For the Love of Missions partners with local leaders who engage in Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). Since Community Development is focused on people, and people are not easily defined, Community Development will look different in every community. Brad Smith explains some assumptions that help us understand ABCD:
(1) Asset- Based: It is more important to appreciate and mobilize individual and community talents, skills, and assets than to focus on problems and needs.
(2) Community: Long-term gains will be much greater if the solutions are community-
driven by leaders inside the community rather than resource-driven by outside agencies.
It is also assumed that community driven solutions may start off slower with fewer,
visible gains, but in the long term, the benefits far outweigh the loss of quick results.
(3) Development: The focus of the work is not short-term relief, but the development of
ongoing economic, health, social, governmental, and sometimes spiritual solutions.
(4) Social capital: The assets of people and relationships are more important to community health than money and other resource capital.
(5) Participation: Participatory methods help residents own the process and results.
(6) Collaboration: These methods are important to include a large number of community
(7) Civil Society: It is important to help residents increasingly see their identity not as
welfare recipients, but as citizens whose input and advocacy are important to make local
government more effective and responsive.
For the Love of Missions is always learning to live within these assumptions as we put our ideas and resources behind those coming from the community.