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Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development Paperback – September 26, 2013
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"For nearly thirty years the Christian Community Development Association has been a resource for people seeking to do prophetic, nonpaternalistic urban ministry. In Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development, CCDA cofounders Wayne Gordon and John Perkins, and other veteran and emerging leaders, revisit key principles and lessons learned." (Sojourners, May 2014)
"Perkins and Gordon lay out the keys to successfully engaging cities with the Gospel. They give examples of how certain core principles have helped empower communities and how they can transform churches' urban ministries." (Relevant Magazine, January-February 2015)
"Making Neighborhoods Whole draws on the experiences of numerous practitioners from around the country and globe. These folks, most serving at grassroots levels, have contributed stories that offer fleshed-out examples of the CCD philosophy, bringing the book to life and providing real-world illustrations of concepts that might otherwise seem unattainable. The book is a good guide for ministry development." (Kimberlee Johnson, PRISM: Evangelicals for Social Action, January 2014)
"No one understands better how to transform neglected communities than John Perkins and Wayne Gordon. They and the cadre of frontline practitioners that has joined them in writing this concise and practical book represent fresh and effective methodology on the fundamentals of contemporary community development." (Bob Lupton, founder and president of FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta, GA)
"This book is a refreshing read for those already practicing community development principles in their ministry. . . . I think Christian community development is necessary beyond urban places and this book sheds light on how it is possible to develop communities in all places." (Brent Lyons-Lee, New Urban World 4, no. 1 (2015))
About the Author
Wayne Gordon (D.Min., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is founding pastor of Lawndale Community Church and chairman/president of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).
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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.