Isaiah 58:12 says that God’s “people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age–old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Rebuilding the brokenness in urban communities and restoring lives and livelihood is what Christian community development is all about. CCD is a two-way street paved with reconciliation and redistribution. CCD is empowering. CCD is radical love in action. So enough preaching. What is it really?
Christian Community Development is …
- Has a presence in the community (relocation)
- Carries out the mandate of reconciliation
- Actively listening to the felt-needs of the community
- Has a wholistic approach (for the whole person, for a whole community)
- Seeks to empower the disenfranchised and marginalized in the community
- Develops leaders from the community
- Redistributes the resources within the community
A Chicago, Illinois based organization called Christian Community Development Association or CCDA is the forerunner in facilitating Christian community development in North America. Download their brochure to find out more about opportunities to get training or network with like-minded Christians at an annual conference.
My CCD experiences …
For about eight years my husband and I (and eventually two of my sons) lived in the hood near an area of government housing in Raleigh, NC. We lived as neighbors not as the highly-educated black folks that we are. Our goal was to first be neighbors, experiencing what the entire community felt.
Later we joined forces with a local CCDA nonprofit to co-lead racial reconciliation discussion groups called Supper Clubs. In the end we were attempting, in God’s grace, to address the needs of the whole person, for a whole community.
Here are some of my blog posts about that experience and having an intentional forum for racial discussion.