How to “Win” When Working with Communities

Guest Blog by Lisa Yabra

 

When helping communities, are you focusing on the needs or the assets?

A passionate ministry group started buying gifts and meals to a poor community. They felt so good every time they saw mothers and their kids with broad smiles opening their gifts and receiving warm meals. Soon the ministry started to do this more frequently. But they found a common concern every time they knocked on the doors of families. A father was never to be seen. They ran past them on the hallways of the neighborhood buildings, the ministry knew they lived there. They were just not on the scene when their family were receiving their gifts. With this concern in their hearts, they decided to invite the fathers of the community to a meeting and find out what was going on. The day they met, only 3 dads showed up. However, these 3 men opened their hearts and told them how their gifts were only a reminder of their failure as providers for their families.

After hearing this, the ministry decided to change their helping strategy. No longer it was based on what that community needed, but on what they had. They decided to start a network to help the fathers of that community find jobs and train them to be good providers. This is the strategy of Asset Mapping. It is about looking at the problem and not asking what we need to fix but what we already have. It’s a process of identifying your resources and presenting a plan of how to engage a community in communal change.

While it begins with getting people to identify the needs and problems in their communities, it moves quickly to the task of mapping the assets and strengths. The method provides a completely different emotional experience for the community. After focusing on the needs, people tend to look to others for solutions. But after focusing on assets, people begin to think of all the things they could do with what they have at hand to improve their community. The glass is no longer half empty. It is half full!

When God pours out a desire in your heart to help a community, be sure to understand clearly what God is calling you to do before working to determine your goals and what resources you need.

This is an excerpt from one of the sessions of the Pure Freedom’s Master Class. The Master Class is not just a conference, workshop, or set of educational opportunities but an organic networking experience for leaders interested in learning more about sexual theology and sexual healing. Join Dannah and Bob as they seek to accelerate the sexual theology, teaching, coaching and healing capabilities of leaders through collaboration and education.

It provides mentoring to a limited number of approved applicants who desire to collaborate with others to: Increase a biblical understanding of sexuality, gender, and related issues such as birth control, abortion, masculinity, and womanhood. Increase the capacity of the body of Christ to culminate healing in those broken by sexual sin. Interface with unbiblical views of sexuality by presenting truth with convictional kindness.

Learn more at purefreedom.org/masterclass

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