The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia is growing fast – so fast it needs more church buildings!

This young, vibrant church now has almost 6,000 members in 40 worshiping communities spread across four provinces. Of those 40 worshiping communities, only four have sturdy, weatherproof buildings. “The rest meet in thatched pole-and-mud structures. There are instances when members would find themselves worshiping under a tree because their building collapsed in a windstorm,” says the Rev. Alfred Chana, senior pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.

ELCA Missionary Arden Strasser describes it: “The fact is, sometimes in Africa, a church just needs bricks and mortar to meet, especially during the rainy season.

“It’s not about the building; it’s what goes on inside the building. And we’ve seen, when you have a brick-and-mortar church that can stand up the whole year round, you can get a lot happening in there.”

Pastor Chana foresees that congregations with modern buildings “will attract local community members, will not suspend worship in case of a rainy day or a windstorm, and can hold workshops and seminars.”

Pastor Strasser continues, “A church structure is the hatching place for ideas and motivation. It matters!

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia has proposed an exciting new initiative in partnership with the ELCA. With the support of ELCA members and congregations, together, we can build up to 15 permanent new church buildings in Zambia, starting with a leadership training center to support the pastors and evangelists who serve that growing church.

Share Zambia’s story with your congregation: Mission of the Month: Zambia

Mission of the Month is a program of the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship

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