Item description for Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right by John M. Perkins...
Overview A comprehensive handbook to urban ministry introduces and shows how to implement a Christian community development program.
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Studio: Baker Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1996
Publisher Baker Books
ISBN 080105463X ISBN13 9780801054631
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More About John M. Perkins
John M. Perkins is cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association and director of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of many books, including" Let Justice Roll Down," named by "Christianity Today "as one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelicals.
John M. Perkins has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right?
Essential Reading Jul 5, 2007
In Restoring At-Risk Communities, John Perkins and other members of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) provide an essential treatise for anyone who is concerned about community redevelopment. Each author writes out of a wealth of experience in actually working to restore declining communities. Their experiences offer important lessons for others to learn.
This text revolves around the "3-Rs" of the CCDA: relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution. The "3-Rs" provide the core values of the CCDA's approach to community redevelopment.
A commitment to relocation begins the process. This commitment grows from an understanding that communities cannot be permanently changed from the outside, but only from within. CCDA members commit to moving into the communities they are assisting, becoming active participants in the community. We cannot truly fix other's problems; we can only fix our own. Through relocation the problems of broken communities become our problems.
A commitment to reconciliation works to restore relationships in broken communities. As relationships between members of the community are reconciled, the community grows stronger. This provides the context for broken communities to be restored. Ultimately, reconciliation must also include reconciliation to God to see true transformation in the community.
A commitment to redistribution seeks to restore the necessary assets to community members for the community to thrive. This is not simply about pouring money into distressed communities, but about helping these communities to achieve economic stability. Economic stability is primarily achieved through creating jobs and providing job training.
Restoring At-Risk Communities is essential reading for anyone who wants to move from complaining about the problems in our communities to actively working to see our communities improved.
Eye-Opening and Engaging Feb 28, 2007
Restoring At-Risk Communities is a book about development: the development of persons, of families, and of communities. How can at-risk communities be developed or redeveloped? As families, called by God, relocate to live and minister within these communities, the communities themselves begin to experience the positive effects of this move. Downward mobility replaces upward mobility and the "successful" are encouraged to become involved in the betterment of the community rather than move out and away from it. As individuals, families and ministries within these communities work towards reconciliation with their neighbors (reconciliation across racial as well as class and other lines), then a redistribution of talents and gifts and resources and contacts can, over time, work to empower the poor in the community. The community, in effect, becomes rich - in terms of what is made available within it (new jobs, new business opportunities, new and safer living conditions, more competitive educational opportunities, etc.) by those who "make it" and commit to using what they have gained to remake their community - its hope and its future.
Christian Community Development (CCD), for which Restoring serves as both a theoretical and practical handbook, is about helping people in at-risk communities to discover a sense of belonging, of significance, and of security. It is about developing people, developing their families, and developing their communities. Such development works towards wholeness: integrity of body-soul-community (John Stott). Moreover, CCD works best when it works hand-in-glove with the church. The church provides biblical and theological moorings and accountability while CCD works to empower the church to more effectively empower the communities they are serving.
I found the book to be extremely challenging in terms of my own embrace of kingdom-values that call for self-sacrifice and the willingness to live and die for the world God loves. I also found its practical how-to's and inspiring success (and sacrifice) stories causing me to examine my own congregation's call to become an integral part of our surrounding community.
A Challenging Work Feb 16, 2007
No matter how committed one may be to working with the poor and underclass, it is nearly impossible to see transformation in the lives of the generationally poor. John Perkins and the people of Christian Community Development (CCD) seem to have identified the major criteria for effectiveness - living with them. The concepts of Relocation, Redistribution and Reconciliation are built on doing things with the poor, not for the poor. Thus they avoid the enabling behaviors that characterize most social programs. The strength of the work is that CCD is anchored in the church and based upon seeing people become an interdependent community in Christ instead of focusing on the homogeneous principle basic to church growth. Most importantly it calls the church universal - urban, suburban and rural - to leave its comfort zone and fulfill its mission by becoming personally involved with people who are "not like us." The reconciliation discussion is especially informative for those who have not had the opportunity to be intimately involved in that work. It recognizes the need to share power, be teachable and be willing to change on the part of the dominant culture as well as to forgive, assume responsibility and be patient on the part of the minority culture. To those who are seriously concerned about affecting our inner cities Restoring At-Risk Communities is a must read.
Passionate About the Underclass Feb 15, 2007
John Perkins writes with a passion, a passion for people, especially people who are the "underclass". Perkins believes that one problem in the black neighborhoods is that too many with strong leadership abilities have moved out of the projects and predominately black neighborhoods leaving behind those too poor to escape. He makes this statement in the introduction and then the rest of the book deals with the results and the solutions to this problem. I would strongly agree with his statement that, "The moral crisis that wee are facing in this country is crying out for spiritual leadership". Perkins seems to be encouraged that today's evangelicals are beginning to take leadership in the area of helping the poor. He gives a list of those ministries that are effective today.. He shares with the reader a brief, and helpful history of the groups he feels are doing the most to help restore community. This book should be a textbook for those preparing to do urban and inter-city ministry and mission. There is so much that would be useful for congregations to study as they seek to impact their community. The chapter on Theology of Christian Community Development was one I found to be very helpful. Perkins statement on page 29, "If we are not helping people find a relationship with Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life, then we are not meeting their true needs." Is a strong affirmation of what Restoring Community is all about. I give this book high marks for its combination of spiritual and practical approach to helping the poor. The three Rs spoken of in chapter 2 are a good design for any mission group to use in planning and implementing their work. In Chapter 6 Perkins says that we have several competing models in the church today for reaching other cultures and meeting their needs. First we have the Homogeneous model--white churches and black churches. They preach a gospel that saves but is to weak to reconcile. Then we have the multi-cultural model- they are intent on cultural self-preservation. Third is the Integrated model-white with a sprinkling of other groups.. Finally there is the reconciliation model--built on friendships of trust, common mission, and mutual submission that go beyond Sunday morning. As a whole this book is very good. Some sections go beyond good to excellent. Those interested in Christians and culture should by all means not just read this book, but study it and let it guide your thinking..
Very Practical and challenging May 25, 2005
If you do not want to be challanged theologically and morally please do not read this book. Perkins et al. have given very good descriptions of inner-city situations and practical steps to help restore such communitites. Don't expect simple answers that remedy themselves quickly, however.
It is extremely helpful in developing good urban ministries. It was written in such a way that anyone intersted in learning to love their neighbor can benefit -- even if you have no intentions of becoming an urban minister. Also, this book would be very valuable for anyone (regardless of religious background) in the area of social services. Having said that, however, Perkins et al. certainly have Christians who wish to work in a multi-ethnic congregation in mind.
The only frustration I had with the book was that it does not have an index. So be prepared to make your own as you go along so that you can find things later!