Friday Food for Thought: What’s Your View?

Interested in Asset Based Community Development?  Where do you start?  First, consider your view of your neighborhood; your presumptions about your neighbors and your community influence how you will engage.

Communities First Association presumes the following:

1.  God is already in the community–he was there first!  This is God’s creation and God’s people.  Ministry begins by looking for what God is already doing in a community.

2.  Ministry in a community always takes place in an asset-rich environment.  What God put into the creation itself, into the people in a community, and into the systems and infrastructure of a community are all good gifts that can be used for the common good.

3.  Effective community ministry is the art and discipline of recognizing, developing, and calling forth the gifts, talents, and resources God has already placed in his world for the benefit of all in the community.  Community ministry is not meant to dictate a new reality for the community.

4.  Effective community ministry is a way of life:  living among and engaging neighbors, loving them enough to see God in them, and artfully calling forth and directing their gifts and resources for community benefit.

(Communities First, p. 10)

What presumptions have you made?  How have they impacted your view of your neighbors and your involvement in your community?

To learn more check out the CFA store.

About communitiesfirstassociation
Using Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) methods, CFA transforms a growing number of communities and engages Christians and Churches in their community.

2 Responses to Friday Food for Thought: What’s Your View?

  1. Enrique Salgado Jr. says:

    A wonderful discussion. These points are all on the money. The one thing that I believe needs to happen once you work all four points is to begin the hard work of establishing points 2 and 3. This is where I believe the church has not figured out how to do this. it is not enough to start a ministry but more to teach people how to maintain a ministry how to expand a ministry and how to sustain a ministry. Teach them to organize and structure things through biblical principles. Than they can go out to become fishers of men

    • How does one listen to neighbors in a way that:
      1. Discovers what neighbors care about enough to act on it?
      2. Discovers what gifts they bring to the things they want to work on?
      3. Helps neighbors discover their neighbors who care about the things they care about – so they can work on them together.

      Personally, Enrique I resist those programs and ministries that churches want to start, control and implement to/for their neighbors. I think it is much healthier when church comes along and supports the good things neighbors care about doing. Then the church and community can work together on how to sustain the good work. If ministry is done really well the church does not need to own or control the ministry, it gets to support it in the ways that bless ministry and the congregation. If ministry is done really well, the community eagerly accepts and embraces the church members participation on a level, respectful, playing field (with respect to power in and control). They enjoy getting good things done together.


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