congregations doing community and codesign

When visiting  Surrender earlier this year I had the opportunity to listen to a range of speakers including  who was speaking about love and its impact on community.

The question Joanna asked us to consider “How might we work with rather than for a community”.

Joanna was challenging us to think about alternatives to doing hand outs and or doing a needs analysis on a community.  Or doing ‘outreach’ through youth group.

I want to have a go at answering Joanna’s question.  “How might we work with rather than forcommunity?”

Over the last few years I’ve been part of  new ways of thinking about how Uniting Communities does community work.  Using white sheets of paper and coloured sticky notes we have looked at our work and asked ourselves how might we rebuild this, from the ground up.  What if we put down our assumptions about work and start again what might we create.  Some of this is is called co creation.  How might we do this with people who are on the end of services.  We design this new cooperatively  – hence co-design.

There are many examples of new congregations / church plants already doing this.

But would this be possible to do this with an existing congregation?

Would it be possible to take a congregation and get into community co-design with it?

At the end of her presentation Joanna introduced me to Esther and we had a conversation about design and buildings.  Esther ran a workshop where she explored the reuse of current buildings for congregations and communities.

We have asked Esther to come to Adelaide to join us in this very conversation.