Waking the Giant

Churches for Development

Leave no one behind

‘Waking the Giant’ is a global ecumenical initiative of the Lutheran World Federation. It aims to build the capacity of churches to contribute effectively to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the global level, the initiative provides churches and church-related actors with tools and training to relate their on-going work to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the national level, churches and ecumenical partners set up implementation mechanisms for taking stock of their existing work in relation to the SDGs and engage in joint planning for direct action and advocacy.

Starting from Colombia, Liberia, Tanzania and the US, WTG will expand worldwide
The initiative focuses on health, gender justice, education, reduced inequalities and peace and justice
We work with churches and agencies from 5 different countries and more to come
Waking the Giant is a project of the 148 LWF member churches

Together for a better world

With their vocation to serve, churches have for centuries engaged in promoting dignity and justice, particularly among those oppressed, forgotten or pushed to the margins. Many churches have established themselves as important actors in the provision of social and development services and as advocates for global human values, such as gender equality, peace and justice. They distinguish themselves through the permanence of their presence, an often high level of credibility and a wide reach at community level, including to the remotest areas where state institutions may be absent.

Despite the strong work being carried out by churches in relation to individual SDGs, many of them are not familiar with UN processes and the language of the ‘Agenda 2030’. There is an important ‘translation’ role to be played in order to bring together both sides. Mutual understanding and respect will be an important outcome.

The present project is a global ecumenical initiative by the Lutheran World Federation. It aims to strengthen churches’ capacity to effectively contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, together with ecumenical actors (such as Christian councils, Christian aid agencies etc.). The focus is on health (SDG 3), education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5) reducing inequalities (SDG 10) and promotion of peace and justice (SDG 16) as these are areas where churches have acquired longstanding experience and credibility. In 2020, the initiative expanded its focus on Climate action (SDG13).

Tools on SDGs for church-based actors

The SDG Toolbox provides churches and church-related actors with information and training material on the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. At the moment, the Toolbox includes a general theological introduction to the SDGs and specific modules on SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), Climate action (SDG13) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). For those modules, there is also a SDG Self-Assessment tool (available both in a web-based version and as PDF questionnaires for download) that enables church-based actors to easily comprehend the link between their ongoing activities and specific Goals, and Targets of the Agenda 2030.


Official Waking the Giant materials and evaluations for You to download.