We partner with communities around the globe to create a more just society…one where people are healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous and more likely themselves to serve others. The publication The Call to Community; Fruits of Servant Leadership features personal testimonies which demonstrate that as people come together to move towards our God given potential, individuals, organizations, and communities begin to flourish.
Here at the Center for Sharing, the development of servant leaders and the communities they serve are our primary focus. We believe that at the heart of every life-giving project or program is a group of emerging servant leaders working to further the common good. We also believe that each community has people within it with the gifts and the calling to meet the needs of that community, and if empowered, those leaders can solve many of the world’s most difficult problems.
As a result of servant leadership courses, communities of practice in Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and the United States, have been born in order to assist participants to hear and follow God’s call on their lives. With our Partners in Authentic Community (PAC), we walk alongside leaders in their journey to reach out to marginalized groups of people, often in their own communities.
“All that is needed to rebuild community as a viable life form for large numbers of people is for enough servant-leaders to show the way, not by mass movements, but by each servant-leader demonstrating his own unlimited liability for a quite specific community-related group.“
Centro de Compartimiento was birthed in 2005 out of a deep desire to give girls from small, remote villages on Oaxaca, access to high school and/or college education while living in a Christ-centered, residential community around the principles of servant leadership.
Although birthed in 2005, in 2015, Centro de Compartimiento entered a new chapter in its life through the offering of its first public servant leadership local leadership formation course for adults in the local community. This course has offered a beginning in the formation of an indigenous led community for the teaching and practice of SL in that region. It could result in one or more of the members possibly becoming more involved in Centro de Compartimiento. They could be great mentors for the students as well as advocates in their culture, for women, as well as on behalf of the program.
SLEC International through a Servant Leadership approach hopes to inspire local communities to discover their individual and collective God-given potential, encourage them to dream again and persuade them to realize these dreams. SLEC will work through religious institutions and shall select participants from different denominations.
Community based sustainable development projects will be encouraged as well as projects that foster Servant Leadership, promote Kenya Vision 2030, conserve the environment and improve the living standards of community members. The projects will be identified as participants work with community members to identify the issues they want to prioritize. They may include but are not limited to projects such as sustainable agriculture, water, health, education, etc.
Shepherd’s Home in the Philippines is practiced within the context of a bible college campus and includes unique educational programs centered around the following learning philosophy: Putting on the mind of Christ through an inner and outer journey of action and reflection in the context of a loving community.
As a result of this approach and philosophy, the learning atmosphere at Shepherd’s Home is quite different from many traditional educational institutions. Students and faculty as Shepherd’s Home learn together through a highly interactive, experiential, community-based approach to learning. A very important part of this is providing a safe, loving community for students, where they are not judged, where their potential is imagined, where their brokenness is valued, and where they are free to share their struggles and their unique story.
The Center for Sharing’s offices are housed in ‘The Collegium’ which was built in 2008 to function as a community center for the Tierra Vida community, while being at the same time a ‘third place’ where strangers come for many different reasons. Here people can casually meet, get to know each other while over time developing stronger social networks and a deeper sense of community in a cafe setting.
The Collegium Cafe
The Collegium Cafe is not only a cafe, but also serves as a Work Readiness Training Program that places an emphasis on individual skill building and accountability. The Cafe manager and Center for Sharing staff (Work Readiness Team) work with participants in the areas of job training, personal and spiritual development, academic education, and potential job placement. This is an effort to increase self-sufficiency, obtain new job skills, develop resumes, explore career path ideas, and help start a career.
Vista Hermosa, an immigrant serving community in Eastern Washington state, was born in 1990-91, in order to provide affordable housing near the work site where families were being employed. For the Center for Sharing, it represents our longest living community of practice around the philosophy of Christ-centered servant leadership. By learning to listen to the needs and aspirations of those being served there, additional services and opportunities were birthed along the way, in order to promote growth, health, education, social and spiritual connections that all contribute to leadership development. We call this model for learning “experiential”. It is based on a continual cycle of action-reflection-action. This model trusts the process for mutual learning and shared decision making as we learn how to better serve the common good. CFS now uses this model wherever we are called to nurture and help birth new communities of practice.
Tierra Vida community is located in Pasco, Washington and was birthed in 2005. The founding vision was to offer opportunities for immigrant families to become first time home owners in a safe and life-giving environment. CASA, a for-profit entity, was birthed to sell a lot and handle rental units – work that serves as an opportunity to get to know the families here, and foster opportunities for them to increasingly co-lead their community together through participation in the neighborhood council, HOA or as a participants who lead and serve in after-school and summer programming for kids and adults. In 2013, 95 rental apartments were built on site along with a gym and recreation center. Staff continually monitors community vitality according to Robert Greenleaf’s guidelines for servant leadership development: are people growing, becoming healthier, wiser, freer, more able to take care of themselves, more likely to become servants of others while keeping an eye for those most vulnerable around us?
Jubilee Leadership Academy was born in 1995-96 to serve teens around the U.S. who need a reset in their lives, a new beginning. This call came out of an inaugural ‘local leadership formation course in servant leadership’ in that same year put on by CFS. 5 participants in that SLS course answered the call to birth this ministry out of what we were seeing and experiencing increasingly at the time with youth in our context. Services that were being offered at the time just weren’t enough to stop the forces of destruction surrounding kids. We felt they needed a residential community in which to learn and practice values that promote life, compassion, social bonding, spiritual growth, and development while continuing their high school education on site. Today JLA offers an intensive addictions recovery program in a community setting that promotes healing and personal leadership development.