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Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development

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Already with decades of experience speaking prophetically into the charged racial climate of the American south, John Perkins began to see a need for organized thinking and collaborative imagination about how the church engages urban ministry. And so the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) was born, with Wayne Gordon an immediate and enthusiastic participant Already with decades of experience speaking prophetically into the charged racial climate of the American south, John Perkins began to see a need for organized thinking and collaborative imagination about how the church engages urban ministry. And so the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) was born, with Wayne Gordon an immediate and enthusiastic participant. Nearly thirty years later CCDA's eight key components of community development still set the bar for how churches, parachurches and nonprofits engage cities with the whole gospel. Relocation Reconciliation Redistribution Leadership Development Listening to the Community Church-Based Development A Wholistic Approach to Ministry Empowerment In Making Neighborhoods Whole Perkins and Gordon revisit these eight commitments and how they've played out in real communities, even as they scan the horizon of urban ministry to set a new tone. With profiles of longstanding and emerging community development ministries, they guide a new conversation and empower disciples of Jesus to seek the welfare of their cities to the glory of God.


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Already with decades of experience speaking prophetically into the charged racial climate of the American south, John Perkins began to see a need for organized thinking and collaborative imagination about how the church engages urban ministry. And so the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) was born, with Wayne Gordon an immediate and enthusiastic participant Already with decades of experience speaking prophetically into the charged racial climate of the American south, John Perkins began to see a need for organized thinking and collaborative imagination about how the church engages urban ministry. And so the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) was born, with Wayne Gordon an immediate and enthusiastic participant. Nearly thirty years later CCDA's eight key components of community development still set the bar for how churches, parachurches and nonprofits engage cities with the whole gospel. Relocation Reconciliation Redistribution Leadership Development Listening to the Community Church-Based Development A Wholistic Approach to Ministry Empowerment In Making Neighborhoods Whole Perkins and Gordon revisit these eight commitments and how they've played out in real communities, even as they scan the horizon of urban ministry to set a new tone. With profiles of longstanding and emerging community development ministries, they guide a new conversation and empower disciples of Jesus to seek the welfare of their cities to the glory of God.

30 review for Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: Two of the founders of the Christian Community Development Association recount the history of this movement, weaving a narrative of their own and others stories into a summary of the eight key principles that have defined this movement. Wayne Gordon, at Lawndale Community Church in Chicago, and John Perkins, at Voice of Calvary in Jackson, Mississippi, and later Harambee Ministries in Pasadena, were two of the key founders of the movement that became known as Christian Community Developm Summary: Two of the founders of the Christian Community Development Association recount the history of this movement, weaving a narrative of their own and others stories into a summary of the eight key principles that have defined this movement. Wayne Gordon, at Lawndale Community Church in Chicago, and John Perkins, at Voice of Calvary in Jackson, Mississippi, and later Harambee Ministries in Pasadena, were two of the key founders of the movement that became known as Christian Community Development and were founding members, along with other key early leaders like Glen Kehrein and Bob Lupton, of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). This book, self-described as a "handbook" actually does two things. One is that it tells the story of Christian Community Development from its early beginnings. It is honest, celebrating both the growth of a work of God and human failings from poor planning to burnout to the deaths of key figures like Lem Tucker, who in conversation with Wayne Gordon in his kitchen, conceived the idea of CCDA. Gordon and Perkins share the narrative but also include in chapters enunciating the eight principles of Christian Community Development, the narratives of many other leaders in this movement around the country. As mentioned in the last sentence, the book also lays out the eight key components of Christian community development and what these leaders have learned about their practice. These include: 1. Relocation. Perhaps even more important than those who relocate are those who remain, and those who return. 2. Reconciliation. This chapter emphasizes how this is indeed the only cure for our racial and ethic divides, depends upon Christ, and involves the hard work of listening to things we'd rather not hear. 3. Redistribution. The recommendation is not a handout but the opportunity and resources to work--education, micro-finance, and a justice system that doesn't create a permanent underclass of those who make bad judgments and break laws. 4. Leadership development. This invariably means a long-term commitment in the lives of young people from childhood through college and back into the community. 5. Listening to the community. Sometimes ministry leaders have ideas of what a community needs that are not what the community thinks it needs. Gordon narrates a situation where he wanted to build athletic facilities when community members were telling him they needed a washer and dryer and a safe place to wash clothes. He asked them to pray--God provided the washer and dryer and transport to move it to Lawndale! 6. Being Church Based. It is easy to operate independently of churches or for churches to relinquish responsibility for communities but the church is central in God's redeeming purposes and the best situation is churches doing this ministry with a strong sense of "parish" ministry. 7. A Wholistic Approach. The authors believe it can never be an either/or approach of gospel or community work but both must work hand in hand. 8. Empowerment. I appreciated two questions in this chapter concerning avoiding dependency: "What will it take for you not to need anything from us in one year's time?" and "What has to happen over the next year for you to get to a place where you can help others instead of needing help?" As you can see, this short book was full of practical help, perhaps more of a "primer" than a "handbook" yet immensely instructive. I also appreciated the stories. That of Sami DiPasquale, an Anglo talking about reconciliation particularly struck me. Here is an excerpt: "For people of privilege, reconciliation begins with sinking to our knees before God. We can choose to build relationships with those outside traditional power structures, with people who are 'other.' We can listen to their stories, paying careful attention especially when we hear a pattern emerging. We can put ourselves under the authority of someone from a different cultural heritage. We can choose to live in a setting where we are the minority. We can study history and theology from the perspectives of those who were not invited into the process of creating the standard textbooks--history can sound so different based on who is telling the story. We can grieve the tragedies that our forebears were a part of and try to figure out how they factor in to how we live today. We must ask God and others for forgiveness, and we must forgive ourselves. Finally, we must move forward, always listening, always striving to embrace voices from the outside with a resolve to confront the sin of injustice at every opportunity" (pp. 73-74). It seems that this is a book that could be helpful to any church seeking to take its community seriously and to see it as their parish. Poverty is not just about money and development isn't just about economics. And poverty is often hidden. I live in what may be considered a suburban community, yet at one of our nearby elementary schools, nearly half the children are eligible for subsidized lunches. Our church's food pantry served 200 families this past weekend. While some of us may indeed be called to re-locate, it strikes me that some of us do need to remain, and open our eyes. This is a book that helps us to begin to understand how we as a church might live and act in light of what we see.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Yoder

    A wonderful, clear, and helpful read for church planters or ministers in under-resourced communities around the world. While it serves as an outline of CCDA, it provides many tangible ideas, stories, and concepts for practitioners of ministry to wrestle with and be inspired by.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Noah Schumerth

    I use this on the job all the time. Must read for Christians doing ministry work, especially in urban contexts.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elisha Lawrence

    I knew I'd enjoy this book because John Perkins was involved in writing it. This is more Coach Gordon (who was mentored by John Perkins) though it's technically co-authored. That being said, this is the book to understand Christian Community Development Association methodology and that's why I wanted to read it. I've read a number of other books by CCDA authors, but this was the best overview I'd encountered. I'm amazed by the people in this organization. They take Christ's command to love one's I knew I'd enjoy this book because John Perkins was involved in writing it. This is more Coach Gordon (who was mentored by John Perkins) though it's technically co-authored. That being said, this is the book to understand Christian Community Development Association methodology and that's why I wanted to read it. I've read a number of other books by CCDA authors, but this was the best overview I'd encountered. I'm amazed by the people in this organization. They take Christ's command to love one's neighbor very seriously. CCDA has 8 key principles for this work and the majority of this book was taking a principle, explaining it, and sharing some stories of CCDA practitioners living that principle out in their context. They started with 3 principles: Relocation, Reconciliation, and Redistribution. These were created by John Perkins. He moved back to his home of Mississippi to start a church (relocation). As he worked in his racially segregated and economically starved neighborhood, he realized that sharing the gospel there needed to include caring about the actual situations of the people there. This meant a focus on reconciliation, both those who don't know the Lord being reconciled to the Lord and reconciliation of people who had been divided with one another (reconciliation). Lastly he realized that resources were being intentionally focused to certain classes of people and those who were least fortunate were being pushed out. So Perkins led his church in equipping the less fortunate to learn how to provide for themselves and flourish (redistribution). The final five principles were added as more people heard Perkins story and wanted to learn from him. More and more people gathered together and it eventually resulted in the formation of the CCDA. They added these principles to the initial three: leadership development, listening to the community. being church-based, a wholistic approach, and empowerment. So many great, but challenging principles are listed right there. CCDA practitioners believe that the best ideas for developing a community already exist within the people there...this is why leadership development and listening play such a vital role. This is a major guardrail against paternalism from outsiders. Especially for people like myself who are not from the communities we are trying to invest in, we need this guard rail. All the principles are great, but I also greatly appreciate the CCDA's commitment to being church-based. There are some wonderful non-profit ministries and organizations that are working to develop under-resourced communities. And yet the church is meant to proclaim the gospel in word and deed. God has promised to indwell his people and work through us. Christians should be at the very center of developing communities and loving our neighbors. I am such a huge fan of CCDA! Great book for anyone, but especially those who care about their city.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zak Schmoll

    This book was recommended in an email newsletter I receive and trust, so I was expecting good things. It is very good balance of calling the church to the cause of charity with a dose of realism that we ought to engage in community development that empowers people. This is not a super theological book but much more based in how Christians can practically try to develop their communities. It has a highly incarnational emphasis, and it is full of stories of how different Christians have worked wit This book was recommended in an email newsletter I receive and trust, so I was expecting good things. It is very good balance of calling the church to the cause of charity with a dose of realism that we ought to engage in community development that empowers people. This is not a super theological book but much more based in how Christians can practically try to develop their communities. It has a highly incarnational emphasis, and it is full of stories of how different Christians have worked with in their communities to improve the lives of their neighbors. This book is highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melisa Blankenship

    Dr. Perkins and Dr. Gordon write a practical book on ways to engage a neighborhood to both meet needs practically as well as bring the good news of the gospel to people’s lives. They talk about how to do this without becoming paternalistic; encouraging people to listen to the leaders who are already in the neighborhood. Each chapter has a few stories from people doing this work and what they’ve learned along the way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Chabot

    This is an amazing book! If you want to know anything about CCDA this is the one. Easy read that allows you to understand the principles with real life/real people examples!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    A historical and narrative explanation of the mission of CCDA

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thaddgreen07

    It wasn’t a step by step manual but more of their ideology on making neighborhoods whole.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim Hoiland

    Rock bands like Switchfoot don’t compose tribute songs to just anybody. But when they do, one does well to take note. The band famously memorialized the words—or at least the sentiments—of St. Augustine in the 1999 song “Something More.” And as philosophy professor David Naugle wrote last year in Comment, this was anything but an isolated instance. Rather, he argues, “key aspects of the influential saint’s Christian vision, especially its existential aspects, permeate the band’s lyrics.” A decade Rock bands like Switchfoot don’t compose tribute songs to just anybody. But when they do, one does well to take note. The band famously memorialized the words—or at least the sentiments—of St. Augustine in the 1999 song “Something More.” And as philosophy professor David Naugle wrote last year in Comment, this was anything but an isolated instance. Rather, he argues, “key aspects of the influential saint’s Christian vision, especially its existential aspects, permeate the band’s lyrics.” A decade after “Something More” appeared on the album New Way to be Human, Switchfoot paid tribute to another hero on Hello Hurricane. Here is what frontman Jon Foreman had to say about “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)”: "[It] is a very important song for us as a band. I see so much hatred and fear around me, I see so many people living out their pain. I hear it on the radio. I see it in the headlines. John Perkins story needs to be heard. This song was inspired by a man who sang a louder song than hatred. In a world where we are defined by our differences, Mr. Perkins’s life of service and compassion is a tangible demonstration of what it means to live a life of love. Love is the loudest song we could sing. Louder than racism. Louder than fear. Louder than hatred. John Perkins said it right, love is the final fight. We’re excited to hear this song on the radio, louder than pain." Perkins, as I’ve said before, is something of a hero for me too, and his books have profoundly shaped my thinking on faith, justice, racial reconciliation, and especially community development. But of course, he’s impacted the lives of many, perhaps primarily through his involvement with the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), which he helped to establish nearly 25 years ago. Now, along with Wayne Gordon, a Chicago pastor who led CCDA for many years and now serves as president of the board, Perkins has written Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development (InterVarsity Press). The book primarily serves as an overview of CCDA’s distinctives, which may not sound overly compelling, but I found that it does so in a richly engaging way. Perkins and Gordon begin with a bit of history, including formative moments in their own lives, how their paths eventually crossed, and of course, the story of how CCDA took root, how it has morphed over the years, and where it might be headed in the future. I’ve read several books by Perkins (and one co-authored by Gordon) before, and have been familiar with CCDA for some time. Some of this was therefore review, but I was interested to discover details I’d either never known or forgotten about the remarkably vibrant association they have helped to lead. The authors then outline the eight core components or hallmarks of Christian community development, taking them a chapter at a time. The first three—relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution—originated with Perkins early on, while the latter five—leadership development, listening to the community, being church-based, a wholistic approach, and empowerment—were added later in collaboration with others. (One or two of those words might raise red flags for some readers of this blog, but I’d encourage you to find out what they mean by them before rushing to judgment.) Supplementing these eight hallmarks in the book are short essays from a variety of Christian community development practitioners, most of whom toil in obscurity. That is, they’re only household names in the neighborhoods where they actually live and work, where they’re beloved and anything but unknown. For those already acquainted with the work of CCDA, Making Neighborhoods Whole will help provide context for the organization as it exists today. For those interested in the book who represent broad swaths of evangelicals newly energized by the idea of seeking the flourishing of our cities, but who don’t know much about CCDA, the history chapters might get into some unnecessary minutiae (budget fluctuations and conference attendance year by year, for instance). But the real heart of the book—the chapters and corresponding essays on the hallmarks—will be helpful and interesting, I think, for everyone. Those with any level of responsibility for or involvement in church or nonprofit ministry among the poor, both domestically and abroad, would find much of value in Making Neighborhoods Whole. - See more at: http://timhoiland.com/2013/11/making-...

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

    I was privileged to meet John Perkins in the fall of 2004. My wife were part of a year long urban mission in Atlanta(creatively called Mission Year). Perkins was in town for a meeting regarding the upcoming CCDA conference when his flight out was canceled due to poor weather conditions. Bob Lupton arranged for us Mission Year folks to spend an evening with Perkins. Before that evening, I knew of Perkins and was vaguely aware of CCDA (Christian Community Development Association). But that night h I was privileged to meet John Perkins in the fall of 2004. My wife were part of a year long urban mission in Atlanta(creatively called Mission Year). Perkins was in town for a meeting regarding the upcoming CCDA conference when his flight out was canceled due to poor weather conditions. Bob Lupton arranged for us Mission Year folks to spend an evening with Perkins. Before that evening, I knew of Perkins and was vaguely aware of CCDA (Christian Community Development Association). But that night he left an indelible mark on me. This was a man who had been the victim of abject racism during the Civil Rights era, but he exuded grace and humility and love. A month later I attended the CCDA conference and was similarly impressed by Wayne “Coach” Gordon. And I began to devour many of the CCDA materials. Gordon and Perkins new book, Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development delineates CCDA’s approach to ministry and mission. The first three chapters summarize Gordon and Perkins call to ministry and early experiences in ministry, the development and early years of CCDA and its recent history. Chapters four through eleven describe the eight key components of Christian Community Development which CCDA is committed to. These include: 1.Relocation (Relocaters, Returners and Remainers intentionally investing in a neighborhood). 2. Reconciliation (bringing people together across racial and socio-economic divides). 3. Redistribution ( through micro finance and economic development). 4.Leadership development( raising up indigenous leaders from the community). 5. Commitment to listening to the community (not assuming you have all the answers and resources). 6. Being church based (becoming a supportive spiritual community in the neighborhood). 7. Holistic ministry (ministering to the whole person-spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.). 8. Empowerment (Not fostering dependence but allowing people to flourish from our humility and generosity). These eight key components have served as the guiding principles of CCDA. Gordon and Perkins punctuate these chapters with testimonies of other activists in the CCDA world. What should be apparent from this list, Perkins and Gordon do not prescribe a universal, detailed plan for reviving at-risk communities. Instead they share the wisdom of doing ministry ‘in place’ in a way that is empowering, communal and non-paternalistic. The goal of CCDA is to raise up revive whole communities spiritually, socially and materially. They do not achieve this kind of transformation without empowering and working with a neighborhood’s residents. There are no shortage of churches striving to reach out ‘missionally’ to their communities. Perkins and Gordon have been reaching out ‘incarnationally’ to communities since the 1970s. I find their perspective invaluable for seeing our cities and communities transformed. If CCDA is new to you, this book will orient you on how to engage in holistic mission. That being said, if you have read Perkins Beyond Charity, or Restoring At-Risk Communities (Perkins, ed.) or Gordon’s Real Hope in Chicago, I am not sure that this book will impart many new ideas. This book has great stuff to say and says it well. These older books aremore in-depth, and still relevant. But anything by Gordon and Perkins is worth reading. They are ministry practitioners with a wealth of wisdom and experience. Get this book, and then get the others and read them all. And then do something. I give this book 4 stars. Thank you to InterVarsity Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    As an introduction to the basic principles of CCDA, this book is fantastic. The use of firsthand stories from CCDA practicioners to close each chapter is an inspiring way to organize the material. The eight principles of the CCDA: relocation, reconciliation, redistribution, leadership development, listening to the community, being church-based, a wholistic approach, and empowerment, are a clarion call not just for CCDA affiliated ministries, but for congregations and ministries everywhere to rea As an introduction to the basic principles of CCDA, this book is fantastic. The use of firsthand stories from CCDA practicioners to close each chapter is an inspiring way to organize the material. The eight principles of the CCDA: relocation, reconciliation, redistribution, leadership development, listening to the community, being church-based, a wholistic approach, and empowerment, are a clarion call not just for CCDA affiliated ministries, but for congregations and ministries everywhere to really take the incarnation seriously. A parish approach to reconciliation and whole life discipleship is a gospel call, and one that, as I read, I know I need to engage far more seriously. Perkins, Gordon, and a host of others give us a compelling vision and a life-giving shot in the arm with this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mindee Berkman

    Really 3.5 stars. The first few chapters drag. They explain how CCDA came to be. Somewhat interesting. The meat of the book begins in chapter 4 and is the content for which I proposed to read the book. I've been a Christian since childhood. How is it that I am just now beginning to understand what that really means? This book explains how Christians can truly help "the least of these." I found it informative and enlightening. Really 3.5 stars. The first few chapters drag. They explain how CCDA came to be. Somewhat interesting. The meat of the book begins in chapter 4 and is the content for which I proposed to read the book. I've been a Christian since childhood. How is it that I am just now beginning to understand what that really means? This book explains how Christians can truly help "the least of these." I found it informative and enlightening.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dax Palmer

    Very good book. Wayne Gordon and John Perkins describe the eight key components of the CCDA. This book is good for anyone interested in Community Development.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve Holt

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Smallacombe

  17. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin Obwald

  19. 5 out of 5

    Grant

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Steele

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Smith

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Knack

  24. 5 out of 5

    Drew Humphrey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katy Correa

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Lynn Tomlinson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wes Willison

  29. 5 out of 5

    Samuél

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

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