Tag Archives: Community development

Change Our Behavior Or Change Our Name!

There is a story about a young man that was brought before Alexander the Great. The young man had stolen a horse and was brought in by the guards so he could be judged. Knowing that this was an offense that was severely punished, everyone waited to see what Alexander would do.

Alexander looked at the boy and was moved by the look of fear on his face. Thinking of leniency, Alexander asked the boy his name. The boy looked up and sheepishly said, “Alexander”. The Emperor taken back, moved toward the boy in anger and said, “Boy, what is your name?” The boy afraid for his life said, “Alexander sir.” No more did the word come out of his mouth that the emperor jumped on the boy and threw him to the ground. Enraged he pointed at the boy and said, “Boy, change your behavior or change your name!”

I am not sure of the authenticity of the story, but I think the point is well taken. We need to walk our talk!

The Bible in the book of James says, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:14-17)

There are needs all around us. We need to be busy helping to meet those needs. The church has ignored the cries of those around them for too long. We have lost of credibility as people helpers. When is the last time a church has been invited to meetings about social needs? Helping reduce crime, eradicate poverty, provide affordable housing, help the homeless. These and hundreds of other social needs are crying out for help. Where are we? If we were brought before Jesus today and had to give an account of what we and our churches are doing to make a difference outside our four walls, what would He say? Would we hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!” or “Change your behavior or change your name!”

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You And Your Church Can Make A Difference

There has never been a better time to get involved in community development. Municipalities are looking for assistance in the face of an over burgeoning of social issues and shrinking revenue. What if churches would work together in entrepreneurial ways and create results? What if the impact of a sustained evangelical community development project reduced crime, teen pregnancy and lowered the recidivism of people back into the penal system? What if faith-based economic initiatives and mixed-income housing actually did bring back the economy to distraught communities? What if we could rebuild neighborhoods without displacing the poor? What if Churches again became vibrant assets to a community in which it was located? Maybe then not only we but the world, would understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may glorify your Father in Heaven.”

The Church can do it. Churches that are concerned about youth, hire youth pastors and organize a youth program. Churches concerned about discipleship, hire a small groups pastor and organize a small group initiative. If we say we care for the poor, disadvantaged, those who are marginal; then why not organize ourselves and maybe even hire a person in charge of helping those in need? Why not take a large portion of the budget and dedicate it toward this ministry? Why not create ministries that allow church members to really get involved? 

The purpose of this blog is to help spur people to action. In the years to come, we are hoping to see thousands of churches in all the major cities in the United States begin to take bold steps in helping turn around distraught neighborhoods. It is time for action. Here are some different areas you can get involved in Hunger; poverty; housing; addictions; homelessness; parenting; neighborhood repair; evangelism; healthcare; elder care; financial assistance; environmental care and conservation; single parenting; and mental health.