National Gathering 2019 Asset Based Community Conversation

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Matt Johnson, National Gathering Reflection: Asset-Based Conversations 

One of the great delights of working for the Missional Wisdom Foundation has been discovering the network of amazing people and organizations connected to the foundation. During the National Gathering we sought to connect people with each other based on their gifts. First, we had people write on cards their gifts, skills, and passions. These were placed on a wall so others could see this amazing portrait of our Dispersed Community's assets. 

Then, we invited folks to gather in clusters based on their common interests. Within ten minutes of getting together, people were laughing, sharing, and collaborating. For example, a small writing group formed and created a Google document where they could share writing projects and offer feedback and encouragement to one another. Another group connected around music and began to dream of ways to share their talents at future National Gatherings. And these are just two examples! 

Not only was it energizing, it also reinforced what I have been discovering: the Missional Wisdom Foundation community is a network of gifted people, and it is important for us to get to know one another. So let’s Come to the Table in 2020 and connect even more!

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Ronda Van Dyk, NG participant

National Gathering is a great opportunity to be in an environment with others who seek to explore ways of forming community guided by those whose work is concentrated on that objective. We learn so much from each other. I am thankful for what I experienced through the new to me concepts of Open Space and asset based community exercises—especially the stories of apprehensive or surly folks learning to explore and break down emotional and physical barriers to forming a more friendly, helpful neighborhood environment.