Community Development

Where the Kingdom Meets the Neighborhood

The kingdom is not abstract. It is a real, tangible reality that is available to all peoples on earth. Yet, that reality comes to fruition through simple relationships in real local places. The call of God to “love your neighbor as yourself” clearly indicates that the physical space that humans occupy is where the kingdom becomes reality. The ministry of community development should be deeply informed by this idea.  Those whom we serve should be our neighbors. Relocation to neighborhoods of economic poverty and injustice is a powerful tool for the Kingdom of God. Just as Christ “pitched his tent” to dwell with us on earth, so the people of God are called to enter into locations and neighborhoods to minister to them in the name of Jesus. This is called many things, “relocation”, “incarnation”, “embodiment”.

The Christian Community Development Association’s eight key components:

This philosophy is known as Christian Community Development, which is not a concept that was developed in a classroom, nor formulated by people foreign to the poor community. These are Biblical, practical principles evolved from years of living and working among the poor. CCDA pioneer, John Perkins, first developed this philosophy while working among the poor in Mississippi.

Over the last forty years, practitioners of Christian Community Development have distilled the philosophy into 8 Key Components. The first three are based on John Perkins’ original “three R’s” of community development: relocation, reconciliation and redistribution. Other components were later added by Christians discovering ways to rebuild poor neighborhoods.