Nearly 15 years ago, Saddleback Church partnered with the nation of Rwanda as churches of all denominations came together to begin a movement of ordinary church members transforming their communities.

Now known as the PEACE Plan, this new model of mission centered around providing tools and training to local churches, making the local church the engine for growth in a community. This sustainable, reproducible model of change empowers believers to live out their call to their community, allowing the work of development to continue long after training has ended.

Since The PEACE Plan launched in 2003, over 30,000 Saddleback Church members have been implementing The PEACE Plan principles in our local communities to reach those in need in our context. In addition to that, over 26,000 of Saddleback members have served on short-term trips. None of this happened simply because of the size of the church—it was made possible because we mobilized our members to live lives on mission and unleashed them to serve in their passions.

We’ve seen The PEACE Plan work in churches of all sizes and denominations across cultures. In our model partner nation of Rwanda, through The PEACE Plan, Rwandan churches have been able to impact clean water, HIV/AIDS, and literacy, as well as help move all institutionalized children out of orphanages and into family care, with the country down from 3,000 children in orphanages to less than 200 in a span of six years.

The transformation attracted the attention of neighboring African nations, and leaders and pastors from all over the globe began asking how they could replicate the results in their own countries. Now, the seed that was first planted in Rwanda has blossomed into a worldwide movement. The local church is becoming a light in new areas—a catalyst for life change and community health. Churches from different parts of the globe are now coming together, exchanging learnings, and committing to transform their countries for the glory of God through The PEACE Plan.