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Neighborhood transformation occurs best when we let go of an “event” mentality and replace it with an “environment” mentality.

Lance Wallnau, says, “You get to choose the environment you create. You can create an environment that draws people to the Kingdom or pulls them out.” 

Rather than adopting your street with the intention of implementing program, folks who join ‪http:lovejax2020.org and sign up to adopt their street spend time talking to God about their neighbors before they talk to their neighbors about God .… engaging in the ministry of presence and becoming more aware, alert, and awake to the fullness of the immediate moment.

Neighborhood transformation occurs best when we let go of an “event” mentality and replace it with an “environment” mentality. Programs and plans have their place—moments matter—but all the pieces must be seen against the backdrop of a larger atmosphere and experience that never stops. 

Followers of Jesus who have adopted the lifestyle of “pray, care, share” live “environmentally.” We do not adopt our streets and prayer walk our neighborhoods as “volunteers” offering an hour a week. Instead, the hours we spend with people, working for justice, come from places we live, shop, play and work as part of our everyday life. We hope to spend years together living life in the Kingdom.

Like Jesus, we need to live and walk with an awareness that the Father's blessing is upon us. We come to be “with” our neighbors. Think of how different the dynamics are when a new parent joins a parents group in need of a place to share the loneliness/ tediousness of caring for a new born child versus a church that sets up a day care center. We come out of a “mutual” relationship sharing in what God is doing.

We become conduits of God’s work, pointing out what God is already doing, or where there are already resources right here to help. We therefore never run out of gas. We are truly energized. Of course we will offer our own resources not as a solution but because we are friends, part of this social reality God is bringing into being.

Neighborhood transformation brings us into an environmental understanding of the Christian life—an understanding that is “here and now”—“worship and work”—“life together”—“places and people.”

When I serve on Kairos teams at Union Correctional Institution, I find the same emphasis upon environments. Of course, there are “events” within environments, and even in the Kairos Prison Ministry such is the case. But the three-day weekend is never viewed apart from the environment, which both preceded and followed them. It is when we "listen, listen, love, love" that we can properly appreciate and participate in the events.

But the moment is made even more meaningful as we remember that the river never stops flowing. The flow of water through the arteries of the St Johns River is larger than the water we encounter at the riverbank.

Transformation never stops coming. Our moments of encounter are memorable, but not definitive. The environment enriches the event. It is when the River captures us that we can love our moments on the riverbank.

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Comment by Dennis Owen on October 17, 2015 at 5:39am

Thanks for your comments Tim. I miss seeing you at the Jacksonville Business Fellowship on Friday mornings, I hope all is well with you. Later today, we will be prayer walking the Arlington neighborhood. The walk will begin and end at the University Park Branch Library -- we will start with worship and instructions, disperse in small groups to walk, and meet again at the conclusion for debriefing. The focus of this prayer walk is the Arlington Manor community, which encompasses both Justina Road and the development where a still at-large perpetrator recently brutally attacked  a young girl. Please keep this area in your prayers as you drive. https://www.facebook.com/events/912483015466012/

Comment by Tim R. Temple on October 6, 2015 at 5:46pm

here's a way of praying for a location:

http://orderofsaintpatrick.org/warfare/drive-by-praying.htm

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