Eric Swanson is with Leadership Network and traveled around the country studying Christian groups who were making significant contributions in their communities. He co-authored the book The Externally Focused Church in which he states, “Community transformation begins at the intersection of the needs and dreams of a community, the calling and capacities of the church and the mandates and desires of God for a community.” It was this understanding of how to foster community transformation that launched me on my quest to discover the needs of my community and the calling and capacities of both my Christian neighbors and the new friends I was meeting in the inner city.
I was thrilled that Eric Swanson endorsed my book From the Sanctuary to the Streets. Swanson writes:
“From the Sanctuary to the Streets is the story of how one person began to help others—the broken of our world—dream and realize those dreams. She invites us into her world and introduces us to her friends. It is through this eye-opening account of Wendy’s story and the individual stories of her friends that we get a glimpse of God’s power to heal and mend the broken and transform them into a community of dreamers.”
co-author of The Externally Focused Church
My book is basically the story of my search for the intersection of the needs and callings of my community and stories of transformation that occurred at those intersections. We are all on that same journey and we can all learn from one another.
What needs do you see in your community? What issues do you feel called to address in your community? What do you think God’s desire is for your community? What stories do you have to share from that intersection of need and call?
In the coming weeks I will be sharing more on some of the key issues facing the Richmond Community and how individuals, in response to a call on their lives, are responding to these needs in our city.
I have been blessed to have witnessed the truth in Swanson’s wisdom. Community Transformation really does happen when we seek to respond to the needs of the world around us, in response to a Devine call on our lives, and a desire to usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth. I pray you all have the joy of witnessing the miracles that happen at this intersection and that you will be willing to share your experiences with me.
Eric Swanson has co-authored a new book with Rick Rusaw titled The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community, which I just purchased and cannot wait to read. I am sure there will be many insights that will help us all on this journey.