Strengthen, Accelerate and Multiply
There are several key principles or practices to entering into a city as an outsider or non-residential if we are intent on "lifting the city to a common good." I call these my  SAM principles. First, it is important to understand that God loves the city and He is already present in the midst of the inhabitants. Therefore, I find it important to first enter a city to  explore what is happening and seek to identify those who have a vision of peace or  shalom. These are people who desire the whole and comprehensive life to be renewed or transformed to reflect the glory and honor of the Lord. These are moral leaders who are willing to cultivate relationships, speak well of others, hold a vision of a "good" reality, and will subordinate their personal desires and sacrifice their gifts and comforts for the betterment of the whole. These people will likely be acting and striving toward this preferred reality of a transformed city. On the bell shaped curve of innovation, these are the visionary innovators and pioneers upon which transformation is built. Consequently,  SAM principles  remind me that I do not come with my own programs and plans, but I build relationships striving  to Strengthen, Accelerate and Multiply what God is already doing in the city through these people of peace. If I bring a program from the outside, I have learned that it generally will take two or three generations before the residents buy-in and own the initiative as their own, if at all. But when I work with the  moral innovators and entrepreneurs (the people of peace) of the city or community to strengthen their hand, the early adopters and in turn the late adopters of the culture are more receptive to embrace the change more rapidly and more enthusiastically.