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In April we began gathering a group of 20 church & project leaders to explore community development. We’ve committed to meeting monthly for a whole year to explore an approach that focuses on potential rather than poverty. Umoja involves empowering people to the point where they can identify their own needs and use their own resources to address them. As well as various activities, & lots of conversation, we will be exploring the Bible. As part of our first Umoja session together we thought about facilitation.

Facilitation is foundational to the whole process, as it through facilitation that people discover for themselves. To help leaders to explore why facilitation is so important, Phil & I led them through a series of activities.

In groups leaders were asked to build a tower using only newspaper and sellotape. An added challenge was they couldn’t talk or write anything down during the exercise. This helped people to think through attitudes in co-operation and communication.

We then read John 4:1-26, and amongst other things, considered the lessons we could learn from the passage about how, why, where we should facilitate.

In small groups people discussed and sequenced a set of statements relating to how adults learn. Together we thought about methods we can use to support adults as they learn.

A comment afterwards was: ‘You practised what you preached’ – which was our aim – for people to develop an understanding of, and experience, facilitation.

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