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Ten Paradigm Shifts Towards Community Transformation

This abbreviated list is written by Eric Swanson on the National Pastors Prayer Network. For those who understand the necessity of changing some religious mindsets in order to sustain long-term revival in our communities, this could serve as a great prayer guide! (For the full article, go here).

1. From building walls to building bridges. Will we remain outside of the community inviting people in or will we go to our communities, seeking to be a transforming agent?

2. From measuring attendance to measuring impact. Would the community weep if your church were to pull out of the city?  Would anybody notice if you left?

3. From encouraging the saints to attend the service to equipping the saints for works of service. Could it be that the service opportunities are not broad enough to engage the energies and passions of people in the church?

4. From “serve us” to service. The power of the gospel is combining the life-changing message with selfless service.

5. From duplication of human services and ministries to partnering with existing services and ministries. Why not use the current community energy to create synergy?

6. From fellowship to functional unity. Only unity of purpose around the vision of a transformed community is strong enough to unite pastors and churches of different denominations.

7. From condemning the city to blessing the city and praying for it. Perhaps the next great reconciliation movement will be between the church and the community?

8. From being a minister in a congregation to being a minister in a parish. Every minister has two functions: a) to be pastor to the members and b) a chaplain to the community.

9. From anecdote and speculation to valid information. We need correct information about the real needs of our community as well as the resources we have to meet these needs.

10. From teacher to learner. The effective churches see the community as one that is full of assets more than full of problems.

“‘My observation in city after city is that oftentimes unity becomes an end in itself. So we see repetitive efforts to demonstrate our unity through citywide worship events, prayer vigils…and other similar events. These activities…are wonderful symbols of our unity but they rarely produce real substance. They make us feel good and sometimes result in great newspaper coverage, but the cities remain unchanged.’ Uniting the church around a common goal is preferable to trying to unite the church around a cooperative project. We align ourselves ‘in unity to pursue the same goals for our community while each participant determines the part it should play.'”  

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, click here.

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