Earlier this week, I sent out a response to the Zimmerman verdict that caused me to reflect deeply about the calling of our CCDA movement. The question that has been burning in my heart as I have prayed for our CCDA leadership, practitioners, and for the under-resourced neighborhoods where many of us live, is: what is the God-given calling for CCDA at this time in our nation’s history?
While not new, I have a clear sense that we exist as an association to do everything we can to inspire, train and connect men and women who are responding to the call of God to invest their lives in living and working together as neighbors in under-resourced communities to bring about Kingdom transformation. As I stated in my letter earlier this week:
“At this moment in our nation’s history, I absolutely believe it is time for those of us committed to the Biblically-based philosophy of Christian Community Development to lean into the pain and discontent of our nation and of our under-resourced communities, to provide courageous leadership that will manifest fresh expressions of God’s deep concern for the vulnerable in our society!
With new determination we must declare and demonstrate with our actions that it’s a new day demanding new solutions and a deeper commitment to heal the wounds of racism. It’s a new day to fully engage in the work of making vulnerable neighborhoods whole. It’s a new day to move from status-quo responses and simplistic slogans to root-cause solutions, demanding a new level of sacrificial engagement alongside those on the margins of our nation’s most vulnerable communities, not to solve problems for others but to work together to address our most pressing issues.”
While many of us lament that this call to address racism and poverty, at its core, has been ignored by the church in general, and by Evangelicals in particular in my lifetime, it is time for us to change this reality.
In order to seize the immense challenges and opportunities we face today, we must become more focused, more competent, more connected and more dependent on the Lord to provide us with a constant burden and continual strength to see lives and neighborhoods changed.
As our staff has gathered to pray, we have been impressed that it’s time to call our entire CCDA family to a focused time of prayer and fasting in anticipation and in preparation for being together at our National Conference in September.
Simply put, we cannot be faithful to the work of CCD without the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit! We need His filling, His love, His grace, His wisdom, and His power to be authentic agents of His Kingdom in the communities where we live and minister.
In this eNews, we invite you to join us in this time of commitment and consecration unto the Lord, again, for such a time as this!
Finally, as our leadership team has studied Jesus’ teaching regarding the Kingdom of God and His invitation list to the banquet in Luke 14:12-24, we all felt compelled and convicted that we need to put this amazing Kingdom approach into practice as we wait for folks to register for our conference.
My hunch is that there are hundreds of men and women who live in our communities and work at great sacrifice in our CCD churches and ministries who want desperately to come to New Orleans but can’t come because of life circumstances and lack of funding. Today, we feel compelled to do everything we can to go into the highways and backwoods of our nation to make sure that if this describes someone in your ministry, you can help them make it to New Orleans. My deepest sense, is that we are not just inviting people to attend a conference as spectators and bystanders, but we are calling the redeemed of the Lord, the weak, the broken, the lame, and especially those who have been set free from incarceration, to come and join the CCDA family as we seek to strategize and mobilize together regarding how to make broken lives and communities whole for the glory of God. Within the next week, CCDA organizational members who are attending the National Conference in New Orleans will receive information on how to take advantage of this Luke 14 special registration.
This radical commitment we are calling for is the only approach I believe has any chance to bring healing to our nation. It is a Kingdom dream I want to give my life to, and I invite you to do the same!
With much love,