Transformational Development (TD) as a Means of Prevenient Grace

Various Christian traditions acknowledge the concept of prevenient or preceding grace. “Prevenient” means preceding or coming before.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline (2004) defines prevenient grace as “…the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. This grace prompts our first wish to please God, our first glimmer of understanding concerning God’s will, and our ‘first slight transient conviction’ of having sinned against God. God’s grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith.”

The overall aim of Transformational Development is to alleviate suffering in ways that witness to God’s love for all people. As Christian development agents work alongside project participants to achieve goals and objectives, the theory is that participants will sense God calling them to know about God’s love for them and to respond to it by deciding to love God and neighbor in culturally appropriate ways.

Thus TD is a means of prevenient grace.

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