Read time: 3 minutes 23 seconds
In large population centers across the United States, people are suffering from poverty, poor education, violence and crime.
Enter the pastor. The shepherd of Jesus' flock on earth. He is tasked with leading His people by example, teaching them the Word and being above reproach in the Christian walk.
While many a Christian pastor has faltered in their role as spiritual leader of a church, many more continue in faith and endure hardships to bring about victories for the kingdom of God.
Thankfully the world has pastors like Corey Brooks, a man who lives out James 2:14-26 by acting out his faith to make a positive, lasting change in the sphere of his responsibility. As founder and senior pastor at New Beginnings Church in Chicago, Brooks has answered the call God placed on his life to reach out to those living in one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods.
His plan to do something drastic and unique, to catch the eyes of those who are unaware of the troubles the people under his charge are going through, has captured the attention of the nation.
Pastor Brooks chose to raise awareness by staying on the roof of his building since Nov. 20, 2021, enduring the harsh Chicago weather and building relationships with anyone who would stop by. His ultimate purpose was to obtain funding to combat the rampant drugs, prostitution and violence plaguing his community by raising awareness of the seriousness of the problems the people in his neighborhood were facing.
According to his website, Pastor Brooks has, "fully invested in the community of Woodlawn on Chicago's South Side. He and his wife are spearheading a community initiative called Project H.O.O.D. to revitalize the neighborhood. Through it, they are raising up a new generation of peacemakers, problem solvers, and entrepreneurs."
The project that Pastor Brooks and his congregation work to implement in their community offers practical solutions to many of the problems the people face.
Some of the educational programs include training for technical and blue-collar jobs that are seeing a rise in demand across the country. Other programs include, "a Core and Carpentry Level I course, which places participants in entry-level construction jobs post-program, an entrepreneurship course and separate business workshops for aspiring and new business owners, a co-working office space for business owners, job placement programs and community-wide events including The World's Largest Baby Shower."
This method of loving the community one is sent to love and offering practical, modern-day solutions to problems the community is facing has achieved success in the U.S. before.
In the same spirit that Pastor Brooks is working to transform the neighborhood God sent him to, pastors like Matthew Barnett have achieved worldwide success when obeying the call of God. When the Dream Center was founded in 1994, few realized the world-changing impact it would have, except its founders Tommy and Matthew Barnett.
Their obedience has seen the Los Angeles Dream Center transform into a global network, and according to their website, "The Dream Center Network now collectively consists of 84 Dream Centers around the world, including centers in 29 states and 11 different countries. With a vision to transform the world, each Dream Center strives to provide the help and resources necessary to individuals and communities in need."
Now Pastor Brooks is making the same impact for his community in Chicago. His dedication, perseverance and putting faith into action are the building blocks communities need from their faith leaders.
Though short the $35 million needed for completion of their new community center, the Lord has blessed Pastor Brooks' actions by bringing in $20 million and sharing his story across the world.
With Pastor Brooks' chapter on his rooftop coming to an end, he looks forward to what the Lord will do in the next season of building and investing into the community he has sacrificed so much for:
"We decided we wanted to go forward because it's the perfect time," Brooks says. "People really need the assistance. We really need the help. And we really want to see transformation take place."
"There's no better time than right now," Brooks declared.
James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.
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