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Story and Memory

As a Small Christian Community first comes together, so people begin to share their stories, and get to know one another.

  • Each might begin with a time of personal reflection: Who am I?
  • followed by listening, as each tells their story to another: Who are you?
  • then relaying what has been heard to a wider group, until every story has been heard: so a sense of community begins to emerge: Who are we?

Such a Community soon develops an identity; it needs to choose a Name: Naming the group after one of the members or the place of meeting focuses responsibility on that person. Choosing a name collectively reflects shared ownership and mutual responsibility. This is important.

Communities thrive on stories and these need to be recorded - in a collective Memory: Who we are; Where we're from; Why we've formed this Small Christian Community, etc..

Remembering and celebrating the community's journey is vital.

From the start, keep a lively record of the group's story - written and visual: events, decisions, anecdotes, poems; drawings, photos and biographies can be added; who has joined, and who has left; what has been achieved - and what hasn't.

This needs to be a group memory, not the recollections of one member only.

Have regular stopping points, to review and celebrate what has been accomplished.
Where have we got to? What needs to be done next? What needs to be changed?

It is useful, too, to begin every meeting with a brief recall of anything significant from the previous time, as the community re-engages with one another -
(but not a detailed account of everything said, nor formal Minutes of the Meeting).

Building Kingdom-shaped communities
  © New Way of Being Church 2007