David Brooks, Social Conservatives and City Transformation

Jul 8, 2015 7:02:00 AM 0 COMMENTS

Last week, David Brooks wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times (June 30, 2015) titled, The Next Culture War. In his column, Brooks advocated for the kind of work that Christian leaders are quietly engaged with in cities all over America.

City Transformation Coach Glenn BarthBrooks' focus was on the decline in Christianity in the United States, the smaller share of Evangelicals in the U.S. electorate, and the recent Supreme Court decision supporting gay marriage. He took the opportunity to advocate a significant shift for social conservatives to make from the front lines of the current culture wars to offering collaborative service, social and spiritual capital in their cities and communities.  

As Americans, Christians are often conflicted when deeply held moral and ethical positions are overridden by elections and/or court decisions. However, being an American and being a Christian represent two very different identities. Recent decisions on public policies should help Christians understand their cultural context and live counter-culturally.

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Topics: Centered Set, Recommended Books, Collective Impact, Community Development, Job Creation, cross sector city movements

City Transformation as A Platform

Mar 12, 2015 7:01:42 PM 0 COMMENTS

City Transformation as a Platform
In our recent GoodCities Leadership Gathering in Phoenix, Eric Swanson introduced a creative approach when he gave a 20 minute presentation titled "City Transformation as a Platform" (his full presentation is available at the end of this post). His belief is that the real power of a decentralized network in a city is found in the many ways that people live out their callings and yet, unify under a city transformation vision.
 
Swanson notes that people will find their place within a common vision if it serves their own self interest. He distinguishes between self interest and selfish interests by stating that self interest is a belief from those involved that they will get more out of being involved with the movement than through non-involvement. Selfish interest is a viewpoint that only engages because of a self-promoting ulterior motive (i.e. a sales rep who gets involved in a volunteer organization to make sales instead of to accomplish the goals of the volunteer organization.)
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Topics: Community Transformation, Featured Video, city partnerships, Job Creation, cross sector city movements

The Arts, Job Creation, and Community Transformation in Italy

Apr 16, 2014 9:51:10 PM 0 COMMENTS

Tonight on All Things Considered, a story that demonstrates how Christians involved in the arts in the second, third, and fourth centuries were brought together with impoverished youth by The Arts and Community Transformationa visionary priest to restore both the artistic creations and prosperity of this younger generation. Christopher Livesay in his story, "Under the Streets of Naples, A Way Out for Local Kids", reports on how Don Antonio Loffredo arrived in the rough and tumble Sanita neighborhood of Naples ten years ago and "...found three levels of frescoes, chapels, and cubicles beneath the neighborhood's trash-strewn streets."

Don Loffredo began to engage the youth in their teens to help him clean out these early Christian catacombs and reveal the artistic treasures within. In the process, the youth created a thriving business that today employs forty. "Before the the full-scale makeover, roughly 5,000 visitors came per year. Now it's up to 40,000."

This is a prime example of how community transformation occurs through asset based community development. This is the missional church at its best. The outcomes in work like this move the social indicators and create good cities.The 5 minute story of community transformation combines an appreciation for the arts and job creation. Click here to listen to this compelling story.

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Topics: Community Transformation, Church Leadership, Community Development, Emerging Leaders, Job Creation

Download eBook: "Multiply Volunteers and Resources"

This short eBook introduces a powerful tool used effectively in five cities to engage leaders and their networks in serving their cities. It will help you, too! 

 

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Download Slides From Eric Swanson's City Transformation as a Platform

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Download Slides From Eric Swanson's City Transformation as a Platform

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