A Study of Wholistic Ministry Factors that Contributed to the Effectiveness of Mission Among the Karayu Oromo of Ethiopia

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

Peter Scaer


Wholistic ministry factors were studied in this research. The central research question is to develop an understanding of how the participants described wholistic ministry factors that contributed to the effectiveness of mission among the Karayu Oromo of Ethiopia. The Karayu Oromo were non-Christian and now, after fifteen years, three churches and four preaching places are planted with many development projects that brought transformation to their social and economic situations.The purpose ofthe research is to discover how a wholistic approach impacts Christian mission works in Ethiopia and beyond.The study used a qualitative research approach in the form of a case study method. Four research questions were asked each one followed by operational questions that led to findings of how the participants described. The four research questions were the following: (1) What was the life situation in the community before the wholistic ministry started? (2) What were the processes followed to carry out the activities by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Memake Yesus and Gudina Tumsa Foundation to address the situation or the problems in order to bring change in the community? (3) What were the outcomes of the wholistic ministry that were implemented in the community? (4) What factors helped the outcome of the transformation?

Data collection methods utilized were telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews by sending questions and having somebody record the feedbacks on audio tapes and also e-mails. The interview documents were analyzed and integrated to determine the findings for the Grand Tour Question. Research findings showed the following seven wholistic ministry factors that contributed to the effectiveness of missions among the Karayu.

    1. The preached Word of God that has transforming power. 2. Vision and mission of GTF to serve in a wholistic approach. 3. Organizational structure that integrates the Gospel in all services and structure. The organizational structure of GTF integrated the spiritual services. There was no institutional structure between GTF and the Karayu community. 4. Actively involving the congregation in the services. 5. Correctly understanding the people served and their needs. 6. Strong participation of stakeholders, winning the trust ofthe community, and involving the benefiting community in decision making are important factors. 7. Having committed and trained staff in place. Having committed workers who understand their vocation feel responsibility is another important factor.

Two points stand out as mission implications. The first is that the effectiveness of mission work among the Karayu can be used as a good example in designing mission in a wholistic approach among other people groups in Ethiopia and elsewhere. The second is that the social development approach used in Fantalle District has been suggested by one of the donors to be replicated in other parts of Ethiopia. The Gudina Tumsa Foundation has several donors from churches, parachurches, secular organizations, businesses, and local church bodies.

The cry of the people for access to their natural resources still remains unanswered. Though the researcher has purposely avoided the question of land ownership, the participants repeatedly voiced that the loss of access to their natural resources is the main problem.


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