I love this list...excited to have Noel speak in chapel next semester here at CU...and to seek to live these out with our students, church and my own family & friends...I long to be truly about Kingdom work...
1. Incarnation: We must have not only the same message as Jesus but the same method. You really reach people when you enter into their world, their hurt and pain. If you've incarnated God's love into the community of a homosexual, for instance, he'll realize, Oh, this guy is willing to enter my life. He doesn't just condemn me. Then he's more capable of hearing our message.
2. Proclamation: We're told to proclaim the Good News, so this is clearly an essential. Proclaiming the truth in love, and in the context of incarnation, is not forcing it down people's throats. Proclamation is also about formation, describing the kind of people God shapes us into.
3. Compassion: The Good News is authenticated by our caring (Luke 4). And when we are truly incarnate among the poor, these folks are more than just statistics. They're your neighbors. They're your friends. And if you meet a person with a need, compassion leads you to do what you can to meet that need.
4. Restoration/Development: When you live in a neighborhood where the same needs emerge over and over again, then you have to look at the larger picture and begin to fix what's broken. In Baltimore, a little church took over a struggling public elementary school and revolutionized that neighborhood. They're not just doing compassion, handing out backpacks to kids. Instead, they saw these kids getting a poor education and said, "We've got to be about restoration and development."
5. Confrontation: The best way to do justice work is to be incarnate in a community. As you work to meet people's needs through compassion and restoration, you eventually come up against systems and institutions that are keeping people in those conditions, beyond their own irresponsibility or sinfulness. This is when you must identify and confront injustice. We might discover this injustice in our government or schools or police forces or even churches—no institution is immune to injustice.
—Noel Castellanos is CEO of the Christian Community Development Association and lives in Chicago.