Christian Community Development affirms the dignity of individuals and collaborates with neighbors to leverage community resources and assets to bring about sustainable change. Too often communities are developed by outsiders that bring in resources without taking into account the people who live in our communities. Christian Community Development practitioners are committed to listening to their neighbors and hearing their dreams, ideas and thoughts. By actively listening, we can identify community assets, opportunities, and needs and then cultivate, implement and benefit from a shared vision for our community.
When practicing Christian Community Development, it is important not to focus on the weaknesses or needs of a community. Rather, the priority should be the thoughts and dreams of the community itself and what the community members believe should be the focus. Asset-based community development (ABCD) focuses on identifying the assets of a community and then building upon them. When fused together with Christian Community Development, ABCD can have extremely positive results.
In Christian Community Development, it is the community members themselves that decide on areas for growth. After a community has decided where to focus attention, they then collaborate to determine the means with which they themselves can bring about this desired growth. Christian Community Development practitioners ask, what qualities, talents, and abilities does my community have that can help promote community growth? Their focus is on community members seeing themselves as assets and as part of the solution to community challenges.
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