For decades many churches, organizations, and city governments have been trying to figure out how to build and sustain cities. Specifically, the Leadership Foundations has been engaged in city-wide change efforts in 75 cities around the world for over 50 years. Recently, the Bridgespan Group – a leading nonprofit consultant group – studied the change efforts and needed components of city transformation. Their research found that for permanent city change to happen, every city needed an entity or collaborative that supported the city in the following ways:
- Gather and Train Leaders of good faith and good will
- Build Capacity in people and in city serving organizations
- Implement Joint Initiatives and programs
Leadership Foundations has since developed the wheel of change as their key to methodology to permanent city improvements. GRCCT and its’ partners have joined this global movement and methodology that is “fueling” the movement in the City of Grand Rapids.
Specifically, in 2016, GRCCT piloted a 6 part training series called, “Loving our City into Greatness:” 10 business leaders, 10 non-profit leaders, and 10 faith leaders have been meeting for 5 hours every quarter to explore the topic of city change. For some this means first addressing the pain the city has caused them. For others this means learning about that pain. Together, we are working through some very intense challenges. However, as we gather these leaders new relationships are being built, capacity is being increased, and new initiatives will being to emerge that heal our city.