9 Areas You Must Account For In Your Community
In Catholic tradition, creating a plan of life is essential for anyone serious about pursuing holiness. A plan of life is a simple program for how you will grow in virtue and pursue sanctity in your daily life.
It starts with that big idealistic desire to love God and neighbor in all things and ends with a very practical approach to doing so.
Similarly, your community needs a plan.
This is where something like the Called Community Canvas is helpful.
As discussed in this post here, there are 9 key areas of every community plan…
Whether you’re starting a community from scratch, have a thriving ministry in place, or want to get more strategic—here are why these 9 areas must be accounted for.
#1 to #4: Purpose, Audience, Values, Goals
These first areas will help formulate the core beliefs and set the tone for everything else in the community.
- Who are you?
- Who is this community for?
- What is most important?
- Where are we going?
Answering these kinds of questions should be simple after you’ve established a community identity (refer back to this guide if needed).
This is what actually happens in the community (conversations, events, small groups, sacraments, etc.).
It’s perfectly fine to not have it all as you’d like in the beginning. What’s important is getting started and learning what will help your members and community grow personally and in the love of God.
#6 to #8: Roles, Rules, Governance
These are all questions that are easily overlooked but have long-term implications:
Many communities offer different roles to different members, but they are not made explicit. Furthermore, usually, different roles come with a different set of responsibilities and privileges. This is where you clarify that.
Many communities have implicit rules, but only a few have explicit and visible ones. Make how participation and engagement work very clear to your members.
This looks like a minor question, but it actually is an opportunity to reflect on a bigger point:
Is this a top-down community, where a selected few decide, or are members responsible for co-leading and managing?
(Example: a campus ministry led by the campus minister vs. a bible study between a group of friends.)
This is where setting up your community on Called comes in. 😎
If you’ve created your plan using something like the Called Community Canvas, refer back to it frequently. The best execution happens when we refer back to the plan all the time.
Here are ideas on how to make your plan more visible to members:
- Add it to your group or community bio.
- Display it / share it prominently on your website or Called news feed.
- Link to it prominently at different places within your social network.
- Reference it every time you have major discussions about the group's future.
- Link to it in all your newsletters, documents, and descriptions.
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