Over the last quarter century, groups like CCDA have challenged churches to be involved in community development, but there has been significantly less conversation about churches entering into the work of economic development. To do economic development well requires cultivating a wide range of collaborations – with government, corporations large and small, funders, non-profits, etc. – which is not only a slow, complicated, and intense work, but one that might raise theological red flags from many churches. I would challenge churches that might be uneasy about these sorts of collaborations to consider the image of the church in Ephesians 3, bearing witness of God’s wisdom to the powers and authorities. How better to bear witness than in relationships that focus on the health and flourishing of our neighborhoods?
As some of you may know, I served on President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for year one of his administration. Our one-year term is almost up, and yesterday we issued our final report to key members of the administration.
As the pastor of a church with a deep desire to love others as Christ would, I've recently been telling folks, "If you only read one book this year, then you must read http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0785229183?ie=UTF8&tag=sojo_blog-20&lin...
Jim Wallis talks about how Obama's new Council on Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships will take on the priorities of poverty, abortion reduction, fatherhood, and interfaith dialogue.