March 12, 2024

A Practice: Questions to Improve Communities

What can communities learn from the enormous success of the Eras tour about love, support, and meaning for their members?

Navigating change and growing vibrant spirituality among people involves healthy communities.  The enormous success of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour points to three aspects of healthy spirituality that communities should look to as they examine how to meet the needs of their members.


What might foster transcendence? 

  • Beyond-the-self experiences
  • Emotional connection to others
  • Connection to the natural world
  • Desire to pay-it-forward
  • Worshipful

What questions should you ask of your community? 

  1. Does your community pray, sing, dance, celebrate together?
  2. Does your community spend time in nature appreciating the beauty of creation?
  3. Does your community provide opportunities for service both within and outside the community?
  4. Does your community offer love before judgement?
  5. How does your community acknowledge the the importance of beauty and the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch)?


What might foster healthy relationships? 

  • Opportunities for cross-generation relationships
  • Deep connection to others
  • Community leads with love
  • Works to bridge divides between people
  • Loyalty to those in community

What questions should you ask of your community? 

  1. How does your community respond to issues of social justice?
  2. Does your your community embrace doubt or is it shameful?
  3. Are older adults open to fostering mentorship relationships with younger people?
  4. Does your community provide opportunities for play and fun together?
  5. Does your community foster deep love between people?

Narrative & Identity

What might foster healthy identity and what might support healthy narratives? 

  • People feel a sense of strength
  • Culture of curiosity, truth-seeking, and desire for justice
  • Individuals becoming the people they are created to be.
  • Individual voices matters
  • Culture of respect for uniqueness
  • Change is good and necessary

What questions should you ask of your community? 

  1. How does your community embrace diversity?
  2. Are women offered positions of leadership? Are women’s voices respected?
  3. How does your community respond when hard questions are asked?
  4. If you feel different, or are neurodiverse, how does your community embrace your differences and help you to use your strengths?
  5. Is there a narrative around love that strengthens identity and provides hope?
King, Baer, Greenway, “Theological Perspectives on Beliefs and Communities of Practice,” (February 2024)





Thrive Center


Continue Exploring


Eras: What do Taylor Swift and the church have in common? (Part 1)


Eras: No Longer Emerging but not Quite an Adult (Part 2)


A Practice: How might we access the transcendent?  

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