Community Development

Carinity is an organisation driven by its Christian values, with a vision to create communities where people feel loved, accepted and supported to reach their full potential.

With this vision in mind, seeking to collaborate with Queensland Baptist (QB) churches to outwork their vision for community is considered paramount for Carinity. As such, the Collaborative Community Projects Grants initiative was established in 2021, with a view to resourcing QB churches with small seed grants to undertake community-based initiative in their neighbourhoods that support people doing life tough.

The following articulates the purpose and transformation pathway of the Collaborative Community Projects (CCP) initiative:Graph Depicting Community Development Transformation Pathway

Asset-based community development – Carinity’s priority

Throughout the Bible, there is a clear mandate to love our neighbour as ourselves[1]. While Christians are called to love all people, there is special attention given to the poor and the most disadvantaged members of society[2].

Relieving and mitigating disadvantage is therefore about seeking to begin the journey towards community transformation, prioritising restoration through meaningful connection and participation with people doing life tough as we build trusting relationships. As a Christian organisation, responding meaningfully to poverty is not simply through acts of charity, but seeking to tackle root causes of issues that people face such as social isolation. This is best done in collaboration with people experiencing disadvantage, rather than for them; acknowledging that they are often best placed to understand the appropriate long-term solutions to the problems their community faces having experienced certain issues personally.

Furthermore, adopting a participatory or asset-based approach to community development acknowledges that people experiencing disadvantage are not called to be mere recipients of charity but have something meaningful to contribute as part of their own transformation process. This approach also recognises that all people have equal worth and value in the image of God, and have unique giftings to offer when it comes to strengthening their local neighbourhood against disadvantage.

Carinity therefore wants to ensure all people connected with QB churches have opportunities to engender change not only in their own lives, but to resource them through the CCP grants initiative to become catalysts for change in the lives of those around them as well.

The below example of church ministries adopting an Empowered Faith Communities model is a good example of how a church can seek to be intentional with their gospel outreach whilst also adopting an asset-based community development approach:

 

 

[1] Mk 12:30-31, Mt 22:39, Gal 5:14, Lk 10:27, Lev 19:18,

[2] Is 11:4, Is 58:1-12, Zec 7:9-10; Mi 6:8, Heb 13:3