Church Engagement Tools

Written by Lorenzo Watson on . Posted in Announcements

Are you excited about the upcoming 2014 CCDA National Conference and would like to share some of the conference details with your local church?  If so,  we have a few tools that may help you do just that.  Please visit the Promotions Toolbox to access and download any of the following items from our Church Engagement folder:
    • Insert:  This is a short announcement that should fit into your church’s weekly bulletin.
    • Flyer:  This flyer is meant to be placed in strategic places around the church.  The flyers also work well as handouts to guests.
    • Announcement:  Brief blurb about the conference intended to be read in front of the congregation or emailed with other church announcements.
  We will continue to place items in the Toolbox as they become available. As always, let us know how we can be of further assistance.

-2014 CCDA National Conference Promotions Team

What is at the Core of Transformation?

Written by A Castle on . Posted in Announcements, Blog

At the Center

If you have been involved in Christian Community Development (CCD) for any length of time you know that that the church is at the center of healthy CCD. But sometimes in the midst of our work, day in and day out, lines can become blurred. This article is intended to draw all of us into living and working from the only true source of restoration.

Among Brokenness

For nearly 15 years I have been passionate about serving “the least of these” that are among us. Through the years as this fervor and work has grown, I have come face to face with the depth of brokenness of our world: it is in nearly every corner of how our society functions. Brokenness is in the governmental systems on every level, in our communities, in our neighborhoods and in families. And it is seen most clearly in the lives of individuals – and to varying degrees, in every one of us. For many of the initial years, fellow laborers and I tried a plethora of strategies that would support and lift up those in brokenness. But the more strategies we tried, the harder we worked, and the more creatively we thought; the weight of our unjust society continuously increased, which was crushing. I have learned that whether we are engaging with one individual or an entire community, the weight of such brokenness is inevitably overwhelming and devastating.

True Root Causes

In each of our communities there are virtually unlimited out-workings or appearances of this brokenness, but we must plunge into their depths to find the root causes from which the sickness grows. My experience has borne out what the Scripture clearly states, that at the root of all the mangled systems and lives that have been left in their wake is broken relationships. Relationships are broken with God and with one another. Yet, it is not just a matter of “making nice” so everything begins to brighten up. Each of our hearts is plagued with a completely self-centered, self-glorifying leaning.

What is at the Core of Transformation: The Answer

Written by A Castle on . Posted in Announcements, Blog

The Gospel: The Only Answer

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, we find the ultimate solution to humankind’s broken relationship with God. Though we were alienated and hostile in mind toward God and irreversibly bent toward destruction, we have been reconciled to Him through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The root problem is the nature of our hearts, which we are completely incapable of changing. But Jesus has made transformation possible. It is from this pure seed that every good thing our hearts and communities dream of can become true. It is because of the gospel that the sad things of this world can be made untrue.

World Relief, the ministry where I work and serve has a phrase that resonates deeply with me: “God longs for the Church, the most diverse social network on the planet, to be at the center of …stories of holistic transformation (social, spiritual, economic).” This is the crux of transformation. God is living out His eternal plan for redemption and reconciliation through His Church. Though many times, due to our own frailty and brokenness, the Church does not seem like the most natural or strategic way for God to accomplish His purposes, it is God’s “Plan A” in bringing His reconciliation to this world1.

At our Durham, N.C. World Relief site, where I am the Executive Director, we have struggled through the process of engaging with our partners in the local church to bring the transformation we have received in Christ among the most vulnerable among us. Every one of the principles we operate from centers on the gospel of Jesus Christ, flowing from it and leading to it. But the gospel is not just an idea that we hold to: It is how we seek to live.

Becoming a Proclaiming/Demonstrating Community

At World Relief, another principle that drives our work is a term we call Integral Mission, or the balanced blending of ministry in Word and Deed. If we focus exclusively on one or the other, our work becomes unbalanced and unhealthy results occur. But when what Jesus has done for us saturates our lives, and our hearts overflow with intimacy and surrender to Him, the natural result is an overflow of healthy service. We are able to transfer the treasure we have been given to others who are walking a path of brokenness we are so very familiar with.

A firm grasp on the Gospel’s impact in our lives is the key – and it works. In our context here in the Triangle, NC area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), we have seen exponential growth in our partnerships with local churches. Hundreds and hundreds of individuals are leveraging their lives in direct, empowering relationships with the newcomer or foreign-born communities we are working in.

Limitless Possibilities

This is just the beginning, though. At World Relief Durham we have only impacted a small portion of the communities who are in our midst. But the vision God has given us is potent, and we are beginning to witness exponential growth in our partnerships and engagement with the communities in which we serve together. There is no true transformation apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are witnessing this transformation every day – within ourselves and those around us.

- To learn more about World Relief Durham, and its work in the Triangle, NC, visit www.worldreliefdurham.org

1 – J.D. Greear – 35 Values I Wish I had Possessed When I Started Pastoring. http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2011/11/plumblines-36-values-i-wish-i-had-possessed-when-i-started-pastoring-10-years-ago.html

Join the Carolina CCDA Community

Written by Danny Breed on . Posted in Blog

Have you wanted to grow deeper in understanding Christian Community Development? Would you be refreshed by growing with those who are already living it out? CCDA Carolina is a group of North Carolinians who desire to walk alongside you as you seek to grow deeper in and live out the principles that embody Christian Community Development. Contributors who are living out the CCD principles in their local context have agreed to submit articles that revolve around the theme of the below principles. They have also agreed to provide practical examples of what it looks like to live out these principles. Here are the core Christian Community Development principles:
  1. Relocation – living among the people
  2. Reconciliation – between people and God as well as between people
  3. Redistribution – just distribution of resources
  4. Leadership Development – developing leaders from the community
  5. Listening to the Community – hearing the dreams, ideas, and hopes from the community as well as the needs
  6. Church-Based – development taking place through the local churches
  7. Wholistic – pursuing wholistic restoration, not partial restoration
  8. Empowerment – empowering the community to meet their own needs
We invite you to enter the community conversation around these topics. Help the entire community grow by providing your insight and CCD perspectives through the comment sections. We look forward to journeying with you.    

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