Our Philosophy of Change
NHCDC holds the perspective that underinvestment in the lives of people negatively impacts the livelihood of communities. At a fundamental level, underinvestment begins with the family. We believe that the family was created to raise up the next generation and strengthen communities. Sin, at a variety of levels, negatively affected families within their own personal family systems, and this extends out to culture and social structures which are broken and under resourced to support families.
The Bible informs us that God’s heart is for people to live in harmony with God, each other, and our surroundings. Through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross and His Resurrection, Christians are able to experience the power and presence of God and be restored, then carry that to others. Relationship with God provides the foundation and power for restoration. Restoration involves reflecting on those things in and around our lives that hold us back from realizing our full potential and identity in God. To restore communities, we utilize the same process used by individuals. We reflect on those things that hinder the livelihood of others in the community, and then seek to work with God and one another to help realize our potential and identity. We understand that the process of restoration of individuals and communities requires an ongoing and sacrificial efforts. As we show Christ’s love to our communities and to one another, we hope that others will come to know Jesus and the meaning of following Him.
This kind of sacrificial service and faithful presence is the driving force behind all of our efforts to engage our communities. To accomplish this, we set out to accomplish the following:
Empower Local Churches to be Assets to the Community. We believe that local churches are an asset to the community and for a variety of reasons have been largely disengaged from local community building efforts. NHCDC will be a bridge towards meaningful service relationships between the community and the local church, as well as to be a training ground for Christians and people of good will to better understand how to effectively engage the community. It is our hope that Christians and people of good will who journey alongside us will grow in their ability and heart to meet the needs of our community and become reflections of Jesus’s love for the people in the Sacramento Region.
Serve the Community through the latest Sustainable Community Development Practices. There is a wide breadth of approaches and practices to community revitalization. NHCDC seeks to lead local efforts to provide high quality, innovative expanded learning services,affordable housing provision, and economic development practices. While there are agencies across the region priovidng such services, we have seen strong evidence that coverage is limited. We seek to help fill those service gaps in partnership with others wishing to serve the broader community at large.
Facilitate Community Building Efforts. It is easy to see how there are so many things that fragment us from experiencing genuine relationships with one another. We think something special happens when people from different walks of life can spend some time together and simply appreciate one another. In order to facilitate this, we believe we need to find times when we can all slow down enough to eat together or enjoy something in common together. Being able to build trusting relationships in the midst of diversified values and experiences is elusive but is perhaps one of the most important ingredients to restoring community.
Establish Engaging Environments for People to Explore their Faith. The Bible informs us that community revitalization needs to be tied in with a direct spiritual connection with God. We want to encourage conversations of faith that meet people where they are. We believe that God speaks to people individually and that their own set of past circumstances necessitates a unique message from God that speaks to their soul. We believe that God speaks to individuals through a variety of ways: conversations, relationships, quiet times of reflection, reading the Bible, the actions of others, the quiet clear voice of the Holy Spirit. It is our goal to help create spaces outside of the church building so people can have more opportunities to explore faith in a comfortable, non-threatening setting, as well as opportunities to facilitate overall community building efforts. It is our belief, that when people can be honest with themselves, bring sincere questions and be willing to study the scriptures and discuss them that God can reveal Himself to people and convict them of their need for Him.
Our values help define and shape who we are but also act as guide to strive toward.
Diversity. We are a diverse group of Christians and people of good will from many different backgrounds seeking to grow, explore faith and serve others.. We believe God celebrates diversity and calls for us to love others who are different from us.
The Bible. We believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and is filled with great insights on life, relationships with others, and most importantly, God Himself. We advocate that these insights are worth spending time to better understand, with the intent of seeing the elements contained within it lived out in our lives as well as our community.
God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. We believe in the triune God as expressed in the Bible. While it is difficult to accurately describe God, we know God as 3 distinct persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ (the Son), and the Holy Spirit who are also one, and in relationship together. We believe it is God’s desire to reveal Himself clearly to people. As a result, it is part of our responsibility to seek all the ways possible to point to Him and help witness to His goodness.
Partnering with People of Good Will. We understand that people are on various spiritual journeys can be drawn together in a common mission towards bettering our communities. It’s important to partner together regardless of one’s background because 1) the work is really challenging and is a lot more difficult without coming together 2) by bringing us together, we hope to grow in our mutual understanding, as well as love and appreciation, for one another.
Clarity of the Gospel. We strive to be a community of Jesus followers who are able to embody a life of gratitude because of Jesus’s love for us. The resurrection of Christ demonstrated God’s power to give life in the midst of death. It also showed God’s willingness to go to the most extreme lengths to restore our lives and communities. This willingness to go to extremes to care for others began with God’s initiative to love us and is passed on by those who have experienced this love and sacrifice in one form or another through the generations.
Learning Community. We approach our work and relationships as people who have something to learn and ways in which we can to grow. But, we are people not afraid to seek out answers and ask tough questions. Some questions may challenge the status quo, but we do this respectfully and humbly.
Beyond Simply Serving. We acknowledge that God calls Christians to serve others, but He first directs us to love our neighbor. While NHCDC is promoting service based relationships, it is critical that we build loving friendships with those we serve if we are to promote sustainable spiritual impact.