96352 Hope for AIDS Church Leadership Training


Project Vision: To equip the leaders of the Africa Evangelical Church (AEC) of Malawi to feel better able to speak about and deal with HIV/AIDS issues in the churches and communities where they minister. This will be achieved through a series of teaching seminars initially for the pastors and their wives to be followed by seminars for the wider church leadership (elders, deaconesses etc). A wide range of topics will be covered such as Christian marriage, overcoming stigma & discrimination in the church, behaviour change amongst the youth, starting AIDS ministries and harmful cultural practices. The expected outcome is that the leaders will have an increased understanding and increased capacity to minister, be able to discuss HIV/AIDS issues more openly in their churches and be able to mobilize their congregations to action.

Prayer requests

That all the AEC pastors would be convicted again to live Godly lives & develop their Christian Character so that they and their families become wonderful role models in their communities especially in the area of sexual purity.

That there will be an opportunity to meet AEC Heads of Depts to present the outcomes of the current HOPE for AIDS project evaluations and re-start a discussion on further mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS ministries within the church structure.

Progress for the last 6 months

Over the last 6 months the project has funded a 3 day training for all the AEC pastors (undertaken at Ngabu Secondary School in rural Malawi) taking them back to the basics and teachings relating to Lifestyle, Christian Character & Ministry of a Pastor. Such teaching forms the foundation of living lives of sexual purity, abstinence & marital faithfulness which if taken seriously in their own lives, and taught & role modeled in their churches, would have a significant impact in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. This 3 day training was facilitated by Timothy Olonade & David Kanda (from Nigeria) who had previously been in Malawi to teach the same materials in a program organized by the Evangelical Association of Malawi for leaders from different denominations.

In July there was also a 5 day training for church leaders & pastors in the Blantyre Council Area in Christian Marriage & Family Life but funded by the HOPE for AIDS Prevention Project rather than this one.

We are still waiting for a suitable opportunity when the church is ready to gather the Heads of Depts to promote and plan further mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS ministries within the church structure. It may be that following the current evaluation of the HOPE for AIDS projects there would be a good opportunity to present the outcomes of the evaluation to the church leaders to re-start the discussion on mainstreaming.

Project background

As the AIDS pandemic spreads across Malawi devastating individuals, families and communities, it is vital that the Church responds to the challenge with Christ’s teaching while also demonstrating His practical love and compassion. Many of the pastors and church leaders feel ill-equipped to address HIV/AIDS issues or know how to start AIDS ministries in their churches. In the period 2003-2007, a number of regional seminars and three pastors' and wives' seminars have been held covering basic HIV/AIDS issues from a Christian perspective. It has been encouraging to see churches now feeling keen and confident to start their own AIDS ministries as a result of the trainings.

The new HOPE for AIDS strategy for the period 2008-2010 was approved which extended this project for another three years in order to continue training and equipping the church leadership to increase the quantity, quality and effectiveness of their response to the AIDS pandemic in the communities where they are ministering. Over the next three years the strategy describes the following expanded leadership training activities:

  • On-going pastors' and wives' seminars
  • Regional seminars for church leaders
  • Special training of regional ‘champions’ who will promote ‘grass roots’ responses
  • Manage some seed funding for small specific local initiatives  

HIV/AIDS Projects
Webpage icon 96756 Partners in Hope Enhancements
Webpage icon 96654 HOPE for AIDS Prevention Programme
Webpage icon 96351 Hope for AIDS EBCoM Curriculum
Webpage icon 96255 Hope for AIDS Orphan Care Programme – Malawi
Webpage icon 96253 AEC Home-Based Care – Malawi
Webpage icon 96157 HOPE for AIDS Master Project – Malawi