Tag Archives: Multiplication

Are You Interested in Discipleship

If so discipleship is central to what happens in Neighborhood Transformation.

A disciple is a learner with the intent to learn from the master and then pass on what he has learned onto others as he puts it into practice in his own life. It focuses on making obedient disciples. It is not just focused on making  converts. It is also builds  multiplying disciples whose impact  expands Jesus’ kingdom. It is discipleship where people practice their following of Jesus Christ in every act of their daily life. It is where word and deed are  intertwined, not parallel tracks of life. It is a strategy that occurs when a disciple is following God’s direction. It does needs right principles to be applied. It is ongoing, unstoppable and out of control. It is not hierarchical, systematic, or highly structured and tightly managed.

It’s a rapid multiplication of groups and churches. It is not slow, sequential, methodical addition. It’s simply about churches rapidly planting new churches. It is not primarily about expansion of denominations, or growth of organizations. It thrives in an environment of persecution and chaos. It is messy. Disciple making does not do well in a peaceful environment of significant controls, policies, and procedures.

Discipleship focuses on replication. It is not about growing large, highly programmatic, organizations but rapidly multiplying small groups that have a core value of discovering where God is at work by finding a person of peace. It is not about starting church services and inviting people to come. It is about the church emerging from within the culture of the people. It is not about calling the people out of their culture to form a new organization. It’s locally led. While often started by outsiders, it is not led by outsiders who intend someday to turn over the ministry to the people of the community.

It is family-based. It does not seek to extract individual respondents from their families and communities, re-acculturating them and then sending them as semi-outsiders back to their communities, which is powered by ordinary people; unschooled and non-credentialed. It is not driven by highly trained and credentialed professionals. It’s counter-intuitive. It does not fit management theory or organizational development. It’s about developing independent leaders. It is not about building a mass of followers.

It is about simple men and women with the simple gospel for simple people. It is not sophisticated and complex. It’s inexpensive. Once begun, discipleship expands without outside resources at all, which is making disciple-makers of every member. It is not about the few reaching the multitudes. It does not make buildings a priority. The church meets within the community of the people. It places a high level of commitment on the health and welfare of the people; people caring for one another. It is not a strategy of hiring professionals to care for the needs of the people.

Churches never emerge without a heavy commitment to prayer. It has a saturation commitment. It believes in a church for every people. Nor is it about planting a denominational church in every community. The goal is a rapidly expand movement under God’s direction through the people in the neighborhood who want to see God’s kingdom established in their neighborhood.

The goal is a rapidly expanding movement that is growing exponentially neighborhood by neighborhood until it transforms the city. A movement is a group of committed people embracing a common purpose moving towards well-defined goals and who are committed to the spread and multiplication of these objectives. It is based on winning, building, and sending people.

Are you interested in getting a free 10 lesson workshop on Making disciples email me at stan@neighborhoodtransformation.net to get it.

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CITY REACHING REQUIRES PARADIGM SHIFTS

To transform a city there must be a total Paradigm shift in the way we go about it. I am taking highlights from a paper “Ten Paradigm Shifts” which became part of his book To Transformation a City By Eric Swanson. We in CNT totally agree with his 10 paradigm shifts.

1) From building walls to building bridges. “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13,14). The first paradigm shift pertains to where we, as the church, see ourselves in relation to our communities. Will we remain outside of the community inviting people in or will we go to our communities, seeking to be a transforming agent? The church is called to be separate in lifestyle but never called to be isolated from the people it seeks to influence.

2) From measuring attendance to measuring impact. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast…mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough” (Matthew 13:33). In a post-modern world most people are neither impressed with the size of a church or its commitment to “truth.”  In this century, the greatest apologetic for the reality of Jesus Christ living in a community will be observational more than propositional. To have a faith that can be observed is to be living out the truths we want others to grasp and the life of the Savior we want them to know.

3) From encouraging the saints to attend the service to equipping the saints for works of service. “It is (God) who gave some to be…pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service…” (Ephesians 4:11,12) In the typical church, lay people are asked to serve in several: capacities ie; Teach a Sunday School class, Work in the nursery, lead a home Bible study or small group, or  Sing in the choir

Little wonder pastors lament that only 20% of their members are “active. Could it be that the service opportunities are not broad enough to engage the energies and passions of people in the church?  Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City writes that the process of mobilizing members into ministers “starts by articulating clearly and regularly a theology of ‘every-member ministry’…

4) From “serve us” to service—from inward to outward focus. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give…” (Mark 10:45).  The church is irrelevant to most people. Take away service and you take away the church’s power, influence, and evangelistic effectiveness. The power of the gospel is combining the life-changing message with selfless service.

Erwin McManus of Mosaic Church in East Los Angeles says that the single biggest factor in his church retaining people is not personal follow-up or joining a small group; it is being involved from the very beginning in service to others in the community. When members have told him that they want the church to meet their needs his reply is “You ARE the church and together we are called to meet the needs of the world.”  We grow and are healed as we serve others.

5) From duplication of human services and ministries to partnering with existing services and ministries. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Nearly every community has a number of human service agencies that are morally positive and spiritually neutral that are doing their best to meet the needs of the underserved and under-resourced people of the community. Rather than starting a new ministry, why not form partnerships with existing groups as “partner ministries” of a local congregation?

6) From fellowship to functional unity. There is a strong case to suggest that there is really only one church in a city or community (made up of all believers) that meets in several congregations around the city. In Philippians 2:2 Paul implored, “…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Only unity of purpose around the vision of a transformed community is strong enough to unite pastors and churches of different denominations. Uniting the church around a common goal is preferable to trying to unite the church around a cooperative project.  It works because we love each other, we trust each other and we hold each other accountable,” says Fresno pastor Paul Binyon.

7) From condemning the city to blessing the city and praying for it. Jeremiah 29 begins by saying; “This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem…to those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.” What follows are instructions on how to live as aliens in a foreign land. Listen to his admonition: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (v. 7)

For too long we as the church have positioned ourselves as adversaries to our communities. Maybe it is time we began blessing the city by blessing those who have given themselves to the city! Perhaps the next great reconciliation movement will be between the church and the community.

8) From being a minister in a congregation to being a minister in a parish.As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it…” (Luke 19:41). A congregation is made up of people who attend a local church from a community. The minister typically feels that this congregation is his flock whom he must baptize, marry and bury. They consume his time and energy. Being in a parish is different. A parish differs from a congregation in that it is a geographical scope of concern and responsibility.  Being in a parish gives one the God-given right to minister to anyone in the community, whether they are part of one’s congregation or not. Urban theologian,

9) From anecdote and speculation to valid information. Two pieces of information changed the course of Nehemiah’s life that resulted in the transformation of a community. In Nehemiah 1, His burden to transform the city came from accurate information. We too need correct information about the real needs of our community as well as the resources we have to meet these needs.

10) From teacher to learner.Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” (James 1:19). It is interesting to note that for the historic African-American churches, the concept of holistic ministry is not a new concept. They have never suffered from trying to split effective evangelism from social justice or meeting the needs of those around them. It’s how they’ve always done church.

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.

 

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

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