Whether we talk about workplace, faith, neighborhood or professional communities, community does not build unintentionally. Communities don't grow and thrive as a function of having enough commands, creeds, committees or crises.
Their emergence, thrivancy and reinvention are a function of the quality of conversations they have. Growing communities have distinctly different conversations than stuck, struggling and declining, communities. Those of us who have done community building around the world have been struck with this reality again and again.
Stuck communities talk predominantly about problems, blame, deficiencies and self-interest. Thriving communities talk about shared dreams, small acts, gifts and invitations.
Dreams are what we would love to see possible. Small acts are things we can do now with what we have to move in small steps to our dreams. Gifts are the available and under-utilized tangible and intangible resources in the community and its larger networks. Invitations are the way we include the gifts of others in small acts to realize our dreams.
The right conversations do not in any way require more educated people, better leaders, more economic wealth, cultural homogeneities, expert studies, higher level permissions, the support of the majority or a more certain future.
Communiites move in the direction of their conversations. It's all about the conversations.