Tuesday, February 07, 2012
How can I serve you?
This weekend just gone, I attended a conference on Transforming You Neighbourhood at a nearby church.The speaker was from the Dream Center in LA. I had problems with the setting, (conservative, charismatic evengelical church with soft rock worship band and high production values) and the theological background of the speaker, as they brought back old and difficult memories from my past. However, I couldn't argue with the main premise. If you want to see your neighbourhood transformed, his three main points were:1. Allow people to belong to your program, group, church whatever, without requiring them to sign up to your beliefs. 2. Change the atmosphere of the area. His example was that his church's sports programs had made it cool to play sports rather than be in gangs. A local example would be planting flowers in a run down area to help people take more pride in it. 3.Be consistent. You've got to keep turning up and be reliable to see change. It takes time.Alot of his work was very inspirational, providing homes for homeless families, and rehab centres for addicts. Nevertheless, I wanted to ask, if these were providing treatments to the problems, what would stop these problems arising in the first place. Obviously treating these problems will go someway to preventing them in the future, but it's the bigger ones - how do you stop that family becoming homeless in the first place?The biggest thing that stood out for me was the idea of radical service. In their adopt-a-block thing, they'd just knock on doors in the local area and say "How can we serve you?" and paint houses, fix broken things, etc.. I don't think this would necessarily work in Britain because of the British reserve and wariness of generosity, but I think it could be started among those you know around you right away. Neighbour doing up their house? Offer to help. Old person at church's birthday - get them a card and a present to show their appreciated. Or bigger things done together - new baby amongst a friendship group? all put some money in a savings account for that child.So I'd like to ask you dear readers, how can I serve you? Do you need advice on anything tech support, web or marketing related? Would you like to learn one of my skills like knitting or painting or dancing? Need a room decorated? Need help saving for a car or a room for a night? Can I cook you dinner? Do you want to come out for a drink? Need some babysitting? Let me know how I can serve you.