Transformational Development

Medical Teams International seeks to embody the concept of Transformational Development in all its work. Several resource documents have been developed on this subject.
 MTI-walking-with-the-poor-transformational-development-Dr.-Myers-Christian  Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development and Exploring World Mission (Available on
This book was written by Dr. Bryant L. Myers, Professor of Transformational Development, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary and former Vice President for Development and Food Resources at World Vision International. 

Dr. Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian non-governmental organizations and a theological framework for transformational development, Myers demonstrates what is possible when we cease to treat the spiritual and physical domains of life as separate and unrelated.
 MTI-guatemala-reflection-guide-Christian-NGO-nonprofit Guatemala Reflection Guide [PDF]
Teams for international projects come from many different backgrounds and each has a different interest and motivation for being on the team. Team members respect all of these.

Medical Teams International’s background is Christian. Our mission is to "demonstrate the love of Christ to those affected by disaster, conflict, and poverty around the world."  You do not need to be Christian to be on a team, everyone is welcome to participate and can benefit from the reflection exercises in this reflection guide.

The international experience of helping those who live materially meager lives will galvanize a new awareness within you and new possibilities around you. The purpose of this reflection guide and group discussion is to foster personal insight and growth, as well as to enhance team continuity and understanding of the project.
 MTI-research-transformational-indicators-NGO Research on Transformational Indicators [PDF]
This is a compilation of the works of a few faith-based organizations and other organizations that are working in  transformational development.

 MTI-mega-church-efforts-international-development-Evangelical The Rise of the Mega-Church Efforts in International Development [PDF]
Evangelical ‘mega-churches’ are awakening to the importance of tackling poverty and social issues even as they continue their focus on evangelism and church planting. As a result, they are moving into carrying out their own development efforts globally, emphasizing direct relationships with churches in the developing world.

This is changing their engagement with the ‘professional’ evangelical development organizations, leading the mega-churches to search and experiment with development methods, approaches, and choice of issues, and bringing them up against questions and challenges inherent in development work.

Written by Gramby-Sobukwe, S. and Hoiland, T; Transformation, V 26, No 2, April 2009. 

 MTI-tearfund-international-learning-zone-US-churches Tearfund International Learning Zone for US churches
Tearfund believes that local churches around the world can make an immense contribution to overcoming poverty, at a local, national, and international level. Their passion, rootedness in the community, commitment to relationships and spiritual hope, mean that they can be tremendous agents of transformation.
 MTI-tearfund-international-learning-zone-churches-overseas Tearfund International Learning Zone for churches overseas
Tearfund is strongly committed to involving the church, at local and national levels, in the work of integral mission. Tearfund International believes that the ideal implementers of integral mission in each community are local church congregations, and they therefore believe that the primary means by which they can fulfil their mission of bringing good news to the poor is by enabling partners to mobilize and empower local church congregations to transform their communities.


They Come Back Singing by Gary Smith, SJ (Available on  
For years, Gary Smith, a Jesuit priest, led a familiar life in the Pacific Northwest. Then, one day in 2000, he left that life behind to spend six years among Sudanese refugees struggling to survive in refugee camps in northern Uganda. He traveled to this dangerous, pitiless place to be with these forsaken people out of a conviction that “Jesuits should be going where no one else goes.”

Smith’s journal is a vivid, inspiring account of the deep connections he forged during his life-changing experience with the Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Along the way, he discovered a suffering people who, despite being displaced by a brutal civil war, find the strength to let go of the many and deep sorrows of the past.

Ultimately, They Come Back Singing is a window to the spiritual life and growth of a priest whose generous spirit and genuine love allow him to serve—and be served—in truly extraordinary ways.

 MTI-transformation-international-journal-of-holistic-mission-studies Transformation: an International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies
This scholarly journal, published four times a year, explores the cutting edge of the application of biblical faith to the world, with a special emphasis on the Two-Thirds World. The Transformation website contains a searchable index of issues going back to 1984 as well as free articles and summaries of those issues which are available in digital format. There are now 1097 articles by 642 authors available in digital form on the website.
 MTI-transformational-development-world-vision Transformational Development
World Vision’s Transformational Development website "promotes a movement of development practitioners with a passion for learning, working together for quality programming. This movement seeks to model a culture of learning, quality programming and research and development."
 MTI-transforming-worldviews-Christian-Hiebert-Christianity Transforming Worldviews by Paul Hiebert (Available on 
In the past, changes in behavior and belief have been leading indicators for missionaries that Christian conversion had occurred.  But these indicators alone—or even together—are insufficient for a gospel understanding of conversion. 

For effective biblical mission, Paul G. Hiebert argues, we must add a third element: a change in worldview.  Here he offers a comprehensive study of worldview—its philosophy, its history, its characteristics and the means for understanding it.  He then provides a detailed analysis of several worldviews that missionaries must engage today, addressing the impact on each Christianity and mission.   

A biblical worldview is outlined for comparison.  Finally, Hiebert argues for gospel ministry that seeks to transform people’s worldviews and offers suggestions on how to do so.
 MTI-Evangelical-Perspective-Advocacy-Development What about Justice? Toward an Evangelical Perspective on Advocacy in Development [PDF]
Advocacy work as a part of transformational development is still approached with ambivalence by many in the evangelical community. It is clear, however, that distal causes, rooted in structural sin, contribute greatly to the kind of poverty that development practitioners face, even though articulating the causal mechanisms through which this occurs is difficult.
 MTI-Brian-Fikkert-Steve-Corbett-poverty-God-development When Helping Hurts (Available on
Authors Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett, professors of economic and community development at Covenant College, cut to the heart of well intentioned development efforts that see poverty as merely a problem of inadequate material posession.

They identify the transformation of worldview as a key element in overcoming the poverty of broken relationships with God, self, others, and the rest of creation. In practical ways, they then describe how the church can work to build on the assets and strengths of the materially poor to reconcile these relationships and fulfill their calling to glorify God.
 MTI-conceptual-framework-transformational-development  A Conceptual Framework for Transformational Development: Definition, Indicators and Facilitation [PDF]
This paper provides an overview, definitions, and indicators of transformational development as well as a brief discussion of the important role of the church. The next section is focused on the microfinance sector but the final section (cultural barriers) and conclusion are more broad and relevant to our work.