Review: The Work of Our Hands

By David Gill, reprinted from The 313.

Randy White is  the founder (2012) and executive director of the Center for Community Transformation at Fresno Pacific University. After his BA at Sacramento State University, he earned his Master of Christian Studies at New College Berkeley, his MA in Urban Sociology & Community Development at Fresno Pacific, and his DMin in Transformational Leadership in the Global City at Bakke Graduate University.

Randy has been an urban activist and practitioner for more than 25 years, working in some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods of the city and around the world. He was the founder of FIFUL, the Pink House, and many other urban training formats in Fresno. Globally he has led doctoral programs of Bakke Graduate University helping leaders from 39 countries imagine and implement new forms of community transformation in their cities. He is the author of many books and articles on urban ministry, the latest of which is Out of Nazareth: Christ-Centered Community Transformation in Unlikely Places (Urban Loft, 2017).

The Work of Our Hands: Faith-Rooted Approaches to Job Creation, Training, or Placement in a Context of Concentrated Poverty came out in 2012 but remains a valuable collection of seven essays from the trenches. It is no small endorsement that the then-mayor of Fresno, Ashley Swearengin. provided a glowing Foreword to this collection. Chapters in this book were written by eight different local Fresno organizational leaders describing various programs – based in churches, businesses, and faith-rooted agencies – to provide training and support for individuals and start-ups in job creation, entrepreneurship, job training and placement. The target is people caught in the context of poverty and joblessness.

Most of the examples are local but they bring in national examples as well, and list written and organizational resources for those interested. This little book is an inspiring and helpful starting point for any of us in our own churches and communities who want to respond to the great need all around us.

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