The 8 Principles of Christian Community Development: Wholistic Approach

Nov 1, 2022

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The 7th principle of CCD is Wholistic Approach. Oftentimes, many in ministry get passionate and involved in one area of need and think if they solve this particular problem that all else will be resolved. Christians, of course, often focus this area on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course, the most essential element of Christian Community Development is evangelism and discipleship. Yet solving problems with lasting solutions is more than evangelism and discipleship. Enjoy this blog written by our Rail//Line Supervisor, Colin Sauskojus.

-Eric Basye

The Gospel in Word & Deed

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.” Matthew 9:35 

A significant distinction is that the gospel is made known in word and deed, not one or the other. Christian evangelism and discipleship are essential but must go hand in hand with practical, effective, and long-lasting solutions to physical and tangible needs. We see this modeled by Christ throughout the gospels. Time and time again, He comes to His people, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed – with freedom from sin and healing of affliction and pain.

This is the vision and heart of CLDI; by being driven, moved, and transformed by the gospel, we would, like Jesus, meet people with the truth of the kingdom in word and deed. Our desire is to be neighbors amidst the brokenness and suffering around us and, like others before us, fight for wholistic well-being in order that God’s kingdom might be known in our neighborhood and throughout the world.

Opportunity through Apprenticeship

One way CLDI seeks to care for our community wholistically is through Rail//Line Coffee. A small local coffee shop with a powerful purpose: Rail//Line desires to provide a space where community is developed and where young lives are transformed through the gospel and deep relationships via our Apprenticeship Program. We have the opportunity to meet many resilient young adults facing challenges out of their control. They uncover their unique skills, hard-working abilities, and determination through relationships with them as they begin to understand their value and worth. 

One of our apprentices, Sara*, has begun to seek opportunities and chase dreams throughout her 12+ years of interacting with CLDI. Realizing that she has an interest in architecture, she reached out to a local architecture firm and will hopefully be doing an internship with them this summer. She is a leader at work and in school. Moreover, she sees value in herself and believes she has a future beyond her past.  Our hope is that all our neighbors would believe the same thing – whether through Rail//Line’s Apprenticeship, Youth Works, Hannah House, the internship, or KMC. 

Imago Dei

A wholistic approach views people multidimensionally and is concerned with spiritual,  physical, and emotional needs. It addresses their brokenness and shame and shows them how God views them. For this reason, Imago Dei is a core value of CLDI, that all people have been created in God’s image and therefore have intrinsic value and worth, regardless of their life circumstances.  

Christ poured His heart out to the multitudes through the cross. He stooped low into the muck and mire of a broken humanity to not only evangelize for the coming kingdom but also bring healing and restoration. Imagine that for a second. A perfect, holy God – One who can have no part of sin – so loved us that He entered the world to rescue us. Jesus not only preached this good news but also moved in power to actively heal the brokenhearted. This is true for Sara, you, me, or anyone who bears His image. 

Walking in Joyful Obedience

As His followers, we are called to go and do the same. To follow the Spirit in joyful obedience and bring the good news to those who have not heard or believed – not only by what we say but also by what we do. 

“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:7-8

* The name has been changed to protect confidentiality.


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