A while ago somebody asked me about resources on strengths-based approaches to community development for churches. Here are some suggestions, mainly related to asset-based community-driven development (ABCD).
Articles about ABCD and churches or faith communities.
Barrett, A. (2013). Asset-based community development: A theological reflection. Church Urban Fund. Available from: https://resources.depaul.edu/abcd-institute/publications/publications-by-topic/Documents/ABCD_Theological_Reflection_2013.pdf
Church Urban Fund. (2013). Tackling poverty in England: An asset-based approach. Available from: https://www.cuf.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=4f436396-a2b8-4a97-b58d-3c284dc89fcb
Magezi, V. (2017). Making community development at grassroots reality: Church-driven development approach in Zimbabwe’s context of severe poverty. In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi, 51(1), 1-12. doi: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i1.2263
McKnight, J. (1989). Why “servanthood” is bad. The Other Side (January/February), 38-41. Available from https://mn.gov/mnddc/mcKnight/documents/Why_Servanthood_is_Bad.pdf
Rans, S., & Altman, H. (2002). Asset-based strategies for faith communities. Evanston: Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Available from https://www.weareonechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Asset-Based-Strategies-for-Faith-Communities1.pdf
Van Gronigen, J. (2007). An introduction to asset based community development for church leaders. Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. Available from: http://www.urbanministry.org/wiki/introduction-asset-based-community-development-church-leaders
Videos with some examples of ABCD by churches
This is a great example of ABCD led by a church community introduced by Wendy McCaig. (I make a few brief comments about the video here.)
A TED talk by DeAmon Harge (a faculty member of the ABCD Institute) about his work with Broadway Church. (I have made a few comments about the talk here.)
Wendy McCaig (featured in the video above) has lots of resources about ABCD on her website View from the Bridge: Bridging Church and World
There is a widely referenced capacity inventory survey used by New Prospect Baptist Church, available from https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/boifiles/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/New-Prospect-Baptist.pdf
John McKnight (one of the founders of ABCD) is interviewed in Faith and Leadership about the church’s role in ABCD at https://www.faithandleadership.com/john-mcknight-low-income-communities-are-not-needy-they-have-assets
Caritas Australia (a Catholic an international aid and development agency) outlines their strengths-based approach to community development and provide an example from Cambodia.
There is a book for sale called Appreciating Church (http://appreciating.church/) which looks like it has some good material.
I provide an introduction to asset-based community development and list over 100 resources on ABCD.
Please add any other resources you know of in the comments.
NOTE: Just in case anybody misinterprets my position—I’m an atheist and have quite a few concerns about the values and teachings of some churches. At the same time I also have a great deal of respect and admiration for the work and teaching of other churches and individual Christians, and believe they have a great deal to offer community wellbeing.
If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:
- What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
- What is the Strengths Perspective?
- Seven principles for a strengths-based approach to working with groups
- Strengths-based practice: more than being positive
- A reading list on ABCD (over 100 resources)
- 10 things I’ve learnt about strengths-based community engagement
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