A community of poverty, as previously discussed is comprised of a series of broken relationships. The key to solving an equation is finding the common denominator. The common denominator works in math and life relationships. For a system of poverty, community is the common denominator. Merriam-Webster defines “community” as “1 :a unified body of individuals . . . .” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/community, Referenced on: 9 Nov 2017). Community is unified around a core theme and incorporates an inherent set of values.
Knowledge drives priorities. We can prioritize our focus if we understand our values, resources, and skills. Without the knowledge we will struggle prioritizing our actions. If the crops are struggling, the farmer needs to be able to ascertain the root cause of the poor plant performance. Likewise, if poverty is system comprised of lagging indicators the community leaders need to assess the cause of the poor community performance. Faith communities are interwoven into the community. And, the faith leaders, are charged with providing the community with hope and grow the community in a healthy way. Knowing this fact, people of faith are called to respond. And “[f]aith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-25).
Values drive passion, and passion drives the search for knowledge, and knowledge drives priorities, and priorities direct resources, and resources dictate necessary skills to be deployed. The embedded faith communities sole purpose is to improve the well being of their respective congregations holistically.
Tying it Together
Recognizing food deserts are lagging indicators of the system of poverty. We want to eradicate the food desert. That is part of the “What.” The question turns to “How?” How isn’t just a question, it is an answer too! We need to look for the remnants of a functioning community.
Unified groups of individuals with shared values of improving the lives of the community can provide a jump start to change. Independently, each group is weak. History has demonstrated unified solidarity can generate true change. It becomes evident the embedded faith based organizations while separate are uniquely connected with a common set of values: community and personal development. It is with these shared values we can focus on to develop community passion.
Stay tuned for the business case for a faith based cooperative!
If you are an organization wanting to creating a solution to food deserts call me. I look forward to helping you implementing the vision.