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BCDC Philosphy

BCDC believes that more important than the charity/service approach to addressing quality of life challenges is the community empowerment approach. Charity alone tends not to change the circumstance but rather sustains it. At times it can even be used to hide or even prevent necessary institutional and systemic change.  Instead, we believe that with the assistance of caring individuals, a character based person can learn to think less like a victim and use their GOD-given abilities to recover from many of life’s difficult circumstances. As we seek the help of others we hope for partnerships that sees the wisdom of the following eight principles *for effective long-term community development:

 

1.      Relocation: (Based on the incarnation of Jesus Christ – Philippians 2)

            Just as Christ humbled Himself by leaving heaven and relocating on earth to identify with the human condition, we will locate ourselves with those who we desire to serve.  However, we will work with all kinds of individual partners:

a.      Relocators -New people come to live in the city.

b.      Returners- People that use to live in community and are persuaded to return.

c.       Remainders- People who stay and have no intention of leaving.

d.      Neighborhood leaders- Individuals who desire to work toward a better neighborhood.

e.      Outside leaders and partners- Compassionate non-residents who need someone to help them see how their resources can be maximized and their sphere of influence can be used strategically.

2.      Reconciliation:  (based on the God given assignment to build bridges between people groups as well as between people and God.  Cor. 5:18-20 Gal 3:28)

            There is always a way for barriers to be minimized, divided people groups reconciled and a new shared strength and shared vision established for the common good of the community.

3.      Redistribution: (based on the example of the early church where resourced individuals voluntarily shared their assets to help those in need Acts 2: 44-45.) Many of the real problems in broken neighborhoods can experience turnaround when people with resources are willing to use them to invest in the plight of others. Often, the problem is not usually resources but greed.  God is not hesitant to move individuals as well as private and corporate enterprises to redistribute their resources when well established vision has been established. 

4.      Leadership Development: (Based on the model of Jesus who recruited and  invested in a dozen men who would in turn would multiply the effectiveness of the mission – Mark 1:16-19, 4:10)

            Indigenous leadership is critical for sustaining a new direction in a community. Such leadership who understand the importance of a shared vision and collaboration need to be trained.        

            Secondly, effective, faith-driven, moral leaders are key to sustaining any good works made toward confronting social entropy. True community transformation will be initiated and sustained by effective leaders. Intentional training of leaders is essential.

 

5.  Listening to the Community: (Based on the humble assumption that no person can live in another’s shoes and therefore must first listen and learn before acting – Prov.1:5, 15:22.)

            Listening (interviewing, surveying, town meetings, etc.) to community leaders, key groups and neighborhood residents is essential in order to gain important perspective and context to the perceived and real needs of the community. Listening is not optional.

 

6.  Church Partners: (Based on the truth that the most unique transforming agency in the world, the one called out to serve as God’s ambassador to the word, is the church. Matt. 5:13, Eph. 2: 10, 3:9-10; 2 Cor. 5:17)

                 It is a wise and prudent strategy to partner with groups and organizations that     are already effectively serving the community and possess motives that exceed the self-  centered ambitions of many other groups. This priority does not prohibit BCDC from           partnering with those outside the church but the church will always be sought as a key partner.

 

7.  Holistic Approach: (Based on the truth that most people need more than a religious “experience” to believe in the love of God. John 3:16, 1 John 3:16-18)

                  All community development has the goal of improving the quality of life of its residents. Such improvements are best made sustainable when all obstacles to growth are addressed including physical, emotional (mental) and spiritual. For example, one initiative can ready someone to get a job, but only the right character and motives can help someone remain persistent to pursue the new job or to keep the job when it is secured.

     

8.  Empowerment:  (Based on the truth that every person was created for a purpose and is to be equipped to be able to fulfill those purposes. Eph. 2:10, 4:12)

                  There are esteem building principles that are often ignored by today’s systems if charity. One key one is that you don’t do for others what they can do for themselves. In the long run it is better to coach individuals into their call in life than to keep them dependent on yours. In this same mindset, it is better to show people they have the power to change their neighborhood if they work together, utilizing their existing assets and learning how to leverage for new assets then to live a life condoning he status quo.

 

 

 

 

*Adapted from “The Eight Key Components of Christian Community Development” by Dr. Wayne L. Gordon www.ccda.org