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The Approach of Community Organizing  

"The considerable constraints under which urban mission operates due to the meager material and human resources at its disposal has given rise to a wide range of practical interventions. One particular approach achieved lasting changes in the lives and living conditions of the urban poor. The approach is community organizing. As a grassroots and democratic approach to the self-empowerment of the urban poor through joint action on commonly held issues, the efficacy of community organizing lies in its philosophical and theological strength as well as its methodological power. ...

"The good news that faith is under compulsion to communicate in words, actions and attitudes is that the future is open for all and moves toward its fulfillment in the intimacy of God. The divine Spirit, moving through the city and working in cooperative action with the discipleship community, inspires the imagination and communicates the energy of hope. The inspired imagination will simply refuse to let the future be closed. The divine Spirit woos it forward in the real anticipation of real achievements toward its completion. Community organizing in urban mission is premised on the unlimited capacity of even the poorest of the poor to achieve the potential of their humanity through collective effort. Because it is oriented toward community and seeks to incarnate the value of mutuality, it is a movement of love. Because it is oriented toward transformation and seeks to achieve this through organizing the people to discover their power to act, it is a movement of hope. Holistic urban mission as community organizing helps create the conditions for releasing hidden potential into concrete achievement."

Kenneth L. Luscombe in Serving with the Urban Poor, World Vision, 1998, p. 218, 220. Luscombe is a Baptist minister from Australia who is CEO of DGL Intl.

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