The Eight Components of Christian Community Development

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The Eight Components of Christian Community Development

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1. “The Eight Components of Christian Community Development” Summary of paper of same name by Dr. Wayne L. Gordon

2. “The question arises as to what the response as Christians will be to the troubles of the poor and the inner cities today. The desperate conditions that face the poor call for a revolution in the church's attempts at a solution. Through years of experience among the poor, many have come to see these desperate problems cannot be solved without strong commitment and risky actions on the part of ordinary Christians with heroic faith.”

3. The following are 8 principles that appear to be important for Christian Community Development (CCD). The first three are the “Three R’s” developed by Dr. John Perkins. These were developed within the context primarily of the inner cities in the United States. Do they need to be modified to be applicable elsewhere?

4. Principle #1. Relocation Live among the people. This is sometimes called “Incarnational Ministry”. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn 1:14) Changes our condition of Kami/Sila (Us vs Them) to Tayo (Us together).

5. Relocation There are three types of people who may work in the community. Relocators: Choose to move there. Returners: Choose to return. Remainers: Choose to stay All three work to be part of the solution to problems in the community.

6. Principle #2. Reconciliation “Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel. Jesus said that the essence of Christianity could be summed up in two inseparable commandments: Love God, and love thy neighbor. (Mt 22:37-39) First, Christian Community Development is concerned with reconciling people to God and bringing them into a church fellowship where they can be discipled in their faith.”

7. Reconciliation Has two components: Reconciled to God. This involves evangelism, but not just “fire insurance.” It is bringing to whole person living as a follower of Christ. Reconciled to Others. Barriers that separate races, classes, cliques and such must be torn down creating genuine community and “shalom”.

8. Principle #3. Redistribution “When God's people with resources (regardless of their race or culture) commit to living in underserved communities seeking to be good neighbors, being examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ, working for justice for the entire community, and utilizing their skills and resources to address the problems of that community alongside their neighbors, then redistribution is being practiced.”

9. Redistribution “Christian Community Development ministries harness the commitment and energy of men, women, and young people living in the community, and others who care about their community, and find creative avenues to develop jobs, schools, health centers, home ownership opportunities, and other enterprises of long-term development.”

10. Principle #4. Leader Development “The primary goal of leadership development is to restore the stabilizing glue and fill the vacuum of moral, spiritual, and economic leadership that is so prevalent in poor communities by developing leaders. This is most effectively done by raising up Christian leaders from the community of need who will remain in the community to live and lead.”

11. Leader Development Leader Development requires absolute commitment. One must reject the idea of “quick fixes.” Engineers like to say that they can develop new products (a) QUICK, (b) HIGH QUALITY, and (c) CHEAP… but you can only have two of the three. But in community development… “quick” and “high quality” can never go together.

12. Principle #5. Listening to Community It is important to focus on the hopes and dreams of the local residents, not those of the outsiders. This is the idea of “Felt Need”. What the community thinks it needs is more important than what the developer thinks. Therefore, in Christian Community Development listening is more talking.

13. Listening to the Community In listening, emphasis is not on the weaknesses of the community. Rather, emphasis is on the assets, resources, capacity, abilities within the community. This is often called “Asset-based Community Development” (ABCD). CCD assumes that the community has solutions and assets to develop themselves, and helps facilitate that change.

14. Principle #6. Church-Based “It is practically impossible to do effective wholistic ministry apart from the local church. A nurturing community of faith can best provide the thrusts of evangelism, discipleship, spiritual accountability, and relationships by which disciples grow in their walk with God. One problem today has been that the church is not involved in developing its communities. …“

15. Church-Based “… Often, the church has been an unfriendly neighbor in communities across our country. Churches are guilty of being open only on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and being almost irrelevant to the needs of the people around them. Because of this, many para-church organizations have started to do the work of loving their neighbor that the church had neglected. Christian Community Development sees the church as taking action towards the development of its community.”

16. Church-Based The local church can, and should, provide a model for community, reconciliation with God and our fellow man. It is a long-term presence in the community for wholistic transformation and leader development. BUT… the church must tear down walls between itself and the community around it.

17. Church: Food for thought… We need to rethink the church. On some level it would be good to think in terms of a parish. We often think of the church as walls that act as a refuge from the community. Ministry is to members or to make more members. But maybe we should recognize the church as part of the community, with members acting as chaplains ministering with and

18. Principle #7. Wholistic Approach “Christian Community Development sees the church must be involved in every aspect of a person’s life. It is important to network with other churches and organizations in communities. In order to accomplish the wholistic aspect of ministry, pastors and leaders must be networkers. Christian Community Development builds coalitions in communities so that they can work together to solve the problems. “

19. Wholistic Approach Many churches focus only on the “spiritual”. Evangelism, Bible study, prayer, fasting, etc. Many churches focus only on “social” ministry. These include health care, feeding, livelihood, and social justice. But a wholistic approach recognizes “discipleship” as more than spiritual or social. It is concerned with the whole person and whole community.

20. Wholistic Approach Recall that Jesus (according to Luke 2:52) grew: Physically Mentally Spiritually Socially

21. Principle #8. Empowerment “Oftentimes, Christian ministry, particularly in poor communities, creates dependency. This is no better than the federal government welfare program. The Bible teaches empowerment, not dependency. “

22. Empowerment A good example of this is found in Deuteronomy 24 and Leviticus 19, regarding gleaning. Opportunity is given to have needs met. People must work to have their needs met. People's dignity is affirmed.

23. 8 Principles Relocation Reconciliation Redistribution Leadership Development Listening to Community Church-Based Wholistic Approach Empowerment

24. CCD Poem Go to the people Live among them Learn from them Love them Start with what they know Build on what they have: But of the best leaders When their task is done The people will remark "We have done it ourselves."

25. “The Eight Components of Christian Community Development” Summary of paper of same name by Dr. Wayne L. Gordon (Put together by Bob Munson, 2010)

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