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Building community

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Ask your young people to come up with all the different forms of 'community' they can think of. How many are they part of? Why? What do they gain from being part of those communities? Reflect on how the word community is used in their generation compared to how it may have been used when their parents were younger.

Devise a scale showing levels of community integration e.g. 'A' is on the periphery, unknown to the others within the community, whereas 'E' is completely immersed in the community and involved in the plans and leadership. Agree on the different levels of integration then ask them to consider for each level:

* Why would a person stay at this level?
* What would be the advantages and disadvantages of being on this level of integration within a community?
* How could a person move up and down the scale of integration?

Finally ask the group to decide individually where they are on your 'scale of integration' within three communities to which they belong e.g. church, school, and online forum.

Consider ways your group could encourage better integration within a chosen community e.g. church, the local town. Can you set up your own online community or bring some positive comments to one already established? Can you meet with other churches or other faith groups?

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