ROOTED IN JESUS
A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa

Chipili

Chipili

Mfuwe

E Zambia

Mfuwe

Chipata

Mfuwe

Lusaka

Lusaka

Lusaka

Lusaka

Chipili

Lusaka

 

 

Zambia

 

Rooted in Jesus has been introduced within three of Zambia’s five Anglican dioceses: Eastern Zambia, Luapula and Lusaka. It is also being used by Dignity International for their fast-expanding ‘Life’ project, whose vision is to see rural areas of Zambia transformed through the power and practice of the gospel.

Diocese of Eastern Zambia (from 2008)

The Diocese of Eastern Zambia is a small but growing diocese with a particular vision for lay ministry. It hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conferences in 2008. Held in three regional centres, the conferences were attended by all the clergy and by some 180 lay leaders, some of whom had walked or cycled up to 86 km to get there. Each of the 11 parishes formed a local plan, and groups began shortly after the conference.

A further series of conferences were held two years later with the aim of strengthening the existing programme and providing additional training to 130 youth leaders - the first time they had been offered a residential training programme.

In April 2014 four initial training conferences for Rooted in Jesus Junior were hosted in different parts of the diocese, with 199 Sunday School teachers commissioned to begin groups in their parishes. By March 2015 there were 60 groups meeting in 4 deaneries, with many testimonies from both the children and their parents. Further training was provided by the diocese in 2016 and again in 2017. In January 2018 the Rooted in Jesus Junior coordinator Abraham Phiri reported that:

“Rooted in Jesus Junior is a course designed to help children know God and learn to depend on him. Furthermore, it helps nurture children to be disciples who will be able to disciple their fellow junior disciples. In the Diocese of Eastern Zambia, the training was held in the four Archdeaconries, that is Eastern, Mfuwe, Central and Western Archdeaconries. In each Archdeaconry the conference took three days. After these trainings we have seen that the Sunday school has grown now because children are able to disciple others.”

Rooted in Jesus is now a self-sustaining programme in the diocese. Confirmation candidates are required to complete all four books of the adult programme, printing of books and certificates is done locally, and regular training is provided for both the adult and junior programmes through diocesan and archdeaconry training events. Rooted in Jesus is used in Chichewa.


Dignity Zambia (from 2008)

During the summer of 2008 Jon Paul Witt of Dignity Worldwide worked with a small group of pastors to train and equip them to teach Christian discipleship in their villages using Rooted in Jesus, as part of a bigger project called "Life!", whose vision is to see the rural areas of Africa transformed through the power and practice of the Christian gospel. From that small starting point the project has expanded rapidly. By the end of 2017 there were 574 groups running in rural areas all over Zambia, with some in Tanzania, Angola and Namibia. There have been many remarkable testimonies from the groups.

Diocese of Luapula (from 2005)

The Diocese of Luapula was created in 2003, and two years later it hosted its first Rooted in Jesus conferences, facilitated by a team from the UK and Tanzania. Nearly 300 people participated in 3 regional training conferences. Rooted in Jesus is used in Bemba.

Individual clergy began using Rooted in Jesus in their parishes with great success, but due to distance and lack of resources it took a little while to establish it as a diocesan-wide programme.In January 2007 the programme was reviewed, it was agreed that those who had used it had found the material to be "very good for teaching at all levels", and a resolution was passed that all lay readers in the diocese must hold a Rooted in Jesus certificate before they may be licensed. RinJ is used for confirmation classes and Bible study in small groups.

In 2012 we received some inspiring feedback from a dynamic and outward looking group in Mansa led by Robert Katandula:

Diocese of Lusaka (from 2010)

The Diocese of Lusaka hosted two Rooted in Jesus training conferences in April 2010.

Working with Archdeacon Peter Rivett in the rural southern archdeaconry of Mapanza, and with Revd Frank Hakoola in the cathedral city of Lusaka, the UK-Kenyan team offered two 4 day conferences. Each congregation sent between 2 and 5 people who were involved in lay leadership in some way. Altogether, around 150 people were commissioned to lead small discipleship groups in local churches. The conferences were marked by some extraordinary testimonies of healing and deliverance.

Follow up conferences were held in May 2012, working this time with 75 leaders adult groups and for the first time with 32 Sunday School teachers who will use Rooted in Jesus Junior. In November 2013 Fr Bob Sihubwa reported that 9 congregations had adopted the programme. Further training was planned in 2015.

 

Day in the life of a coordinator

“At Chibondo I only met the Priest and the Deacon. When I arrived I found the church leaders who came for Rooted in Christ had been sent away, for they had not enough food to stay for the two days. And I was late by a day because I had to come from Nchelenge, pass home and take something to use (mosquito net). And I had to hire someone, a watchtower member, to cycle me on both his bikes. I had to hire 2 bicycles, one to carry my bag and the man to carry me. The road was long and tiresome and some place sandy” – Ven Cornelius Chalwe

 

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