The Empowering Effect of With

by Kirk Reber - Director of Development & Communications – CFA

(Originally Published in the CFA Summer 2011 Newsletter)

Communities First Association desires to transform communities by providing training and support to their members (intermediaries) who in turn coach local churches and organizations. In order to see true change in a neighborhood, CFA understand that the ministry of the church must progress from being IN, TO, and FOR a community to being WITH a community.

To illustrate, imagine a church where all activities are by the members, for the members. The church is IN a neighborhood, but the neighbors see no tangible benefit of having the church there.

With no involvement, this church will never see sustainable change in their community.

Imagine now that the membership of this church begins to desire to connect with their neighbors. They dream, design, and implement activities TO and FOR their community. Interaction begins, but questions stir. Is this relationship equitable? Is it empowering? For whom? While the church may see benefits, are they seeing sustainable change?


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