A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa







Chilema 2017




Diocese of Southern Malawi (from 2007)

The Diocese of Southern Malawi hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conference in April 2007, facilitated by a team from the UK and Tanzania. The conference was attended by all the 17 clergy and by 38 lay leaders - the first time clergy and laity had had the opportunity to share in common training. The diocese had relied on crusades for its evangelism and was looking to develop an effective strategy for lay discipleship. Diocesan Evangelism Coordinator Martin Mlaka wrote:

'"For over three decades, the Anglican diocese of southern Malawi has involved itself in crusades but without a proper tool for follow-up. It is in this regard that we find the Rooted in Jesus material and methods helpful to nurture the converts right immediately after each crusade. Soon after their training, we are going to deploy the catechists one by one at each place we have a church planting crusade and where the congregations are at establishment stage".

A second training conference was run the following year, attended by 50 lay leaders. Rooted in Jesus is used in Chichewa and Chiyao.

Ten years on, a further conference is planned for October 2018.

Diocese of Upper Shire (from 2015)

In November 2015 John Lee took a joint team from the UK and Zambia to the Diocese of Upper Shire in Malawi, in response to a longstanding invitation from Bishop Brighton Malasa. Bishop Brighton gave a warm and authoritative welcome to RinJ. The conference was opened by the two Zambian team members Fr Kapomba Sekeleti and Canon Susan Chulu, who were joined the next day by the 3 UK team members. 31 clergy and 49 lay leaders were trained to lead groups, and a couple of weeks later we received the following surprised and moving email from Fr Edward Kawinga:

Rooted in Jesus is a real eye opener! There is a lot l didn't know about my parishioners! Group introductions alone reveal that our parishioners are dying in silence and I am very convinced that RinJ is the real Cure.”

A followup conference was held in February 2017 by a team from Eastern Zambia and from the UK, and Fr Elliot Litereko reported that RinJ is bringing great changes to the lives of those involved, with people committing their lives to Christ for the first time, and groups becoming self sustaining and offering love and support to others in the community. Bishop Brighton wrote:

We are happy and glad that the laity of this Diocese can be given such a chance to undertake theological studies in their local parishes which was perceived as for the ordained ministers. When I visit the parishes I have seen people gathering and undergoing these training on Saturdays and Sundays after Mass. I am delighted to see such progress. I am convinced that if people (the laity) are rooted in Jesus having undergone these trainings, we shall have both the laity and clergy rich spiritually which will lessen the tasks of our priests as we shall have knowledgeable faithfuls.

The diocese reported in March 2017 that there is a tremendous growth of Rooted in Jesus groups in various parishes. Group members are holding collections to support others who are sick or in hospital; preists and laity are working together in the proclamation of the Gospel, speaking particularly with Muslims. By February 2018 groups were running in most of the diocese's 30 parishes, with an estimated 60 groups overall.

Rooted in Jesus is used in Chichewa.


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