Faith Integration and Christian Witness in Relief and Development Reflections and Practical Guidance for Field Teams

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Ray Norman
Odoi Odotei


This paper examines practical opportunities to strengthen faith integration within relief and development field teams through intentional development of a shared understanding of Christian witness, leveraging Christian identity (through the development of messaging statements), recognizing “sacramental moments,” engaging faith leaders and understanding unique opportunities that exist when working with mixed faith teams. Field teams often struggle to effectively and consistently integrate their Christian faith in their technical programs. Many are comprised of staff who have professional training and/or technical backgrounds, but little theological training or experience with how their Christian faith can practically inform the way their field programs are implemented. Field teams may also be comprised of individuals with diverse denominational backgrounds and Christian faith traditions, and some team members may even be of another faith, which can present challenges in developing a team-owned approach to Christian witness. Moreover, field teams may work among mixed-faith, or other-faith communities, which can present unique challenges for how Christian faith is appropriately integrated in the relief or development milieu. In addition to examining the aforementioned opportunities, this paper suggests best practices, along with practical considerations and steps to develop applicable methods, especially for restricted contexts. While these suggested practices have been developed in the context of World Vision’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs, the methods presented should be easily adaptable for field activities in other development sectors.


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Norman, R., & Odotei, O. (2019). Faith Integration and Christian Witness in Relief and Development: Reflections and Practical Guidance for Field Teams. Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy: The Journal of the Accord Network, 1(1), 31–43. Retrieved from
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