Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CCDA Reflections & More

1. We need to move beyond one-way relationships.  We need to think creatively on how to move to two-way and ultimately three-way relationships.  It's all about empowerment.  One-way relationships foster dependency and strip away dignity.  Two and three way relationships are all about empowering individuals and restoring dignity.  A Three-Way Partnership

2. Books and resources that have shaped my thinking on God and ministry are great at teaching principles but not necessarily meant for setting the standard.  It was encouraging to hear other people struggle with the same kind of questions and come up with completely different answers.  I've unfortunately begun to think of certain christian community development principles as absolute practices that must be followed strictly.  However, what has worked for one family might not work the same for another family.  And as I came to realize last week.. it's ok.  I shouldn't be discouraged because our (Emily and I) path has looked different to this point.

3. Relationships are so much more important than any bit of knowledge that I expected to gain from the conference.  I missed half of the main sessions because I was engaged in some deep conversations with friends that I know I'll be in ministry partnership with for a long time.  I don't regret it at all.  I think a big reason why I love CCDA, is that it's for people to network with like-minded individuals.  It provides a safe place for these kind of life-giving relationships to be maintained.  I am continually encouraged and spurred on by many of my CCDA friends!

4. The landscape for urban ministries and the inner city is rapidly changing.  For the good and the bad.  NOW is the time to implement different practices to make sure the poor are also beneficiaries to the new norm of our American cities being gentrified and taken over with a new type of urban dweller.

5. It's ultimately about God and his gospel and not us.  God had the vision for CCDA long before it was founded.  He needs to continually get the glory and not us (Matthew 5:16).

6. We need to be about the best thing, Jesus.

7. On a personal note, I miss Chicago!

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