I was pretty underwhelmed by a recent reading. “Making Neighbourhoods Whole” is as its title sounds. Paternalistic and unable to grasp the difference between ‘providing services to poor people to help’ and building ‘the capacity of the locals to do what they care for’. The first is a well worn path where the expect fixes or makes neighbourhoods whole (while the locals avoid) the second assumes people have something to contribute and assumes that the locals actually do ‘give a shit’ – but you actually have to speak their language and live local.
It wasn’t until I got to page 53 when it wrote about something that caught my mind. When discussing the way in which people go about ministry and relocating to new places the text reads that;
the Christian Community Development Association approach is a philosophy of ministry, not the philosophy of ministry (italics in the text)
In other words it recognises that there are multiple ways of going about ministry and one might call that a philosophical approach.
More to come