Thursday, April 29, 2010

Core activities helping establish "spiritual village"

It’s no surprise:  core activities are the foundation of growth.  The trick is, how do you multiply and sustain them?  Every cluster faces this question, and the friends everywhere are engaged in on-the-ground learning and gaining insights specific to their communities.  This recent report from Eugene-Lane County, OR (A) contains some intriguing insights on getting core activities firmly established.
Our first receptive neighborhood continues to be very much so.  A new Grade 2 children’s class (using the lessons from Ruhi Book 3A) is just starting up, so we now have 3 children’s classes in this neighborhood.  It will soon evolve into a junior youth group, and we have an ongoing devotional gathering as well.  This neighborhood shows great promise in becoming a “spiritual village”, and resources will be directed that way.  We will try to increase attendance in children’s classes as assess interest in other core activities by making home visits to families.  One of the children’s mothers has already expressed interest in a Ruhi Book 1 study circle.  We will also try to build community connections between the teaching teams and neighborhood families through a community garden project. . . .

Core activities have now been started at the local community college, first by a devotional gathering and then by a study circle.  The college shows promise in becoming another area with a nexus of activities.
We have learned that some of the keys to success in starting core activities are:
Being flexible
Having resources ready to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they arise
Not continuing to dwell too long on efforts that are not bearing fruit
These insights are helping us in both the expansion and consolidation phases.

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