SERVE WEST DALLAS
The Shalom Project is a Serve West Dallas administered, church-led collective impact initiative that creates partnerships between small neighborhood urban churches, large suburban churches, and existing community-based assets (e.g. our neighbors, our imbedded faith-based Ministry Partners, and other service providers). The aim of the project is to duplicate a dynamic and successful model of neighborhood transformation developed within the Lake West neighborhood between West Dallas Community Church and nine suburban church partners back in the 80’s-mid 90’s.
The mission of the Shalom Project is to serve West Dallas by mobilizing the Church to leverage its rich human and many other resources to transform distressed neighborhoods through the local church’s involvement. It simply begins by the two church teams praying together, and eventually identifying the assets and the best strategies to address the needs of each neighborhood.
Specifically, the project hopes to bring more volunteers, resources, and awareness to west Dallas as the urban and suburban churches, and community faith-based organizations, and residents work together to help facilitate holistic impact in the nine neighborhoods of West Dallas where SWD members are active.
Our Collaborative Approach:
In 2009, Pastor Arrvel Wilson, concerned about development of West Dallas, called together community leaders from government, non-profits, community churches, the faith-based community and business.
The group concluded that greater social, economic and spiritual transformation could only be achieved by collaboratively working together, believing thatthe whole is stronger than the individual parts. Out of these discussions was birthed the Christian Transformation Foundation (d.b.a. Serve West Dallas), a new 501c(3) organization, led by a board comprised neighborhood and suburban area churches, eleven faith-based organizations, and several Dallas business leaders.
The group gathered believed the following were necessary:
1) A shared vision for change, along with a joint approach to solving community problems through agreed upon actions.
2) A common coordinated agenda and, success must be measured and reported.
3) All participants would not need to do the same thing, but each participant should undertake the specific set of activities at which it excels, and then coordinate their actions with the actions of others.
4) Building trust among participating organizations would be essential, a challenge, and would take time.
5) Creating and managing collaboration would require a separate organization and staff with specific set of skills to serve as the “backbone” for the collaboration.