Many of us have a deep sense that the world is not as it should be. Broken relationships. Divided communities. Poverty and violence in our neighborhoods . . .
The good news is that God longs to work through us to help restore things to the way they were intended to be. In the language of the Old Testament, this wholeness is called shalom—a state where nothing is missing and nothing is broken.
The Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) is a network of Christians committed to seeing people and communities wholistically restored. We believe that God wants to restore us not only to right relationship with Himself but also with our own true selves, our families and our communities. Not just spiritually, but emotionally, physically, economically, and socially. Not by offering mercy alone, but by undergirding mercy with justice.
To this end, we follow Jesus's example of reconciliation. We go where the brokenness is. We live among the people in some of America's neediest neighborhoods. We become one with our neighbors until there is no longer an "us" and "them" but only a "we." And, in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah, "we work and pray for the well-being of our city [or neighborhood]," trusting that if the entire community does well and prospers, then we will prosper also.
Those of us who orient our lives around this practice we call Christian Community Development (CCD) Practitioners. As Practitioners, we often commit to living in an under-resourced neighborhood for a minimum of 10 years. This is obviously no easy task. But we believe that true and lasting change takes time and requires real relationships. We think this approach is pretty unique.
The CCD philosophy can be summed up by the three "R's": Relocation, Reconciliation, and Redistribution. Learn more about our philosophy and our Practitioners.
The roots of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) stretch back to 1960 when CCDA Founder, John Perkins (along with his wife, Vera Mae) relocated their family to the struggling community of Mendenhall, Mississippi to work with the people there. The Perkinses devoted thirty-five years to living out the principles of Christian Community Development in Mississippi and California, leaving behind ministries and churches that are now headed by indigenous Christian leaders.
In 1989, Dr. Perkins called together a group of Christian leaders from across America who were bonded by one significant commitment, expressing the love of Jesus in America's poor communities. Not at arm's length, but at the grassroots level. An association was formed, and CCDA held its first annual conference in Chicago in 1989. Read the full story here.
Click here to download a copy of CCDA's 2010 Annual Report.