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A Clergy Tells How His Church Benefits

"The organizer had trained clergy and lay leaders to take action on social issues that affected their communities. The campaigns had addressed issues such as affordable housing, alternatives to gang violence, public school accountability, citizenship training, and raising California's minimum wage. ... Metro Strategy's goal was based solidly on Christian and democratic values. Its goal was to build a relational culture to transform neighborhoods in one of the poorest but also one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse parishes in the city. ... You can be not just a good parish, but an excellent parish. As we know, it was not Christ's intention to build himself up but rather to build the Kingdom of God. Is the role of the church to build itself up - or to build the Kingdom of God? 

"The vision of the church in Metro Strategy has three implications. First is evangelization that reaches out beyond our normal parishioners to those who need the love and care of the church. Second is a new leadership role for lay people, not to take over the tasks of the priest, but rather to give leadership in their community as a consequence of their baptism. This is a leadership to change and transform the city in the vision that Christ had for the Kingdom of God. Third, like Jesus, we are called to pronounce good news to the poor and to work for justice in everything that we do in our community as well as in our parish."

from Transforming The City, ed. Eldin Villafane, Bruce W. Jackson, et al. Eerdmans, 2002, p. 157-8.
Note: This quotation is from a case study and may be reworded to
some extent by the authors

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