Never Do For Someone What They Can Do For Themselves. Never Do For Someone What They’re Not Willing To Do For Themselves.

  I heard both of these sentences uttered at this week’s NEXT Church national gathering in Atlanta. The first version one came from Bob Lupton, author of Toxic Charity, a book that has been referenced in at least fifteen of my conversations over the past month. The second was pronounced by Andrew Foster Connors, pastor at Brown Memorial Presbyterian […]

The Marriage of Information And Experience

Chronic isolation. The breakdown of social capital. Chronic economic uncertainty. The big three. I spent six hours yesterday afternoon with a community organizer who presented these as the three biggest challenges facing the region we live in. She has spent months conducting one-on-one conversations and house meetings. She has done her homework. And yesterday she […]

The Last Six Words

My colleague and I sat down yesterday with a community organizer. She is the new leader of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) organization that we have been involved in building for the past five years, and she is helping us to intentionally embrace the principles of IAF organizing for congregational life. Listening is the foundation […]

ICON: Resolve

Last night I attended a delegates’ assembly of the Inland Communities Organizing Network (ICON), the community organizing group that my congregation has been helping to launch since early 2011. Four years in, and the “Founders Convention” is later this year. This is slow work. Last night, ICON leaders shared stories of what we’ve done so far: built a […]

“Getting Organized” at NEXT

This month community organizing emphasis month over at the NEXT Church blog. There have been some great posts, like this one by my colleague Karen Sapio and this one by Ashley Goff. I was asked to contribute a post to the series, since my church has been building a regional community organizing entity here in Southern California. […]