07 Jun 2018

Are You Ready to Change Your Community?

Raul Rivera

While speaking at one of our Ultimate Church Structure Conferences recently, I met a pastor who clearly had a heart for his city.

His eyes brightened and his tone quickened as he talked about all he wanted to do through his community development corporation.

The hurt and need was evident to him, and he knew that he was called to do something about it. But, along with his passion, I also sensed a hint of discouragement. He simply didn’t know where to begin.

Having helped thousands of passionate people move toward fulfilling the dreams in their heart, I have found that there are four questions that need to be asked in order to start a community development corporation (CDC).

4 Questions to ask before starting your CDC

Question 1: What change do you want to see in your community?

Before you start your CDC, clearly establish who you are trying to help. Who exactly am I called to reach? What are the problems they are encountering? What pains are they dealing with because of those problems? What are they feeling? What will it feel like if we can help lift those burdens from them?

Remember, those CDCs that have the most impact are those that understand that the “who” always precedes the “what”.

Here’s an example.

In Acts 18, God sends Paul to Corinth to speak to the people there and tell them about God’s love. The longer he was there, the more defined his focus becomes, (see Acts 18:5-6), and his ministry to the Gentiles in Corinth began.

God didn’t just call Paul to change the world, he called him to preach to a specific people in a specific place.

Question 2: How will you impact your community?

After deciding who you are going to impact, the next question is how. As your heart is directed toward a specific area and people, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with the many ways that you want to help.

I met a woman who had a passion for helping children in the foster care system. There were so many ways that she could help them. They needed safe homes, clothes, mentors, opportunities and much more. She was called to impact their lives, but how was she supposed to do that?

She felt that every child needed somewhere safe to keep their belongings. Her mission became providing them with a suitcase. It’s simple, but important and impactful on their daily lives.

It can be challenging to decide the best way to impact your community. Here are a few ideas that I have seen be very successful:

  • School supply drive
  • After school tutoring
  • Food pantry
  • Computer classes for the elderly

Great organizations have something in common - they have a clearly defined win. In other words, it is important that when starting your CDC, you specifically know how it will impact your community.

Question 3: Who is on your team?

Jesus didn’t do ministry alone. He had 12 men come alongside him who believed in the mission and vision of His ministry. They worked together and literally changed the lives of those they came in contact with.

The truth is you are not called to do this alone. You living out your calling to truly impact your community requires the help of others.

Find a group of people who are passionate about about the purpose, mission and vision of your CDC. Start telling your story and explain the impact that you want to make. You will be surprised how many people will want to jump in and help out!

(Recommended reading: “How to Create a Solid Volunteer Program”)

Question 4: How are you going to involve the community?

In order for your CDC to succeed it is crucial to get buy-in from various members in your community. Such individuals could include, but are not limited to:

  • business professionals,
  • local officials (e.g., city council members, the mayor, ect.),
  • local law enforcement members, educators, and
  • leaders from local churches and ministries.

The insight, support and partnership from these individuals can prove to be invaluable to the success and effectiveness of your CDC.

One more question to answer

As I continued to speak with the pastor, I learned more about the dream and vision for his CDC. His excitement grew the more we spoke.

I could see the pieces to the puzzle coming together for him, but when I asked him one last question, he was speechless.

I asked him, “How do you plan on protecting the vision and dream that God has given you for your CDC?”

This was a question that he had never thought to consider, but I told him there was a way he could do that if he would just heed the advice I was about to give him.

At StartCHURCH, we have had the privilege of helping many individuals, just like this gentleman and just like you, to start their CDCs on a solid legal foundation that protects the dreams and vision that God has given them.

If you are being called to start a CDC and you are simply not sure where to start, I want to encourage you to give us a call at 877-494-4655. We would love to help you get started and walk with you in this journey.

Start Your Community Development Corporation Today!

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera

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