Weekend of Change

Two events happened this past weekend that both involved change. Not the kind of change that jingles in your pocket. The kind that means that things won’t stay the same.

I love the former kind. I love giving exact change to the penny, much to the chagrin of those in line behind me at the IGA.

But the latter kind of change? Ugh. It really irritates me. I just like things to stay the same. But I also have to recognize that if something isn’t growing, it’s probably dying. We don’t need to change just for the sake of change, but if our environment or culture is evolving, we probably do, too.

So, what were these events?

  1. A meeting to grow the number and effectiveness of neighborhood associations.
  2. I talked for almost 1 hour on the topic of Change and Newness the radio.

Neighborhood Associations

This past Saturday I attended the first (I assume) Quad-County Neighborhood Institute Grassroots Development Training. Here’s what that means:

  • It was targeted towards residents of Allendale, Barnwell, Hampton, and Bamberg Counties.
  • The goal was to help those residents form neighborhood associations.

There are currently three neighborhood associations in Allendale, and a few more in the development. The first was the Sugar Hill Flat Street association. Those of you familiar with Allendale may know that this is the location of the large community garden, and is located next to Allendale Elementary School. This neighborhood association has been successful in facilitating involvement by community residents, and has served as a model for the following associations.

Topics for the breakout sessions included:

  • How to Organize a Neighborhood Association
  • Media 101
  • Organizing for Community Safety
  • Working with Elected Officials at the Local, State, and Federal Levels

I am particularly excited to work alongside these neighborhood associations, since they are a crucial part of the community. The schools can benefit by community members being engaged in the lives of students. And as the schools help parents and children, the community would itself be benefited.

Pray for the growth of these organizations, as a sign that Allendale residents and moving forward to take ownership of their community.

Radio Show

Last week, I was asked to be a guest on a radio show of a local pastor. But on Saturday night, the pastor was reminded that he had a previous commitment, and he asked if I could do the show solo. I’m sure I said “no,” but by the time our phone conversation was over, he had bamboozled me into taking the show.

I hope to write in more detail about what I talked about, but my topic was a continuation of some conversations that this pastor and I had been having. We’ve been talking about how in Jesus, we are new creations. It’s not that came into my life to make be a better person, but a new kind of person.

I talked about change in these 4 areas:

  1. Personal.  Before we can see change in other areas, we need to start with ourselves. And we must remember that it’s not about going out and doing better, but about drawing near to God and allowing Him to change us from the inside out.
  2. Family.  We need change in our family. Men and women need to fulfill the calling that God has given to them. And when there is brokenness in family, we can trust God to restore.
  3. Church.  The biggest testimony to a world of unbelievers is how the church should love one another. Churches in the south like to maintain status quo. And no change will come about in Allendale unless the white and black churches learn to come together.
  4. Culture. Only when we are being changed in the first three areas can we be equipped to change our community, schools, and country.

I closed with the idea that we need to aim for great change, for even if we fall short, we will still be good. If we aim for mediocre, we’ll always be below average.

I was thankful for the opportunity to host this show and share my heart, and I am thankful for the pastor entrusting me with doing this.

Related Links:

**image courtesy of kwod via sxc.hu

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