.

To learn more about how ideas have consequences, visit the Disciple Nations Alliance website (disciplenations.org).

integrating

Integrating Physical and Spiritual

Integrating Physical and Spiritual

One of the great lies to affect the church is that of the sacred-secular divide—the belief that some things (our spiritual and moral lives) have greater importance to God, while others (agriculture, health, work…) are of less importance.

However, the Bible teaches that everything belongs to God. The way we do anything, including how we eat and drink should bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The Bible teaches us that the problems of poverty and injustice are spiritual, as well as physical, problems. As such, they also have a spiritual solution: as we walk in obedience to God, we will see His blessings in our lives and communities (Deuteronomy 28). In this program we challenge churches to obey God in a number of key areas such as loving, serving, giving and stewardship.

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Mobilizing Local Resources

Mobilizing Local Resources

We teach churches and individuals to use what God has given them to serve others through Acts of Love. Asking this of poor, rural villages can seem absurd. Yet the Bible has promised that in the same measure as we give, it will be given to us (Luke 6:38), not to make us rich, but so we can “be generous on every occasion” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

Acts of Love are small, one-day projects that are designed to serve the community. Some common Acts of Love are helping someone in the field for a day, repairing ditches in the road, and cleaning the water system. Often, God powerfully uses these small acts.

This idea of Acts of Love originates from Bob Moffitt at Harvest Foundation (harvestfoundation.org). Bob refers to such acts as Seed Projects, emphasizing the idea that from small things, great things can happen.

We believe that growing in stewardship is a major part of our discipleship. Because of this we mobilize other types of local resources. We encourage facilitators to consider volunteering, we challenge churches to provide their own meals at trainings and we help train the leadership team on how they can raise funds in their own country.

pursuing-god

Pursuing God’s Ways

Pursuing God’s Ways

God calls us to seek to build His kingdom, rather than our own. We freely share this program and support those who are looking to apply it.

Likewise, we ask you to share. Part of becoming a member is agreeing to share your experiences and translations freely.

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Partnering with Churches

Partnering with Churches

At its heart, TCT is a discipleship program. The emphasis is on obeying God and depending on Him. It is within the church that people are best able to work together, pray together and mobilise the gifts and talents that God has given them.

This principle has a couple of key implications:

  1. We need to train church members, not just pastors. If you are training groups of pastors, be sure to follow-up to make sure they are actually training their churches.  The whole church needs to be committed to depending on God and being more obedient in every aspect of life.
  2. We need to keep things simple. The materials are very simple and we encourage you not to add too much and make them more complex.  If needed, we have a set of small groups materials which are simpler. These materials can be found in the membership area.

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Focusing on the Vulnerable

Focusing on the Vulnerable

The goal of the program is being obedient to God and loving our neighbors. We challenge even the poorest to find ways to show love to others, especially those who may be even more vulnerable —like widows, orphans, and the disabled.