Tag Archives: Neighborhood Transformation

Developing Relationships

 Why People Need Relationships with Others

In the beginning, God created Eve, not only to help Adam, but to share his life. God put this need inside him. God created us to have a relationship with Him, so much so that He wants us to have relationships with each other. A relationship is the process of give and take; we need to give as much as we need to take. Though people differ in their characters and cultures, they still share common characteristics that enable them to build relationships with one another. Though people differ in their characters and cultures, they still share common characteristics that enable them to build relationships with one another. If you are facing difficult situations, or going on a hard journey, you will not feel the suffering as much if you have good company.

How People can Develop Good Relationships with Each Other

So they know and respect each other. For this to happen we must spend time together therefore proximity to each other is important so see each other regularly and spontaneously. We need to have Open and honest conversations with each other. We need to talk about things that are important to both of us. We should enjoy doing things and times together. We should pray with each other.

The key is develop a strong friendship where we listen to each other. There is good back and forth communication. We need to look out for the needs of each other. We should not expect too much of the other, thus avoiding frustration or hurt. There needs to be Borders- where love is not stifling, but there is room for freedom and respect for privacy. We need to be able to confront each other with love and gentleness. You can say no , as we are not always available all the time. There must be trust and transparency with the ability to forgive each other.

Why Relationships are so Critical to Neighborhood Transformation

Relationships are central to Neighborhood Transformation, because without relationships will never get started or succeed. NT is neighborhood based therefore built on neighbor knowing neighbor and have some relationship with each other. We define real community” being all about relationships. Nothing happens in NT without relationships. People must first know each other to develop relationships and if they are going to help their neighbor they need some level of relationship. People only help each other when there is some kind of relationship. A strong Network of people working together only comes through relationships.

Challenge:
Think about the game tic-tac-toe  with your house in the central spot and there are 8 neighbors surrounding you. I challenge you to begin to develop relationships with as many of those eight neighbors as you can. Even if it is only one or two.

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

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

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.

There are three ways of helping people and neighborhoods

  • Relief Doing Things for People. Provides assistance without addressing long term needs nor using assets found in the people or neighborhood
  • Betterment or Mentoring Individuals to Change Things they Want Changed. Tend to create short term positive, caring beneficial environments and relationships that offer participants respite or positive experiences.
  • Transformation of Individuals and Neighborhoods That is Wholistic and is Sustainable It s focus on measured changes in knowledge, skills abilities or conditions of the participants that  when combined together sees their neighborhood transformed from the inside

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.

Why It important to Look for Transformation

  • so we can see how God is working and to what degree and in what areas of individual and neighborhood life.
  • It  allows room for God to act.
  • To better manage programs
  • Motivation for leaders of transformation, committee members and people doing the work.
  • Helps committee supervise the workers and direct the project.
  • Is motivation for all stakeholders and neighborhood people.
  • Demonstrates accountability
  • Evaluate progress of different elements in the program.
  • Others can see the validity of the program.
  • To satisfy donor/investor requirements
  • To raise public awareness of the issues being addressed
  • To find areas where transformation is not taking place.
  • Identifies needs and interests in the neighborhood which are not being met.
  • To demonstrate effectiveness of the program.
  • It informs others of good practices that could be used elsewhere.
  • Helps looking for outside resources as the reports validity requests

Questions that Might be Asked So That We Can Look for Transformation

  • What would the neighborhood look like where people lived the Golden Rule?
  • What would the neighborhood look like where everyone could read?
  • What would the neighborhood look like if every student graduated high-school?
  • What would the neighborhood look like in regard to crime, abuse, and violence?
  • What would the neighborhood look like if every orphan had a mentor?
  • What would the neighborhood look like if the weak were empowered?
  • What would the neighborhood look like if God’s Kingdom were operative?

Biblical Perspective to Transformation

This past week I read with great interest Dela Adadevoh’s new book “Personal Life Transformation” in a Biblical Perspective 2013, International Leadership Foundation, Orlando FL. Dela was my supervisor as Africa Director of Affairs in 1988 when we were on staff with Campus Crusade in Nairobi and developing CHE. Currently Dela is the Global VP for Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) and founded the International Leadership Foundation in 2004 which he serves as president today. The ideas presented are taken from his book as they fully represent where we are coming from in Transformation.

Dela says right belief does not automatically lead to transformed lives and right actions. Right actions do not necessarily lead to transformed minds, values and lives. There needs to be intentionality in developing life values and principles from beliefs. People have to be helped not only to believe the right things but also to know how the truth relates to real life issues.

Central to transformation is our worldview, that is how we unconsciously view the world around us. Dela says a world view change is a sustained commitment to looking at our world from another frame of reference with a new set of values.

Worldviews are formed by a unique inter-relationship between conceptual categories which Dela identifies as God, truth, authority, power, success, love forgiveness and service. The key question is the transformation process is What is Truth? A person’s worldview informs their beliefs, values and behavior. Our worldview is the aggregate of our various conceptual understandings and how they inter-relate with one another

To experience biblical transformation one has to believe in, God is Creator, God is a perfect person, The characteristics and revealed will of God are absolutes, the Bible as the Word of God, Jesus Christ is the perfect human , Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Jesus Christ as the Savior and the spirit of God as the agent of transformation.

Transformation must be motivated by intrinsic factors striking at the core of one’s beliefs and outlook on life. This causes a radical change of one’s outlook on life consequently ones values in life which affect our behavior.

For full transformation people need a personal relationship with Christ. They are living like Jesus in the contemporary world and leading like Jesus does through Servant Leadership which empower people to be more then they have dreamt they could be. The goal of transforming a person’s worldview, must have at its heart the restoration of humans into the image of God as they become good stewards of God’s creation.

Dela goes onto say Interdependence is the objective of God in everything that he calls us to do. To me this is the factor tying a neighborhood together so their neighborhood can be redeemed and restored.

Transformed lives are validated by transformed system, structure and situation, Transformed leaders must translate their new outlooks and values into new decisions and policies that will result in new institutions and societies.

One of the identified challenges in transformation is the disconnect between the private and public lives of people. The transformation process begins with personal life transformation that should lead to transforming relationships which should lead to institutional or organizational transformation. The process for transformation should increasingly approximate the life of Christ.

No person, nor society can be fully transformed as that will only come when Christ returns. But we can continually think about, plan for, equip and look for transformation taking place in this life. Transformational impact in society increases numbers of transforming people and leaders.

What is Transformation

TRANSFORMATION DEFINITIONS
Let us look at seven definitions of Transformation as used by different organizations

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]

The Opportunity International Network (OI) defines Transformational Development as:
“A deeply rooted change in people’s economic, social, political, spiritual and behavioral conditions resulting in their enjoyment of wholeness of life under God’s ordinances.”(Opportunity International: Transformation Indicators Paper [unpublished document: 2000]).

World Vision uses the following:
Transformation is radical change in worldview toward acting on the belief that Jesus frees me from all forms of bondage, and that in that freedom my purpose in life is to love God and neighbor in practical ways. From a transformation perspective, whatever changes occur in the community’s circumstances (access to food and water, health issues, income level, etc.) are less important than how people in the community view their circumstances.

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.

Transformation as Seen By CRWRC
The “transformation” we seek in communities is as deep as the human heart and as broad as the whole range of the human experience in the world God made. We want our approach to faithfully declare that our God reigns; Jesus is Lord over every inch of creation. “From him and through him and to him are all things”(Rom 11:36). We want to do community development that reflects the depth and breadth of the Kingdom. God works in us and through us to transform beliefs and actions, reflected in redeemed community, and focused on peace, justice, and righteousness.”

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
1. 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.
2. God is actively involved in this change which is the underlying factor for long
term transformation to take place.
3. Because of the changes in individuals as they come together they begin to
transform their neighborhood from the inside out.
4. Identify bisecting interests – where the dreams of the community meet the
calling and capacity of the church, in harmony with God’s mandates
5. Recognize “common grace” of God’s work outside of church
6. Learn from goals & methods of good secular initiatives
7. Align agendas around common ground of the church and neighborhood
8. Relationships (horizontal) and prayer (vertical) are key to fruitful
intersection between community’s dreams and kingdom goals
9. Every person has opportunity to make an informed decision about Christ
10. Measure Christ-likeness in unbelievers

The heart and soul of is transformation as is stated in CNT, Vision and Mission Statements and How we go about our ministry

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.

Mission
CNT 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 underserved 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 we Go about Ministry
We Connect People, Create Community, Transform Communities and then Connect them into Collaboratives that transform large geographical areas.