Ears to Hear: 12 Weeks of Listening With Communities
The Community Transformation Certificate cohort of 20 learns practices for sustainable transformation
SINCE 1993, Servant Partners has worked towards Christ-centered transformation with urban marginalized communities around the world. Practices of listening to communities, mutual transformation, and a sustainable spirituality anchor this work. Now our Community Transformation Certificate (CTC) is providing leaders a 12-week course in these fundamentals to co-create transformative change alongside their neighbors.
Jessica and Seth Hoover are participating in the first CTC from their city of Ft. Collins, CO and have realized “Where God has you is worth investing in.” 20 other global leaders representing 13 cities are continuing to invest in their communities. With weekly online and in-person spaces for engagement, CTC participants join from where they currently live and work with neighbors to develop a community-led project informed by local assets and God’s leading.
The central practice of the CTC is listening: to God, neighbors, and personal calling. From this starting place, ministry empowers communities and helps participants join with what God is already doing. Joel, a participant reflected on this, “All healthy community transformation needs to be mutual, so I’m looking forward to seeing how I will be shaped by my community.”
In the first half of the CTC, participants have learned to recognize signs of broken shalom in their communities and the assets God has already provided to respond. Hedyla Yap serves with a church in Singapore and shared that an important insight from the CTC has been “prayer and listening to the Lord for where to begin, following what He is already working over feeling overwhelmed by the needs we perceive.”
"Jesus can impart shalom through me into my community."
Participants receive one-on-one coaching with experienced Servant Partners staff to integrate the training into their own lives and communities. Ultimately, each participant will develop a seed project alongside neighbors that responds to what the community and Spirit have spoken. Already participants are listening to neighbors talk about lifelong learning, economic development, and spiritual community. As Pastor Mike Rawayo of Mexico City has reflected, community transformation and shalom are not just ideas, but are “action-packed to help communities.”
Some leaders are completing the CTC in order to apply to Servant Partners staff while others are already serving with another ministry or church and hope to deepen their skills. Together the 20 leaders are re-discovering God’s saving shalom for communities. After just a few weeks in, one participant arrived at one important takeaway: “Jesus can impart shalom through me into my community.”
For more upcoming training opportunities, visit www.servantpartners.org/training.