“When you move in, people are not going to trust you,” says Leroy Barber, Author, President of Mission Year and CEO of FCS Urban Ministries. Newcomers to a low-income community will not be trusted and may have a difficult time engaging the community and even determining its leaders. “There still is this distrust, and that is only broken with time.”
The only way to minister effectively in community is to stay in it for the long haul. “If you’re going to move in and don’t commit to be there, then I would say don’t move in.” Too often well-meaning people move into a community to minister, but vacate as soon as something goes wrong or something bad happens. Ministry has to be done by people with a heart for the community and a commitment to stay, not by people trying to relieve their guilt. “Guilt is useless.”
From The Justice Conference 2012.