In light of everything we said in December 2006 (see above), why am I now the chair of the Residents’ Association?
Here are some givens:
· I prefer to work at relationship level, rather than structural.
· The Kingdom of God is my priority, not human systems of government
· I have a wholistic view of God’s Kingdom. (The core may be the soul-thing, but the scope includes everything else.)
The RoundTable continues to function very well, all the networks cross-communicate, collaborate, and synergize.
But the Developers identified 7 areas of community development.
* Economy (eg. job creation, business, etc.)
* Community (eg. clubs, friends, orientation, security)
* Cultures (eg. a calender of cultural events)
* Wellbeing (eg. health, food, crisis-care)
* Education (eg. link needs to providers)
* Environment (eg. water, energy, bush)
* Amenities (eg. roads, buildings, transport)
These are great – they align well with the kinds of concerns in the Kingdom of God! (eg. Isaiah 66, Micah 6:8, Luke 4:18,19.)
They suggested the Round Table might take on these jobs. However the RT is structured to bring the networks together, busy people who already run their networks. They don’t need to take on a whole issue working group on top of that!
The BG Residents’ Association is the other group naturally positioned to take these issues on from the community point of view. However, it’s not going so well (low attendance, almost not viable.) So talk started about how we might strengthen and re-structure the association to help the community began to work well in these 7 areas.
The spotlight fell on me to chair, since I know how to chair, and how to structure BGRA for people with common passions to work together. I said “only if others handle stuff between meetings.”
Others stepped up, and we suddenly had an admin team that could work this with pretty minimum effort. So I designed a structure that could engage many residents in the 7 areas, (The Community Dream / the KofG, however you care to describe it.)
Co-operation & Control – revisited
So Cheers is empowering the BGRA to do well. (As an agent of KofG.) But we don’t control it. In fact, we’re farming the power out to others, giving community members responsibility in those 7 areas, to make decisions on behalf of the BGRA. They are trusted to do their jobs. They are accountable by reporting, and paper trails. But it is the members that oversee this – not the chair, not the admin team. We just ensure that empowerment happens. Cheers people may be making these initiatives, but we’re doing it in a way that trusts, and gives. Not distrusts and takes.
Moreover, Cheers continues to work in ways that the BGRA does not: we emphasize relationships over programs, and thus we remain pretty invisible to the powers-that-be.
That’s empowerment, not control.