Remaining more curious than certain

My church has a problem familiar to many inner-city mainline denominational churches. With a large, beautiful facility and a membership that is a fraction of what it once was, we have struggled to learn what we need to be in order to serve God's people in our neighborhood, in our city, and in our region.

A small group of us have taken on the task of reimagining how we interact with ourselves and our surrounding community. It has been a long but necessary process, because the neighborhood surrounding our church is changing rapidly, and not always for the better. While the new investment in many of the buildings and homes nearby has been great to see, it has also meant many who have called Detroit's North End home for decades no longer live nearby, all for the sake of progress.

Our facilitator for this journey had us read an excerpt of Margaret Wheatley's book, Turning to One Another (link is to my Amazon affiliate account). It is powerful in the context of my church, but it is also powerful in the context of deciding to share my stories, both in deciding to look for my birth father and the journey my wife and I have enjoyed by becoming parents through adoption.

Here is the excerpt:

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask: "What's possible?" not "What's wrong?" Keep asking.
Notice what you care about. 
Assume that many others share your dreams. 
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. 
Talk to people you know. 
Talk to people you don't know. 
Talk to people you never talk to. 
Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised. 
Treasure curiosity more than certainty. 
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what's possible. 
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something. 
Know that creative solutions comve from new connections. 
Remember, you don't fear people whose story you know. 
Real listening always brings people closer together. 
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world. 
Rely on human goodness. 
Stay together. 

I pray that I remain more curious than certain. I pray others follow me on this journey soon, too.

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