Helping churches participate in building thriving communities

About me

My vision is simple: Jesus followers are indispensable members of communities that thrive for all. Getting there? Perhaps not so simple! My current project, “Jesus on Main Street“, equips church leaders and church planters to bring the healing effects of the gospel to local economies. 

Building on my PhD  in Urban Studies from Portland State University, I bring the following knowledge domains and specializations within reach of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations:

Reimagining Religious Spaces (RRS): I help churches reimagine and repurpose buildings and property for community thriving. I have performed extensive research in this area, and work with churches to create community-informed strategies. I help denominations and funding organizations determine the size and direction of opportunity for RRS in their geography.

Community economic development: I work with churches to bring good news to local economies with tools including microbusinesses, makerspaces, business incubators, worker cooperatives, workforce development, commercial district revitalization, locality development, anchor institutions, and accountable development. I lead churches through a robust assessment and planning process developed specifically for churches to create a collaborative CED strategy rooted in God’s love for people and justice. 

Neighborhood change, poverty, gentrification: My unique doctoral research explored the ties between churches and neighborhoods. I help churches and faith-based organizations understand the complex of forces creating neighborhood change and how they can participate in creating change in which all community members can thrive.

Research and data-driven insights: I have done significant work with a wide variety of data sets as well as designed and implemented numerous research projects. My experience as a Product Manager also equips me to think in terms of insights and customer-oriented perspectives. The result is a unique ability to help churches and faith-based organizations develop and anchor strategies rooted in research and data-driven insights.

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Services

Training & Advisory Services

Building on my book Jesus on Main Street, I equip churches to bring healing, equity, and resiliency to their local economies. I provide customized training and assessment services to build a church’s capacity to actively participate in long-term community economic development. I also provide training on drivers of neighborhood change, and the potential impacts that churches can have on processes such as gentrification.

Customized Community Assessments

I provide data-driven analysis to help churches understand the history and current state of their neighborhood, its assets, and potential areas of concern.  I teach church leaders how to do their own community assessments, integrated with their “on the street” knowledge and observation.

Strategy Development/ Research

I work with senior leaders to incorporate social science scholarship, research, and practice into theologically rooted strategies. I draw on my expertise in community development, economic development, urban studies, poverty, and neighborhood change to create God-honoring strategies and programs that are rooted in research and scholarship.

Fractional Chief of Research

As a fractional executive, I provide denominations and faith-based organizations with dedicated but flexible leadership in the areas of research and insights, data-driven strategy development, and evaluation.