We’ve Moved

Thanks for joining us here at As We Go Blog. We’ve decided to change things up a bit so follow the link below for our new site.

Check out the new site at www.aswegoblog.com

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4 People Your Community Needs

Every community needs role players. No, I’m not talking about LARP-ing. I’m talking about people who each fill a niche or two. Without these people your community will struggle. This is not an all inclusive list but these are four essential roles in your community. It’s also important to keep in mind that individuals can and do fill different roles at different times.

  1. Leader(s): every community needs a leader or a couple people who lead. These people should guide your community toward its mission while consistently appraising the state of it. Great leaders serve first and with creativity.
  2. Mentors: as community changes and more people are added it’s easy to lose sight of the foundation. Mentors should be proven members of community who can help guide other members toward the mission. These individuals will turn your community from exclusive to inclusive when they bring their A game because their goal is investing in the people working in the community.
  3. Stewards: someone in your community has to be willing to put rubber to the road. In other words, stewards focus on serving the group through action. When volunteers are needed they step up and get the job done.
  4. Principles: much like the president his a cabinet a leader needs a group of advisors. Principles serve the role of keeping the leaders of a community focused on the mission. They should also be the first to step in when a member of the community is in need.

These roles don’t necessarily need to be defined in your community. In naturally occurring communities these roles should reflect the informality of the situation. Organizations that function as communities usually already have these set roles in one way or another. If your community is struggling maybe it’s because one of these roles isn’t being filled well.

  • Who defines these roles in your community? How do you praise them for the role they serve?
  • What role do you play in your community?

Lessons from Photography Class

photo

photo via flickr by CubaGallery

I remember sitting in the classroom. I’m guessing I looked like a deer in the headlights. I was not an art student. I didn’t really “fit in” with the other students in the class, most of which were art majors. Our professor sat at the desk in the corner and asked a simple question, “What makes something art?” That question spurred quite the discussion that set the tone for a semester in Beginning Photography.

That discussion was heated but constructive. People were challenged and forced to think about their views and feelings. One discussion established healthy community.

For the next 4 months we critiqued each other’s work. If someone’s work wasn’t good they heard about it. If it was great they heard about it. Constructive criticism from our peers made us better photographers and artists.

Isn’t that what our communities should be? Shouldn’t we constructively criticize others in our community when things aren’t what they should be? Shouldn’t we praise them when what they do is great or exceptional?

Perhaps for the sake of not rocking the boat we keep our thoughts to ourselves. Maybe we fear what our words could cost.

Perhaps rocking the boat is exactly what your community needs. Maybe your words could buy change that leaves a positive imprint on your community for ever.

  • Why do you fear constructive criticism?
  • How could your words change the life of your community?

What’s Your Mission

photo Photo Courtesy of State Library and Archives of Florida

Recently, the church Jordan and I attend held a baptism service. Those getting baptized stood in front of the church body and proclaimed their belief and trust in Jesus. It was a very profound moment in their lives and in the lives of onlookers.

Christian or not, I think we can all learn a lot from this act of public proclamation. How often in life do we stand up and say, “This is what I believe in. This is what I stand for.” My guess is that most of you, like me, don’t do this very often if ever. Sometimes we’re concerned that we’ll step on someone’s toes or be rejected for saying what we really believe.

That fact remains though, healthy community is missional and mission requires leaders to stand up and say this is what I believe in and this is what my community works toward.

Yes, some people might not agree with what you believe. They might even leave your community but community must have mission otherwise it’s just a group of people wandering.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying we need to get political or purposely ostracize people around us. I’m actually saying quite the opposite. Be forthright with others and tell them what you believe. Put your cards on the table. Be open. Be honest.

In the coming weeks and months we hope to spell this out with each post. We want to outline the pilliars of community and continue the conversation as to what it means to cultivate healthy, flourishing community.

Join us on Twitter (@AsWeGoBlog) & check out more posts here!

Changes.

A theme in my life for the last few months has been change. Clearly that’s true about everyone’s life, but this change has been significant. I’ve moved. Quit a job and taken a new one. The list goes on and on.

Election day is a steady reminder that we need change. I’m learning what it means to be a person that’s okay with change. It’s a tough process for me but it has been incredibly fruitful these last few months.

Jordan and I are working through change right now. There is a lot of that coming in the not so distant future including changes to this blog but for today let me leave you with a few questions to think about.

  • Where are you resisting change in your life and community?
  • What are the consequences (good and bad) of the impending change in your life?
  • What is motivating or initiating change?
  • Do you need to force change somewhere for the good of your community?

Comment and share your thoughts. Ask us questions. Let’s have a conversation.

Join us on Twitter (@AsWeGoBlog) & check out more posts here!

Ours. | 31 Days

As you’ve seen, we have a lot of things to say about our community. We’re very humbled to be a part of it. I think we could continue to talk about it for a long time – not much gets us this excited. The 31 Days series has been a great reflection for us on all that we have to be thankful for. Our final reason we love our community is that it’s ours.

In coaching high school soccer I am given the opportunity to see players develop from their first season as a freshman to their last game as a senior. Each brings it’s own challenges and successes. Coaches will say if only we had a player who could do this or if only we had that guy from another team but we don’t really mean it. When it comes down to it, when the season ends, the only team a coach wants is theirs. Just like coaches, the only community we want is ours.

It’s our team.

It’s our community.

My real hope for you is that you have your own community to be a proud of and that our blog is just a resource to make your already awesome community even better. If not, you’re invited to join ours but if you do, own it. It’s yours. Be proud of it. Invest in it. Cultivate it. Write about 31 reasons you love of it. 

Day 31 of 31: Why do we love our community? It’s ours.

Collision. | 31 Days.

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit some friends in the town where I went to college. After graduating they have taken up young professional lives in the town we all used to call home. Over the almost three years since I graduated their community has vastly changed. Going to see them gave me the unique opportunity for my world and community to collide with theirs.

Seeing their excitement for the things happening in their community gave me the opportunity to reflect on the exciting things happening in my own. This collision of communities caught my attention in the simple fact that my community isn’t scared to let our world collide with others. 

Collisions imply discomfort or even pain. They are rarely subtle but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth going through.

You see, community fails when it becomes closed off. It fails when others aren’t allowed in or must conform to the group before acceptance. I love my community because it regularly  collides with those outside of our community and invites them to join us. We’re a community on mission always moving forward and always inviting others to come along side us.

  • Does your community need to accept collisions?
  • What keeps you from opening up your community to those outside of it?

Day 29 of 31: Why do I love my community? My community isn’t scared to collide with others.