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Good News through Community Economic Development

Coming soon, a book by David E. Kresta, PhD.

Walk with Jesus down Main Street and learn how to bring healing, resilience, and equity to your local economy.

Get a sneak peek of the Introduction to Jesus on Main Street here. Also, read the conclusion here, learning about the holistic community economic development efforts of Church of the Messiah in Detroit. (Be sure to check out the GoFundMe to help them recover from devastating flooding and build a new entrepreneurship center).

Early endorsements for Jesus on Main Street:

“If you are passionate about joining God to change the world then you know how badly we all need to confront our broken economic systems. David Kresta has created an essential guide to community economic development with the crucial pathways you need to get started. As the truly local Church continues to pursue the justice and abundance of God we have an opportunity and obligation to reimagine our economic life from the ground up. Kresta’s Jesus on Main Street is an indispensable guide for that future.” Tim Soerens, author of ‘Everywhere You Look: Discovering the Church, Right Where You Are’ and co-founding Director of the Parish Collective

Jesus on Main Street is an incredible synthesis of all the new wave marketplace strategies that have been and are now becoming the front place of mission in the U.S and beyond.” Hugh Halter, author of ‘The Tangible Kingdom’, ‘Bivo’, & ‘Flesh’

“I’ve been longing for and dreaming about a book like this. In the world of community development, especially in the church, most books simply provide stories and a limited on-the-ground view. While these are essential, what has been missing is something with more academic punch. Something that moves beyond inspirational stories to the kind of book that I can use in my community development classroom and share with church leaders that I work with on a daily basis. David Kresta’s Jesus on Main Street is an incredible resource that is not only replete with academic vigor, but is a tool that will assist and inform pastors, church leaders, and community development practitioners.” Dr. Sean Benesh, author of ‘Blueprints for a Just City’ and Director of Intrepid

“Many communities and neighborhoods are struggling with unemployment, income inequality, and poor social outcomes. In this important and practical book, Dave Kresta describes how churches can, and should, get involved in community economic development in order to love our neighbors more deeply and effectively. Jesus on Main Street will open your eyes to new possibilities and give you the tools you need to make a real difference in your community.” Mark Elsdon, author of ‘We Aren’t Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission and Ministry

“David Kresta has written a book I am relying on as a guide in my work for its focus on how people of faith can be involved in community economic development and re-engage with the economy and their local communities in response to God’s call to care for their neighbors. I have needed a book like this; it helps me tell the story of what I am doing to both economic development folks, and to fellow Christians and helps to create new bridges of possibility.” Kevin Jones, co-founder SOCAP and Faith + Finance

“Finally, someone has written a book about Community Economic Development and what it has to do with Jesus.  No matter how many people count the Bible passages that relate to economy writ large (80% at least), lots of people still think that Jesus lives in the privacy of our heart instead of in the markets on Main Street.  Jesus lives in both places and does so queerly.  Jesus dislikes binaries and likes to bring folks together, which is what Dave’s book, Jesus on Main Street, does.  It maketh a space in the market for Jesus.” Donna Schaper, Associate Professor of Leadership at Hartford Seminary and Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church.  

“Our communities face extraordinary challenges: Increasing inequality, rising poverty rates, unstable economies, climate change and a raft of other issues. The speed of change is faster than ever, and the social and environmental need is reaching a frightening crescendo. At the same time, churches are aging, declining and change is slow. David’s Jesus on Main Street is a much needed resource for faith communities as they consider this new reality. Not only through story and examples does David ignite imagination but he gives practical tools to discover economic models that are linked to the ecosystem of love and care in the neighbourhood. Reading it will have you imagining new ways of sustainability and flourishing in your local place.” Dave Harder, Co-founder and Principal Consultant with Parish Properties and Parish Collective Canada

Why Community Economic Development for churches?

God loves just economies, but in our communities we see huge cracks chiseled by the invisible hand of the market. By taking on Jesus’ mantle when he announced freedom for the poor and oppressed, we have a role to play in helping establish just economies here and now! Jesus on Main Street provides church leaders and church planters with a broad overview of Community Economic Development (CED), with practical steps to lead your church in following Jesus into those cracks. You’ll be equipped with the CED “toolkit” including microbusinesses, makerspaces, business incubators, worker cooperatives, workforce development, commercial district revitalization, locality development, anchor institutions, and accountable development. A robust assessment and planning guide specifically for churches will help you create a collaborative CED strategy rooted in God’s love for people and justice.  

For churches looking to bring healing to their local economies, CED builds capacity for long-term equitable economic growth, catalyzing a movement of business creation, employment, and job creation that does not leave anybody behind. This is the promise and challenge of CED as we follow Jesus down Main Street and explore what good news for local economies looks like!

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To further whet your appetite, here are the chapters that you’ll see in Jesus on Main Street:

Foreword by Paul Louis Metzger, PhD

Introduction

Part One: Community Economic Development Overview

Chapter 1: What is Community Economic Development?

Chapter 2: The CED Ecosystem and the Role of Local Churches

Part Two: The Community Economic Development Toolkit

Chapter 3: Microbusinesses

Chapter 4: Makerspaces and the Maker Movement

Chapter 5: Business Incubators and Entrepreneurs

Chapter 6: Cooperatives and Community-rooted Economics

Chapter 7: Workforce Development

Chapter 8: Commercial District Revitalization

Chapter 9: Good Jobs Focus

Chapter 10: Locality Development: Housing and Land Use

Chapter 11: Anchor Institutions

Chapter 12: Accountable Development

Part Three: Community Economic Development Process

Chapter 13: Assessment and Implementation Process

Chapter 14: Context-sensitive CED

Chapter 15: Financing CED

Chapter 16: Conclusion

Appendix: Reimagining Religious Spaces