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This is How We Do It

November 11, 2008

I’m about to state the obvious: Black America has tons of problems right now. But what might not be so obvious is how to tackle them, not to bring temporary relief, but to affect lasting transformation.

When the business world has problems (and it has plenty at the moment), it often turns to ‘best practices’ principles for inspiration on how to boost profits, manage rising costs, change an organization’s internal culture, or increase diversity among its vendors. Best practices are those activities that have, over time, consistently proven to acheive a desired result. They are valuable because they work regardless of company size or budget, and because they work over time-they’re not just quick fixes. The Black community can learn from the idea of best practices, particularly when it comes to some of the more deeply-rooted and controversial issues like abortion, sexuality, and family disintegration.

I have a good friend who demonstrates well how to really see change in these areas. Her name is Angela Minter and she is the founder and director of Sisters for Life, a powerful ministry in Kentucky. These are just a couple ‘best practices’ I think those of us who work in any area of social justice in the Black community can use as we try to make a difference in our corner of the world:

1. Angela prays. Alot. Passionately. Confidently. She is committed to the belief that prayer works. When she prays, she knows she is dialoguing with God. She understands that prayer is the Christian’s opportunity to partner with God to bring His will to the earth. She prays the Word of God, meaning, her requests are things that the Bible says we should pray for. She prays for mothers to allow their unborn babies to live; she prays for fathers’ hearts to turn toward their children; she prays for the plan of God to be realized in the lives of children whose lives hang in the balance because their mom is trying to decide what to do about her pregnancy; and she prays for women who come out of the clinic who’ve decided to allow their child’s life to be taken. Angela also prays fully expecting God to answer. And I’d say her expectation has been rewarded-within the one year she’s been praying in front of the abortion clinic in Louisville, 85 women have turned away from abortion, and chosen to let their children live.

2. Angela responds. She gets involved. If a woman decides to keep her baby, Angela doesn’t just say ‘thanks’, and move on. She takes that woman to the pregnancy resource center down the street, sits with her while she gets her first look at her baby with an ultrasound, and then gets to work on needs the mom may have. For instance, if a young girl is being put out of her home by her parents because she wouldn’t have an abortion, Angela works with The LIfehouse in Louisville to find that mom a place to live. I love the fact that Angela is not just a pie-in-the-sky pray-er, but she is a true warrior with banged-up armor and heat-of-the-battle sweat dripping from her body. She is a great example of faith and works in action.

3. Angela recruits. She is not satisfied with her community involvement. She wants others to get busy, too. On her weekly radio broadcast, she routinely implores listeners to get involved with community issues. She informs them and then challenges them to move out of their comfort zones and be a world changer. Light and salt-I love it.

Want to see real, life-altering change? Pray. Respond. Recruit.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2008 11:41 am

    The beauty of the blogosphere is the “best practices” can spread more quickly thanks to posts like this…

  2. Nedra permalink
    January 14, 2010 5:39 pm

    I’m so glad I discovered you on facebook. Your wisdom about best practices is an awesome revelation, and the example you gave of Angela Minter definitely represents that. I volunteer with a group of black people in my city who began meeting within the last year, who are dialoguing about the issues of our local black community, and who are trying to formulate a way to address apathy and a certain level of disunity among the black community where I live with regard to the common issues of family and economics and education. We have done several community forums and a black business expo, which was, more than anything, a beautiful time of appreciation and fellowship. I had spent most of my life working inside of my church, and participation in this type of civic endeavor was never “my thing”. But I believe that one of the reasons God connected me with this group is to pray. I think God sees the heart of the people involved and wants to make something happen. That is why I appreciate the example of Angela Minter. I also LOVE your article about Christ vs. Christianity. I have 16 and 12 yr old sons, and I am asking God to give them an encounter with Him in this season that will fire them up for life in spite of what they see going on in Christianity around them.

    • ba4life permalink*
      July 24, 2010 1:10 pm

      Nedra,
      Talk about delayed response! I realized today that I never responded to your very gracious and encouraging comment. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my work, and please be encouraged to keep going with your involvement with the group in your community. God can make great big things happen with just a few. I’m sure you’ve already discovered the challenges associated with this kind of endeavor, but take heart…knowing your God, you can and will do exploits!

      Thanks again.

      Chandra

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