We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.
OATS (see previous blogs) built community. In the 70’s we that believed witnessing to community was more important than preaching about community. We did not teach any particular doctrine but we did have a method for building community. That method was to practice the following steps.
Step 1—Hello how are you: At each meeting and every event we made it a point to welcome not only new members, but current ones as well.
Step 2—Function together: The heart and core of community building is doing something together. It really doesn’t matter what you do, but you must do something, like eating together, planning an outing or service ministry, having a discussion on a topic of interest, watching a video or whatever.
Step 3—Sharing: The heart and core of creating and keeping the community spirit going is sharing. Sharing cannot be forced or planned. The community leaders must be good at picking out real sharing when it occurs and fostering that. Leaders can help make sharing happen by creating an environment that is “safe” and “supportive”. If participants feel they are respected for whom they are, they will share.
So there you have it, how to build community in 3 easy steps.