“I would like to see a pastor who can effectively preach himself and stand himself, even though he has received very little formal theological education. And if that pastor is not around on a Sunday there are people who have been trained by him to stand-in for him – people who the congregation can trust, that they can say this person is really speaking something. I would like to see model churches developing – churches that people can point to and say there is something different about this church – its organisation, its leadership, its life.” Rev Henry Majwala, Mukono Diocese, Church of Uganda

'Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development'

BUILD, which stands for 'Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development', is an in-service training initiative for grassroots pastors and key local church leaders in the global South.

It is aimed at those who teach, care for and lead local congregations – not least in serving their local communities. BUILD is designed to help them to do this work more effectively.


BUILD emerged out of the life and work of the Church of Uganda as it sought creative ways of equipping the many church leaders at the grassroots who have limited access to training. This led to a mainly non-formal type of training, which is viable in the Ugandan context. Its wider potential was recognised as it developed, and BUILD now encourages churches in similar contexts to adapt and adopt its materials and methods, and to develop fresh programmes in their own settings.

Mission and vision

BUILD’s mission is to equip the many lay readers, catechists, pastors, evangelists and other local church leaders at the grassroots with a practical understanding of Scripture and theology. And its vision is to see lives, churches and communities transformed by the power of the gospel. BUILD’s memory verse reflects its confidence in Christ’s own commitment to this work: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).


In order to achieve that BUILD follows a mainly non-formal approach to training, which equips and empowers more senior leaders to act as local trainers and facilitators in their own local areas. It gives them tools to do their job well – to build up the leadership capacity of the multitude of local churches. The structure subpage provides more of a picture of the way in which BUILD initiatives can be structured.


As a result it provides excellent in-service training for all those involved: For those without formal theological training it provides basic but empowering biblical and practical training for growing and leading churches, not least in community mission. For those with formal theological education BUILD not only helps participants to apply that learning to ministry and mission, but also to use it to train others in context.

A further impact of the programme is its natural effect on other types of leaders in the church. And beyond that BUILD has a proven impact on the local communities in which participating churches serve as BUILD participants not only feel more confident in their regular ministry but also in getting involved in areas such as HIV and AIDS education and care, youth programmes and efforts at sustainable agriculture and livelihood development.

Subpages (1): Structure