What Do You Love About This Place?
by Bret Wells

The WNC3 cohort of Launch & Lead met at Haw Creek Commons this weekend for their 3rd training retreat (which means they’ve now completed about 75% of the 2-year program). This event, which focuses on principles and skills related to community development, also functions as a springboard into the practicum phase of Launch & Lead.
 
So much of what we do in Launch & Lead is designed to help our participants to develop a posture of curiosity, discovery, and expectation as we encounter the world around us. That isn’t to say that we turn a blind eye to, or adopt a naïve dismissal of pain, dysfunction, injustice. On the other hand, we also realize that constantly seeking out and highlighting everything that is wrong is not any more effective or beneficial.
 
So we challenge ourselves to become increasingly skilled in the art of listening, watching, and noticing. As we enter a new (or even a seemingly familiar) neighborhood, we know that before we took a single step toward this encounter, God was already at work in this place. As we meet a new (or even a seemingly familiar) neighbor, we know that this person carries around a wealth of experiences, stories, insights, and gifts…even if they don’t realize it.
 
The participants were sent out in groups one evening to look for signs of these very things. They were challenged to ask about people’s gifts and hobbies or to ask a question like, “What do you love about this place?”
 
You should have heard the stories they brought back the next day…
 
Or you could just talk to someone in your community and more than likely you’ll come back with some pretty great stories yourself.

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