April 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2011, Street Church sought to develop relationships with the residents of Downtown Hampton, Virginia. Street Church is a community ministry led by Steve Edwards with numerous helpers from several area churches. OneChurch has been working with Steve to develop ABCD strategies for this community over the past year. Our major effort was in the Harbor Square apartments, a low-income housing development in the center of the city. During the Summer of 2011, Street Church provided Sunday evening worship services on the grounds, a Summer Vacation Bible School, several clothing and food drives, and conducted surveys in the community. These efforts resulted in good relationships being built with the members of this community, several city officials, and local helping agencies such as H.E.L.P. – a ministry to the homeless of the area, and area churches.
In the Fall of 2011 this effort ended as the weather changed and the city purchased the apartment complex and moved the residents out of the area. Street Church and OneChurch have been meeting to discern our Lords plans for us during this time. As a result, we recently formed a leadership team committed to applying ABCD methods of community development in a strategic manner in this neighborhood.
This team came together as we sought to develop deeper relationships with those who participated in our Street Church events in 2011. We shared the book, “When Helping Hurts,” with key leaders (about 50 people) which has ignited an interest in our efforts. This team has committed to be trained in ABCD methods, to study “When Helping Hurts” in a small group setting, and to begin implementation of a consensus plan that will emerge through a Technology of Participation (ToP) consensus workshop in April. This group of loosely connected but caring people willing to get involved in some “to/for” ministry efforts in a needy community has transitioned into a team committed to learning and applying ABCD “with” methods in a specific downtown Hampton neighborhood for the foreseeable future.