DRAMATIC CHANGE THAT TRANSFORMS PEOPLE AND GROUPS
I heard Brenda Salter McNeil convincingly speak at the Christian Community Health Fellowship conference in May 2016. She also wrote a great book
Roadmap to Reconciliation, (2015, IVP Books Downers Grove, IL) which I bought. Her whole approach is on reconciliation primarily between races but also where you have opposing ideas and practices between two groups. I have written a couple of lessons on this, but they are not published yet. An approach to reconciliation between two groups that hold radically opposed positions that they guard to the core. The groups are so entrenched in their positions that they reject out of hand what the group is saying.
The book outlines a five-step process to reconciliation but after doing the lesson plan, what she is saying applies to radical change and that is what Neighborhood Transformation is all about. There is the much more traditional beliefs by Christians, which separate them into two camps, those doing evangelism and those doing justice with very few holding the Biblical basis of Jesus. It is both. Also Christians have a tendency to separate functions into the evangelists and the social workers with few understanding we must be doing both together, being wholistic. Also we are paid to do the work and members, if they do church work do so generally only inside the four walls of the church. We must take the position that we are all called missionaries where we are now. We see many people who just keep doing things for people instead of empowering them to change what they want changed.
Change is the central issue that those involved in transformation are trying to accomplish. A catalytic event is needed to shake people out of their old ways of doing things, the status quo. They then need a process for moving from where they are to an entirely new position. So I am presenting a capsule review of her process and asking if this could be of help to you who are trying to see transformation take place.
For Dramatic Change You Need a Catalytic Event, That Shakes You Up
There must be a catalytic event to shake them out of their natural self-preservation and isolation mode. We try to preserve the values and way of life that defines us. People have to come to the realization that things might have to change before things can get better. Generally coming to this point requires some catalytic event that moves us to begin to consider this option. This kind of event causes us to consider moving from the stagnation of life in a homogenous group. Acts 22 gives us the catalytic event Saul went through to become Paul.
Transformation requires disruption and a degree of chaos to increase the urgency that change must happen. This causes chaos, which we must embrace. Disruption is absolutely necessary for the reconciliation process. A catalytic event will either push us forward toward transformation or tighten our tether to preservation. Catalytic events cause chaos and chaos is resisted by most people because they want to be in control.
A catalytic event sometimes happens when someone read the book
Where Helping Hurts or
Toxic Charity that both show most help really hurts people they have desired to help. Another example is when a person goes overseas for the first time and sees deep poverty and they are blown away. This causes them to rethink what they have been doing. It pulls them up short.
There are four steps that need to take place after such a catalytic event for what shook you up to become reality in your life. I will share those steps in my next letter.