THE NEHEMIAH PATTERN

for

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT by LOCAL CHURCHES

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

Preface on this page

 

INTRODUCTION

1

Setting the Scene

2

From Bible to Action

 

PART 1 BIBLICAL THEMES

3

Creation

4

Fall

5

Redemption

6

Law

7

Wisdom and Prophets

8

Incarnation

9

Jesus' Ministry

10

New Testament Teaching

11

The Kingdom

 

PART 2 THE EXAMPLE OF NEHEMIAH

12

Knowing the Context

13

Taking an Initiative

14

Identifying Resources

15

Overcoming Opposition

16

Involving and Enabling the Community

17

Community Benefits

18

Lessons Learnt

 

PART 3 NEW TESTAMENT APPLICATIONS

19

Jesus

20

Paul

21

The Church at Ephesus

 

PART 4 APPLYING THE NEHEMIAH PATTERN TODAY

22

The Nehemiah Pattern

 

Bibliography

 

EXTENDED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ORGANISATIONS

 

Annotated Bibliography on Community Development for Churches - under construction

 

PREFACE

 

This is an adapted version of a paper I wrote in 1992, The Nehemiah Pattern: (The Local Church and Community Development), which only appeared in manuscript form. Following the writing of an MSc. at Oxford Brookes University entitled Development Practices and Churches; The Role of the Local Church in Community Development, in 1993 which referred back to that paper for theological justification for such a church role, I decided to produce this as such a theological introduction. It is substantially the same as the original manuscript but omits the examples which were included in the MSc. dissertation.

Leslie Barker, Wembley November 1999

With both main political parties announcing that they want the voluntary sector, including religious communities, to increasingly take the place of Government in delivering welfare services to those in need, this paper takes on a new importance. It does not address that question directly, but by looking at biblical models it suggests a more important role for Christian communities in community development, rather than in service provision.

This paper is directed more towards churches than towards community architects or even planners, whose role (apart from being church members and hence interested in this paper) should be to serve the new community groups whether established through the intervention churches or by other means.

LB January 2001

 next