Tag Archives: Comittment to Poor and Marginalized

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

Neighborhood Transformation Core Values

It is important to have a set of Core Values that are the underpinning of what we do. Below are the Core Values that drive Neighborhood Transformation

Integration and Wholism: We are committed to complete obedience to all that Jesus commanded, including both compassion for the people’s physical needs as well as evangelism and discipleship. Our programs seek the total development of the whole person and community.

Relationships: In urban settings people no longer know their neighbors. To implement change, both individually and as a group, people need to know each other so they can work together. We have many tools to help people get to know their neighbors.

Commitment to the Poor and Marginalized: Jesus came to preach good news to the poor. As His ambassadors, we are committed to them, affirm their worth, call them to be children of God through faith in Christ, and seek to release them from brokenness and despair.

Never Do for Others What They Can Do for Themselves When we do things for others that they can do for themselves we take away their dignity, making them dependent upon others. In addition it cannot be reproduced or sustained

Long-Term Solutions: We concentrate our efforts on long-term solutions that break the cycle of poverty and disease. We train, equip, and empower people to do for themselves, focusing on development rather than relief. We seek to empower people to do things for themselves and become connected to their community, which has been reshaped by their actions.

Local Ownership and Initiative: Sustainable programs are owned by the individuals and built on local initiative. Ownership and initiative are demonstrated through volunteerism and strengthened through capacity building. We take time in communities to listen to and participate with people in assessing their needs, identifying resources, and assisting them in organizing for action through training and consultation.

Strength Based Approach:We focus on the strengths found in the people and groups in the neighborhoods, which is built on what people have instead of what they don’t have. Equipping people to identify assets and interests of people and then connecting them around their interests accomplish this. We then work with them to look at the history of their neighborhood, their individual visions for the neighborhood and then form a consensus of what changes they want in their neighborhood.

Reproducible Tools:This approach has been created in over 3,000 lesson plans for urban settings, to be used by lay people to share with their neighbors through group dynamics and peer learning. The lessons are grouped into workshops of 4-6 hours duration, which are aimed for, and to be used by, local people.

Participatory Learning: We believe people must be active participants in their own learning and development. Therefore, we use methods for adult learning that engage participants in a process of reflection and action. We also believe people learn by doing and that modeling is essential.

 Multiplication and Movements:  Our aim is not merely projects, but movements. This is facilitated by training people to train others using concepts that are transferable. We emphasize the use of local resources and appropriate technologies so that solutions can be passed along neighbor to neighbor. We build cooperation and vision at a community level. We work collaboratively with faith- and community-based organizations, local and international relief and development agencies, churches and missions, as well as governments to facilitate the transformation of communities and nations.

Christian Servant Leadership:  Jesus is our model. We seek to imitate him in humility and love. Jesus taught that the greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all. Every leader in our organization is Christian, and each one a servant. We seek to model servant leadership in our organization and programs and raise up leaders in every community who give sacrificially to serve the needs of the people.

Hope this gives you a better understanding of where we are coming from.

Stan the Urban CHE Guy