We use church planting and community organizing to transform urban poor communities
Empowering the Urban Poor for Lasting Change
Poverty is a complex issue that demands multi-faceted long-term solutions- solutions that must come from the poor themselves. That is why we partner with national agencies and churches whenever we can and tailor our approach to fit the unique needs of each context in which we serve. Our strategy includes:
Servant Partners helps develop churches which transform their local communities by ministering to people’s physical and spiritual needs in an integrated approach. We will not seek to establish service ministries that are fundamentally disconnected from neighborhood churches, but rather ones that flow from the organic life of the local Christian community. Servant Partners works towards the planting of small, reproducing cell or house churches based on friendship and family networks, which are rooted in the Word of God and obedience to Jesus.
Community Organizing and Advocacy
We empower urban poor communities by working with key leaders, gathering them together to identify felt needs and resources within their neighborhood and equipping them to take action to meet those needs. Through this process, our friends come to realize that they are not weak and helpless – they have the power to produce change. We advocate for our poor neighbors among the influential, and equip them to advocate for themselves.
Sustainable Approaches to Transformation
As Servant Partners missionaries and their neighbors identify key challenges facing their specific communities, we encourage the development of creative and practical approaches to meet those challenges. One community may start a computer training center. Another may set up a micro-credit organization or a health clinic. Each community decides what is best for their unique context, and what is locally sustainable in the long term. However, providing a broad framework to inform indiginous leadership is essential. That's why we have developed 8 Signs of a Transforming Community, which addresses the key areas of transformation.
When possible, Servant Partners works in partnership with and under the leadership of indigenous Christian leaders already planting churches which impact entire communities. In pioneering contexts, we turn over new churches and ministries to indigenous leadership as soon as we can. From the beginning, we identify and work alongside the individuals whom God is anointing for leadership, serving these leaders in concrete ways and helping them mature as disciples of Jesus.
Relational Evangelism and Discipleship
Servant Partners missionaries spend a great deal of their time building strong relationships with their neighbors. Our evangelism and discipleship emerges from those personal relationships.
Learning Language and Culture Among Our Neighbors
We humbly enter our communities as learners, honoring our neighbors as teachers. Living among the people we serve allows us to build relationships of trust and to learn language, culture, and local customs more effectively. We can better understand the challenges and opportunities of our particular urban poor communities by experiencing life there firsthand.