Tag Archives: changed lives

An Improved Way to Start Transforming a Place

It is critical that we start with what the people in the starting group (which can be a church or non-profit) feel comfortable in doing and are willing to do. They are the ones that are going to be entering the neighborhood and beginning to learn about the community. This is before we have done any asset surveys in the neighborhood to find out the neighborhood people’s skills, knowledge and passion and what they want to see different in their place. That means starting with very small pieces of their time, with things that are easy to do and requiring no continuing commitment.
In many churches, their members never get outside of the church’s four walls to reach out to nearby neighborhood people. The key is to get everyone in the game at the level they are willing to participate. This means we should:
  • Provide regular easy-entry opportunities that give people the chance to change the world. What if everyone in your church at year-end had a story to tell how he or she changed the world? Awesome!
  • Combine opportunity with inclination. Giving motivating sermons is one thing but people need the immediate opportunity to become involved, to put what they heard into action now.
  • Make it personal by people inviting their friends to join them in this specific, one time opportunity. Use the words “Do this with me.” There are three I’s necessary to attracting and asking volunteers
    • Identify specific people who would do a great job in this activity.
    • Inform them personally what they can be doing, in specific terms, if they join you.
    • Invest by giving people a chance to try out something with no strings attached before they make any greater commitment.
  • Begin with the willing. It is important to realize that not everyone is willing. Work with the early enthusiasts who are willing to get involved. Let them then tell their stories and others will come along.
This means we must give people the opportunity to do things in which they feel comfortable.
One way to do that is look at people fitting into three different groups.
  • Doing for Others: Some feel comfortable doing things for people.
  • Coaching and Empowering: Others feel comfortable developing relationships and helping people to change their lives in areas that the person wants to change.
  • Multiplying Ministry: Others desire those changed people to become multipliers by equipping them to equip others who equip others who equip others, which spreads what is happening exponentially II Tim 2:2

Another way is by accessing what type of person they are:

  • A Belong Person: You love to get people together for a BBQ or a party. You like being on the front porch with neighbors. You enjoy helping people find a place where they can relax and be themselves.
  • A Grow Person: You love to help people go deeper in their faith and relationship with Christ. Opportunities like a Bible study or discussing spiritual growth are what get you energized.
  • A Serve Person: You love to mobilize people to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You ‘d rather get sweaty mowing someone else’s lawn than get cozy in a small group discussion. You are looking for ways to help and get others to help
Both ways are similar but slightly different. Our main way of encouraging people to get involved in Transformation A Place in the past was for them to get to know their neighbors by walking around and talking to them as they see them, which is scary for many people.
Also we have suggested that a person hold a spontaneous barbecue in their driveway or yard. Both of those relate to people who are belonging types of people or people who are very relational or an empowering person, which is a similar type. That leaves out the other way of getting people involved.
We have been very aggressive in Neighborhood Transformation in encouraging groups to become involved in their local elementary school. This is a way to get different people to walk their own 2-3 blocks together, via the school where they can begin to minister on a broader neighborhood scale.   But this is further along in the steps for a Neighborhood Transformation.
We need to begin Transforming a Place  after they have chosen the neighborhood they will minister in, they begin to bless their Elementary School. This is done by asking by the Principle how can they bless their school and then do whatever they are asked to do. This allows people who love to serve or do things for others to participate. It is felt that working in a school is safer then walking in a neighborhood. It requires no commitment on the part of the person unless they want to get involved at a deeper level, such as developing relationships with kids, which many see as easier then developing relationships with adults.
We highly recommend that you find out where the different people are who will start Neighborhood Transformation and then give them a variety of multiple, regular opportunities with different levels to participate in where they are. This means opportunities for those who develop relationships by walking around and other opportunities for people who do things by blessing the school.
GIVE IT A TRY
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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

An Important Week in Neighborhood Transformation’s Life

Greetings to all. Something different in this Blog.

This week has three very important things happenings in Neighborhood Transformation’s life. A tremendous amount of time and energy has gone into making this a reality.

First we have gone live on a totally new web site which has been five months in the making. You can view it at www.neighborhoodtransformation.net  The site can now be viewed on mobile units. We have tried for less content and focusing on new people not familiar with Neighborhood Transformation. Our old web site was really focused on people who were trying to or implementing Neighborhood Transformation.

There are ways people can get involved wherever they live and at whatever position they are in. Check out the different ways you can Act, Learn or Give at http://www.neighborhoodtransformation.net/involved.php. Why not think about becoming involved today?

Second, we have finally created a 1-1/2 minute introductory video introducing Neighborhood Transformation. If you go to   http://www.neighborhoodtransformation.net/videos.php  and look at the top left hand video, ‘Transformation and You’, to view it.  What do you Think?

Third we are doing our first fund raising for Neighborhood Transformation. This is a 60 day campaign with three major letters spread over 60 days with three follow up messages in between that will tell you how things are going and share a short video. The campaign goes from Sept 15th through Nov 15th.

We have a fantastic donor who is matching every gift given up to $20,000 therefore by giving during the campaign you can double the money you give.

The focus of the campaign is to raise funds to start Neighborhood Transformation in 10 new cities across the USA. Please check out the campaign  http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs172/1102302026903/archive/1118395884692.html   Would you consider providing a gift for NT? You can do that on-line.

One thing we have found critical to get Neighborhood Transformation started in a new city and then to do the necessary coaching of churches who are trying to implement Neighborhood Transformation is a key person in the city who works with churches and non-profits there.

Such a person does not need to move overseas to become a missionary but can stay where they are and keep their job. Or if they want to go part or full time by becoming a Neighborhood Transformation Catalyst we can help you set up a non-profit coming under our umbrella 501c3 so you can raise funds for your non-profit or your personal support or expenses!  INTERESTED?? Contact stan@neighborhoodtransformation.net  to explore possibilities

Pray with me that all of these initiatives will have impact in seeing people being transformed in a wholistic way and these people will come together to transform their neighborhood from the inside out. Then as multiple neighborhood are seeing success, they join into a collation to transform their city.

Stan Rowland

CONNECT NEIGHBORS, CREATE COMMUNITY,                                           TRANSFORM NEIGHBORHOODS

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.

 

What is Wholistic Ministry

I just attended a 3 day conference here in Phoenix, International Wholistic Mission Conference where 700 people came to talk about what was happening in wholistic ministry. Fantastic conference, you should plan to attend next year in 2015. It will be April 29th through May 1.

Let’s talk about wholistic and what it means to us in the Global CHE Network and in Neighborhood Transformation.  It is all about bringing the whole gospel to help people become whole who working together create a whole neighborhood, which then brings about a a whole city and then a whole nation being transformed in all areas of life.

It is both the Great Commission and Great and the great Command together, it is not one or the other. Or I do one so that I can do the other.

We spell wholistic with a ‘W’ because it keeps ever in front of us the idea that we need to deal with the whole person, all aspects of their life, and the whole community or neighborhood, meaning all sectors in that place.

Some people and the Webster Dictionary spell it without the W and give it a spiritual meaning from holy. We agree with that BUT feel it is more important to concentrate on the whole, not just on the spiritual or holy aspect.

When we talk wholistically about a person’s life, we are dealing with all aspects: physical or health well-being, spiritual well-being, emotional well-being, and social well-being. When we do this, we are dealing with more than the different sectors such as education, job, medical, etc.

In working in a community or neighborhood, we are looking into the above areas as well, but the different sectors found in a community come more into play. Therefore, when we talk about community, sometimes we will use the term sectors, and when dealing with the individual, we talk more in terms of physical, spiritual, emotional and social aspects.

Just concentrating on one area of life, such as just working with a person’s health or getting them a job, helps them in one way, but there needs to be assistance in multiple areas of life for real transformation to take place.

Let’s look at another aspect of being wholistic. Sometimes groups talk about being wholistic when they have different people deal with the different sectors or areas in a person’s or community’s life. But to us that is not wholistic. That is parallel track ministry, but all elements rarely come to play in a person or community. Instead, what needs to happen is that multiple elements must come into play in order to see transformation. The people working in their own track are specialists and generally only concentrate on their specialty

I use the illustration: Have you ever look down a straight line of railroad tracks? The tracks start out being in parallel but far down the line they seem to converge. However, as you walk down the tracks you see that they never do. This is what happens when we have specialists working on their track. They hope that all the people working together will bring convergence. But this does not happen.

For us to see wholistic transformation, all areas and sectors of life in individuals and a community must be done by one person who is looking for wholistic transformation to take place. This means we want to help people (in CHE or NT) to be generalists not specialists.

This means what is shared must be transferable to a person can share it with another who can share it with another, onward. To accomplish this you have to keep things simple and basic. We use the KISS principle, Keep It Short and Simple. In other words, we must decide what is the most important thing another person needs to understand, and forget sharing many of the “what-ifs”—the things people might need to know in the future or things that might be nice to know but others would never use.

So remember, it is best when we have generalists who deal with multiple areas in a community’s or person’s life, and who keep it simple. In another blog I will share with you how this is accomplished through our participatory teaching approach.

I am off to South Africa Sunday May 4th for two weeks to do a a five  day Training of Trainers  on Neighborhood Transformation, which we call overseas Urban CHE. The Healthcare Christian Fellowship equips medical professionals how to share their faith in the workplace is moving to incorporating NT and CHE into their 100 chapters around the world.

What is a Cause and What is Ours

An observation, most of my upcoming blogs come from lesson plans from our training therefore they are in bullet from. I hope that works for you

What is a Cause

  • It is something that catches our attention and excites us
  • It motivates one to accomplish what the cause spells out
  • It is a dream that causes us to action and involvement
  • It gives you reason to get out of bed and motivates you throughout the day
  • It comes in small pieces
  • It is seeing a need that resonated and then stepping forward to do something
  • And all of a sudden you realize what it is

How Do You Find The Cause God Has for You

  • Seek God for guidance
  • Look at what excites you and motivates you to do something
  • Look for opportunities to do things in order to see if it catches you
  • Help others work on their cause
  • See where God is doing things and become involved
  • Look at your skills and knowledge that involves life
  • There are no accidents therefore when something happens look for God’s guidance
  • Look back at our life and what excited you at different times in your life
  • Do things you normally don’t do. Be obedient when God puts something in your path
  • Look for others like yourself and observe what they are doing as well as joining them in their activities
  • Be willing to do on own even if no one else helped

NT’s Cause Statement

To see transformation in all areas of life, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and economic in individuals, neighborhoods and cities

Solution:  This is done by connecting people, creating sub communities within the neighborhood and then transforming the neighborhood. Then these transformed neighborhoods are connected to see their city transformed from the inside out.

What is your cause, what turns you on? Might it be Transformation? Are you willing to step forward in small steps to see if transformation is what turns you on?

Please leave a respond in the comments section concerning what your cause is?

If it is Transformation on individuals and neighborhoods please stay with us and we will give you opportunities to test this out where you are with the time, talent and resources you have.

Stan

Getting Started in Your Churches Neighborhood

Happy New Year. I am blogging again and have laid out 17 different blog posting which I will post twice a month, here on my Urban CHE Guy Blog at https://urbancheguy.wordpress.com/  If I keep on track this will take us with a different blog every two weeks through September 2014.

This is a series of blogs which will start with a couple of core values that are behind what we do in Neighborhood Transformation which I realize I have posted before. Then we will begin a series of blogs on different elements in a Neighborhood Transformation program in a neighborhood and how to go about implementing Neighborhood Transformation in your neighborhood.

The Topics Will Include:

  • Blog 1  Introduction to Series on Getting Started
  • Blog 2  What is Wholistic Mission
  • Blog 3  What is Transformation
  • Blog 4  What is Poverty
  • Blog 5  Why a City
  • Blog 6 Urban Poor Neighborhood
  • Blog 7  Learning about Suburbs
  • Blog 8  Observations About Urban Churches and Why they should Minister in their Neighborhood
  • Blog 9  How an Urban Church can Get Started
  • Blog 10 Knowing Your Neighbor
  • Blog 11 How to Know Your Neighbor
  • Blog12  Prayer Walking
  • Blog 13  How to Gather Information in Your Neighborhood
  • Blog 14  Drawing a Map of Your Neighborhood
  • Blog 15  Using the Information
  • Blog 16  Identifying and Using Assets
  • Blog 17  Focusing on the Elementary School as Way to Draw People Together

In reality this will introduce you to topics we cover in a Weekend Training of Trainers BUT without the group interaction which is very important.

We hope to see three results from these Blogs:

  1. You register to receive this blog automatically
  2. As you read each blog you Ask yourself the Question, How does this apply in what I am doing in my ministry. Once you think of a way to apply the idea or example you put it into action
  3. You actually chose a neighborhood where you live or you church is located and begin applying what you are learning in real life.

Neighborhood Transformation has people around the USA that can help you get started by holding a weekend Training of Trainers, Thursday and Friday nights 6 to 9 PM and all day Saturday. This is a 13 hour series. They are also available to visit you to answer specific questions based on your situation and to mentor you as you begin to start Neighborhood Transformation in your place.

I can be reached at stan@neighborhoodtransformation.net  and our Collaborative for Neighborhood Webpage can be found at http://www.neighborhoodtransformation.net