Theory of Change
Connecting Caring Communities works to restore the foundation of safe, caring, and whole communities by rebuilding our city’s system of caring relationships. Our organization exists based on our conviction that God is the creator of our world and has put in place an intentional design for us. A "perfect" world would reflect God's original design where all people love God and love each other all of the time. God created us to be whole beings, complete in all areas of life and lacking in nothing. But our sinful human nature works against this design and renders us incomplete.
As children made in God’s image, we constantly strive to reclaim completion despite our brokenness. This brokenness greatly affects the way we interact with one another—our relationships—and ultimately affects the cohesiveness of our society. Isolation and fear have replaced togetherness and love. So, how do we stop this cycle of societal decay and rebuild the kind of world God designed for us?
In seeking God’s abundant community, we must ask ourselves deeper questions about our world, our society, and what steps we can take as caring individuals to become whole again.
When we look to scripture, we find a very simple answer
to this question. God created the world with a desire for
us to love Him and to love each other.
Jesus answered, “The most important command is this: ’Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There are no commands more important than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
God created us to have close relationships with Him and with one another. Society can be defined as a dynamic system of human
relationships. We often assume that our relationships will
take care of themselves, but they do not. We must be
intentional and nurture our relationships with God and
each other in order for them to grow. A healthy society is a direct product of healthy relationships.
A ‘whole’ person is competent: willing and able to grow spiritually,
skillfully, socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally. A ‘whole’
person is compassionate: living a lifestyle devoted to seeking the good
of others as he or she seeks his or her own good. Through God’s love
and guidance, we are called to use the abundant gifts and resources at our
disposal to realize our fullest potential. We call this building social capital.
A healthy community model has a strong foundation of human relationships based on cooperation and unity. A community is most resilient when its relationships are mutually enhancing—put
plainly, they are beneficial for
everyone. The recurring rise and
fall of human civilizations
throughout history have
demonstrated that a society will
eventually collapse when its
people stop working together for
the common good. The model of ‘The Village’ has alone stood the test of time because strong relationships are at its core. At CCC, we aim to stop the cycle of societal decay by building mutually enhancing relationships throughout Abilene. When we pay attention to this foundational piece, we in turn strengthen the other elements that shape our community: healthcare, education, adequate housing, caring culture, safety, leadership,
and meaningful work.
So, how do we reverse the effects of a declining society in our world today? CCC uses a simple and practical method of building community relationships focused at the neighborhood level. Our three strategies of community renewal are designed to work together for optimal impact and are replicated from a working model developed by Community Renewal International
in Shreveport, Louisiana.
CCC’s Caring Team is a strategy to identify caring people in our community and to connect them with one another. Hundreds of individuals, families, businesses, churches, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, and others have joined the Caring Team and are working together to raise the visibility of a caring culture and to improve the quality of life in Abilene.
CCC’s Neighbor to Neighbor Network is a strategy we use to develop close partnerships with Abilene residents willing to serve as community builders on their own block. Through training and ongoing support, CCC provides practical ways to help residents meet one another and cultivate meaningful relationships with their immediate neighbors.
Relocation is a major tenet of what CCC believes it takes to truly transform community and build genuine relationships. CCC’s Community Coordinators, along with his/her family, relocate to the neighborhood in which they serve to become an integral part of neighborhood renewal efforts as a true, full-time neighbor. As relationships grow, neighbors are empowered to share their gifts and work together to accomplish their neighborhood’s dreams.
“The whole law is made complete in this one command:‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)