People do not know their neighbors for many reasons. If they do not know their neighbors they are not willing to work together to do things.
If we are to create community, people must learn about each other’s assets, skills, knowledge and passions.
The focus is on the strengths and assets already found in the neighborhood, and to a much less extent with, what is not there or the problems in the neighborhood. The appeal lies in the premise that neighborhoods can and will drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often-unrecognized strengths, and thereby responding to and creating local economic opportunity.Based on this, people are drawn into small group teachings around things that they are interested in learning and doing.
Collaborative for Neighborhood Transformation helps people in the neighborhood transform their lives and communities from the inside out, resulting in:
Learn About Neighborhood Transformation
What is Neighborhood Transformation?
Neighborhood Transformation is a strategy that helps churches minister in a wholistic manner to people in urban poor neighborhoods. It empowers people to take responsibility for their own lives. It helps neighbors to help their neighbors and moves them from welfare and relief to empowerment. It focuses on assets found in the neighborhood, which fosters local ownership instead of being based on problems that they expect outsiders to fix for them.
How does it work?
Neighborhood Transformation (NT) trains church lay-people how to enter a nearby poor neighborhood, develop relationships, and identify assets already found in individuals and groups in the neighborhood. Then, by working with the local people, this information is used to improve the living conditions and build bridges for the Gospel.
Training starts with a 12-hour weekend, which includes Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday to introduce people to the concepts, strategy and approach of (NT). Then a team begins to implement some of the ideas in a neighborhood. As they begin ministry there are 50 Workshops that can be chosen from. The workshops are 4 - 8 hours each and can be used to train themselves or people in the neighborhood on topics they want to know, when it’s the right time for them to learn a specific topic.
Poverty and Urban Transformation
Poverty is based on more than just an absence of materials goods. Those in poverty often feel as if they have little or no power to change their situation. In some instances, one’s own fatalistic thoughts render them powerless, but beyond that are societal structures that keep people powerless—whether they be governmental, political, religious, criminal, or moral restrictions which benefit those who cause the structures to be there.
To address poverty we must empower people with new knowledge and new skills while working to help reshape their attitude and beliefs based on Biblical truth. In the context of relationships we must equip & train people how to improve their individual and family life so their lives are transformed in all areas.
NT seeks “transformation” as defined by a permanent change in one’s attitude, belief, and behavior in all areas of their life (physical, spiritual, emotional, social) which compels that person to facilitate the same changes in others, thus changing their neighborhood from the inside out.
The Multi-Faceted Transformational Approach
- Deals with the whole person—physical, spiritual, emotional, social
- People-oriented, relationship building process
- Designed to identify assets
- Relies on networking—connecting people with the neighborhood assets that can empower them
- Based on neighbor helping neighbor, not dependence on professionals.
- Designed to be sustainable
- Primarily a grass-root, bottom-up process which requires a person to act as a catalyst and facilitator
- Works primarily with individuals and households and then impacts the neighborhood as a whole
- Ethical values are based on the unchanging truths in the Bible
Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself
We are commanded in Luke 10:27 to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will truly be concerned with their welfare—physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially. We will be compelled to help our neighbor live a more abundant, meaningful life here on earth and share how they can have eternal life.
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