After decades of first hand experience and listening to Christian Community Development (CCD) practitioners, we have come to see that challenges within our communities cannot be solved without both a strong commitment to our relationship with Christ and to our neighbors.
Far too often when people outside of our neighborhoods attempt to identify and alleviate the problems within our neighborhoods they fall short of creating lasting change. However, the most creative and long-term solutions to the problems in our communities are grassroots, church-based efforts. As CCD practitioners, we collaborate with our neighbors to discern where Christ is already at work in our communities and then we partner with our neighbors to create long-term and widespread positive change.
Over the 30+ years of our association’s existence, a Christian Community Development philosophy emerged – one grounded in the Christian faith and intended to be practical and contextual. The CCD philosophy is not a concept developed in a classroom, or formulated by people foreign to marginalized and low-status communities. Rather, CCDA pioneer, Dr. John Perkins, first developed this philosophy while working with his neighbors in Mississippi.
The first three CCD philosophy components were based on John Perkins’ original “three R’s” of community development: relocation, reconciliation and redistribution. Other components were later added by CCD practitioners discovering the need to continue to contextualize the components to the current cultural and social realities faced in marginalized and low-status communities. We continue to embody this adaptability as an association and want our components to evolve to meet the needs of our communities.