Tag Archives: change Neighborhoods who change their city

Prayer Walking

Prayer Walking is walking around the place where you are trying to implement Neighborhood Transformation. Without prayer, no transformation takes place, therefore it is central to what we do.

Prayer walking is praying on site with insight. It is intercession on location. It is praying for what we see as we walk and while we are doing this God sometimes gives us specific things to pray about.

Why do Prayer Walking:

  • To seek God’s blessing, mercy and transforming power for the neighborhood.
  • To pray for the neighborhood we are working in to see it through God’s eyes.
  • We will pray for ourselves to be servants in the neighborhood.
  • We talk to God for others in the neighborhood.
  • It’s done in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • To become in harmony with God’s agenda and not our own.

It is important to do Prayer Walking in your chosen neighborhood because: It allows us to see firsthand what the neighborhood is all about. We also get to see the neighborhood through God’s eyes. God will show us things we normally do not see when we are in the neighborhood. God will break our heart for the people and the neighborhood and the Holy Spirit will reveal things to us we never would have thought of alone.

In Neighborhood Transformation we like to do Prayer Walking at the very beginning of the program to get God’s view of the neighborhood and to set us off on the right path. But we don’t stop there, we do it multiple times during the Entering the Neighborhood phase. We also do it when the neighborhood association is in place and with interested people in the neighborhood

Here are some guidelines that help us see the impact from our prayer walking:
Join with other believers and meet at an assigned time. Start with group prayer and then walk in groups of 2s or 3s. Covers as much of the neighborhood as possible by having different teams do different segments of the neighborhood.

The key is to focus on God and pray aloud in a quiet conversational voice. Make sure you do not call attention to yourself. If anyone asks what you are doing be prepared to respond, “We are praying God’s blessing on this neighborhood.”

Be observant of what you see as you walk and pray. At the same time be open to anything God impresses on you as you walk. Also be open to interact with people in an informal way as opportunities arise. Walk for half hour to an hour. As you walk, reflect on your observations.

Afterwards, gather to share your prayers, observations and experiences with the others in the group. Make sure to encourage people to continue to pray for the neighborhood during the week on what they saw and their reflections.

We are in a battle and according to the Bible we are fighting against”

  • In II Corinthians 10:3-4, we are in a fight with Satan
  • In James 4:7, we are to resist the devil
  • Habakkuk 1:5, says we are to be astonished and see God work

We are to pray more intensely:

  • Outside meeting places where false worship is taking place
  • Where spiritists and card readers perform
  • Around jails, courts, and government offices
  • On high places overlooking our neighborhood
  • Outside bars, gambling places, and houses of prostitution

So you can see that Prayer Walking is critical to what we do in Neighborhood Transformation.

 Call to Action

We challenge you to do prayer walking around your home. Do it around four square blocks of your place.

After you have done that reflect on what you saw, heard and were impressed by God about.

Stan

What Is A Suburb

A suburb is a residential area or a mixed-use area, either existing as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city

Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population densities than inner city neighborhoods. Suburbs first emerged on a large scale in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of improved rail and road transport, which led to an increase in commuting.[1] Suburbs tend to proliferate around cities that have an abundance of adjacent flat land.[2]

As people gain wealth around the world, they all usually tend to do the same thing: spread out. A common dream shared among people of all cultures is to have a piece of land to call their own. The suburbs are the place that many urban dwellers turn to because it offers the space needed to satisfy these dreams.

Suburbs are the communities surrounding cities that are usually made up of single-family homes, but are increasingly including multifamily homes and places like malls and office buildings. Emerging in the 1850s as a result of a fast rising urban population and improving transportation technology, suburbs have remained a popular alternative to the city even today. As of 2000, about half of the population of the United States lived in suburbs.

Suburbs are generally spread out over greater distances than other types of living environments. For instance, people may live in the suburb in order to avoid the density and untidiness of the city. Since people have to get around these vast stretches of land, automobiles are common sights in suburbs. Transportation (including, to a limited extent, trains and buses) plays an important role in the life of a suburban resident who generally commutes to work.

People also like to decide for themselves how to live and what rules to live by. Suburbs offer them this independence. Local governance is common here in the form of community councils, forums, and elected officials. A good example of this is a Home Owners Association, a group common to many suburban neighborhoods that determines specific rules for the type, appearance, and size of homes in a community.

People living in the same suburb usually share similar backgrounds with regard to race, socioeconomic status, and age. Often, the houses that make up the area are similar in appearance, size, and blueprint, a layout design referred to as tract housing, or cookie-cutter housing.

This is where most of us live.

But suburbs are changing, now over 50% of the poor live in suburbs today. It is no longer in what was use to be called the inner city. There are near by government subsidized housing, mainly in apartment complexes, in just about every part of a metropolitan area. So now the poor live close to us. This means we don’t have to travel far distances to work with them, they are many times less then 1 mile from our church facility.

So look around your church and see where there is subsidized housing and begin to walk that area two by two greeting people and becoming known.

Stan

What is Transformation

TRANSFORMATION DEFINITIONS 

A definition given by Bryant Myers of World Vision International in his book Walking With the Poor:  “I use the term transformational development to reflect my concern for seeking positive change in the whole of human life materially, socially and spiritually .

  • Changed people and just and peaceful relationships are the twin goals of transformation . . .
  • Changed people are those who have discovered their true identity as children of God and who have recovered their true vocation as faithful and productive stewards of gifts from God for the well‑being of all”   (Bryant Myers, Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development [Marynoll: Orbis Books, 1998]

Transform World Working Definition

Transformation is the progressive, ongoing, measurable, and supernatural impact of the presence and power of God working in, through, and apart from the body of Christ on human society and its structures. It involves seeking positive change in the whole of human life materially, socially, and spiritually as we recover our true identity as human beings created in the image of God and discover our true vocation as productive stewards, faithfully caring for our world and its people. Deep and profound change is possible in human beings and is equally possible for the social organisms that we call communities, cities, and nations.  We in Collaborative for Neighborhood Transformation use the following:

A permanent change in one’s attitude, belief, and behavior in all areas of an individual’s life (physical, spiritual, emotional, social) who then facilitate the same changes in others; who as an aggregate, change their neighborhood from the inside out.

How Transformation is Different Then Measuring change or Social Impact                                                                                              

  • Transformation is a change in all areas of an individual’s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behavior in all areas of their life; physical, spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual.
  • God is actively involved in this change which is the underlying factor for long term  transformation to take place.
  • Because of the changes in individuals as they come together they begin to transform their neighborhood from the inside out.
  • Identify bisecting interests – where the dreams of the community meet the calling & capacity of the church, in harmony with God’s mandates.
  • Recognize “common grace” of God’s work outside of church
  • Learn from goals & methods of good secular initiatives
  • Align agendas around common ground of the church and neighborhood
  • Relationships (horizontal) and prayer (vertical) are key to fruitful intersection between community’s dreams and kingdom goals
  • Every person has opportunity to make an informed decision about Christ
  • Measure Christ-likeness in unbelievers

Transformation Requires More Then Doing Things for People and Neighborhoods                                                                                             For transformation to take place people and neighborhoods must decide they want something different then what they currently have. Then they must care enough that they are willing to do something about it to see the change take place. If that desire and action are not there then no matter what we do for others might be good but generally transformation does not take place. Transformation comes from inside people themselves and neighborhoods.

But we as Western Christians are focused on doing things for others. People might say sure I would like that and gratefully accept whatever we do for them but does that transform them or their neighborhood? The answer is No.

An Approach that Fosters Transformation                                              

  • It is a people-oriented, relationship building process.
  • It is designed to identify assets within the neighborhood found in individuals, associations and institutions, and identifies which of those assets they are willing to share.
  • Once the assets are identified, you begin to link the people you have been building relationships with, to the assets that would empower them.
  • It is based on neighbors helping neighbors, not being dependent on professionals to do things for them.
  • It is designed to build up internal and external abilities.
  • It is designed to be sustainable.
  • It is primarily a grass-root, bottom-up process which requires a person to act as a catalyst and facilitator.
  • It is a gradual learning process progressing from the simple to the more complex and from the known to the unknown.
  • It works primarily with individuals and households and then impacts the neighborhood as a whole.
  • It is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • It requires a moral and ethical focus for relationships to grow, which results from establishing trust.
  • These ethical values are based on absolutes that do not change, but are the same year-after-year. This is based on God’s Word, the Bible.

Neighborhood Transformation Vision: To see as many cities across North America transformed, neighborhood by neighborhood, in all areas of life. These cities are networked together so eventually the North America is transformed as a whole from the inside out.

Neighborhood Transformation Mission: We exist to expand transformational ministries across North America cities by creating a collaborative of partner organizations that will mutually encourage, motivate, and innovate on behalf of under-served communities. They will focus on transforming neighborhoods and then networking the neighborhoods in a city to transform the city from the inside out. In addition there is a collaborative at each city level and at the national level to see this take place

How Neighborhood Transformation Goes about Ministry: We Connect People, Create Community, Transform Communities and then Connect  them into a Collaborative  that transform large geographical areas.