… so “That Glory May Dwell in Our Land”
To see every believer in Jesus activated in his or her sphere of influence to transform Kern County.
Kern Leadership Alliance envisions, connects, and empowers leaders for community transformation that will improve the lives of all citizens by addressing Kern County’s most Pressing needs.
Click here for a full PDF version of That Glory May Dwell
What follows is the result of over a decade of conversations with Christian leaders in our city who have come to be my friends. In numerous coffee shops, in snatches of conversation at seemingly endless committee meetings, in late-night, heart-searching dialogue, in evaluating time-consuming and at times heart-wrenching attempts, our quest has remained to find new levels of effectiveness in impacting our community. A few years ago, the conversation began to center around a new approach, based on the following three questions:
- What would be the result for our community if every believer in Jesus daily accepted an assignment to full-time ministry where they work and where they live?
- What would be the impact if followers of Jesus began to build relationship with other believers where they work and where they live, utilizing small groups to encourage each other, pray together and answer the question, “How can we effectively serve Christ in our field of work or in our neighborhood”?
- What would be the legacy if followers of Jesus formed a working, sustainable alliance that brought together their varied perspective, influence, skills and resources to address in an informed and effective manner the most pressing needs of our community?
Our quest for a fresh paradigm led to these lines of inquiry:
- Jesus called his followers to love each other and prayed that the display of this unity would so impact those who did not yet believe that they would come to know and follow Him (John 17:23 “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me”). Can an expression of unity be discovered that increases our effective witness and also respects our diversity?
- Most who believe in Jesus have a desire to impact their community but face obstacles to their involvement. Can an approach to community transformation be found for these willing ones that produces long-term results, utilizes their unique skills and resources, and maximizes the investment of their limited time and effort?
- It takes multiple resources and perspectives to develop and implement solutions to our community’s most pressing needs. No one individual or organization can accomplish this alone. How can working partnerships be established that increase results, not rob time, consume resources and drain energy?
- Past faith-based efforts at city transformation have focused on connecting pastors and unifying church organizations. Would better results be achieved if the emphasis shifted to mobilizing and then connecting all followers of Jesus, not through the church with which they are affiliated, but in the everyday context of where they work and where they live?
- A city has multiple points of influence upon its well-being. What could happen if, while recognizing the value of pastoral leadership, churches and Christian organizations, a strategy for community transformation emphasized the equally significant role of believers who serve in the marketplace, in education, in media, in arts and entertainment, in government and in family life?
As followers of Jesus, questions such as these lead us into a search of the Scriptures for answers. The hope is that the ideas emerging join the dialogue on community transformation, a conversation occurring best while our hands actively work side by side, “that Glory may dwell in our land.”