The need for “unity that results in mutual care” is obvious if the Body of Christ is to grow and bring transformation to cities and nations. This study was aimed at identifying strategies to foster this unity among the local church leaders in Makindye West Constituency, Kampala, Uganda. Although there is research on church unity, most of it looks at the negative aspect of interdenominational disunity. In the Ugandan context, no literature was found on research undertaken on fostering unity among local church leadership. The concept for this study is well grounded biblically. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians teaches the concept of calling, rooted in the offices of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to equip saints for ministry and for attainment of unity of the faith.
This study took a qualitative, action research, case study approach, using appreciative inquiry to structure strategies towards a shared vision. Data was gathered using interviews and focus group discussions, coded, themed, and interpreted to reveal themes under each research question. The leaders’ perceptions about unity reflected the unity that Christ prayed for in John 17 and focused on togetherness, harmony, respect, and support for each other. To have effective ministry and be united, the leaders required strong fellowship, teaching and mentoring, leadership oversight, and financial resources. These elements, they thought, would lead them to becoming a mature church. In identifying the uniting purpose, the need for resources did not feature as key for growth. Their purpose was considered as building up, collaboration, and restoration. These would be the outcome of the transformational process and subsequently lead to shalom. The project is planned to grow and cover the city, the nation, and eventually the continent. Within a year there were already testimonies about leaders being better ministers, a testimony of God’s transformational move.