Friday, March 27, 2015

developing a bottom up vision statement

On Tuesday, I was in a group in which the purpose question was asked:  “What is the purpose of your organisation?”  The whole question of why an organisation exists is crucial. It provides clarity. It allows you to say yes to things and no to things. It provides motivation.

At our team meeting on Thursday, I decided to take the story from Tuesday, tell it and ask the question of the team.  “What is the purpose of our organisation?”   In our case, we’re a theological college. We are in a re-building team phase, with at least four folk new in the last few months. So the question would not only provide clarity, guidance and motivation. It would also help with team building and re-building.

In order to resource the conversation, I used the Signposts resource.


It involves a whole range of pictures, printed on card, with a few phrases. It’s visual and tactile.  I spread them around the room and invited the team out of their seat and to each find a card that they felt answered the question – What is the purpose of a theological College?  Returning to our seats, we each shared our cards.


I then offered two options. (We normally set aside 30 minutes in our team meeting for devotion and community time,).  One option was to share with each other a moment recently when we had seen our card in action. This took the ideal of why we exist and located it in our life as a group. It allowed for encouragement.

The other option was that everyone was asked to leave their cards on the table. And if folk wanted, they could try and find a sentence that wove together all of the cards.  This was a far harder option and I wasn’t sure if there would be any takers, let alone any success.

But I was amazed, within 15 minutes, the group reported back they had a sentence. Within 30 minutes, with the help of one question (What is our purpose?) and a set of visuals, we had developed, from the bottom up, with the input of every voice in the team, a rough vision statement.

Posted by steve at 05:38 PM

Friday, November 20, 2009

kingdom living as grassroots business realities

active intent….
I believe that we are created to live the Kingdom of God in our world, not apart from but within society. I am a representative of God’s Kingdom here on earth. I live and speak for God’s rule as an attractive member of the Kingdom, not against the world but for God’s Kingdom, His Good news in Jesus transforming the world.

From the blog of Phil, one of God’s gifts at Opawa. Last year, I invited Phil, and a number of others, to keep a blog as a spiritual practice, a way of being intentional about attending to God’s Kingdom flutters (and further here). It meant that as I preached on the Kingdom during the month, ordinary folk in our church were modelling what this might look like. So it looks like Phil has continued to blog. What’s more, it’s become a fantastic set of grassroots, mission reflections. Not from a pastor, but a businessperson.

There is more to this story. Earlier this year I asked Phil and his wife, Bronwyn, to lead one (of three) mission collectives, living. Four times a year, collectives are meant to gather us around God’s mission – to discuss, resource , pray. For us at Opawa, mission has taken concrete shape in

  • living, faith in our workplaces and among our neighbours
  • loving, the local streets around us
  • creating, the citywide creative capacity of the Christmas Journey and Pentecost.

It’s been an experiment, simply trying to build community and capacity around the green shoots that seem to be Opawa’s season at the moment.

So the blog now contains some of Phil’s reflections on this challenge – what living faith sharing looks like. Again, it is fantastic – grassroots, everyday, outside church walls. Go Phil. Go mission reality beyond Sunday, outside sacred/scared walls.

(By the way, Opawa’s mission collectives are meeting again next weekend, as follows:
Friday, 7:30 pm, November 27, 303 Colombo St
Saturday, 7:45 pm, November 28, Latimer Square
Sunday, November 29, 12:30 pm.)

Posted by steve at 04:25 PM

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

does forgiveness have legs?

I sat with a workplace group today. I had been asked to spend two hours addressing the topic of Managing conflict positively, and to cover negotiation, mediation. We got to the topic of forgiveness and the question was asked. “Does forgiveness have a place in the workplace?” Great question. We bounced it around the group for a while. Some said yes, others no.

Then I went fishing. I asked them if they had ever seen forgiveness in their workplaces. (If they had, I was then going to ask if it had a positive or negative effect on the workplace culture, hoping that it was positive and so might address the original question – “Does forgiveness have a place in the workplace?”).


No one could think of an example.

It was a sad silence and I came home pondering the “alleged” Christian Easter message, that God in Christ forgives and reconciles, wondering if any of these people worked alongside Christians, wondering what it will take to give the forgiveness message legs, into our workplaces.

Posted by steve at 06:34 PM

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

how do you sustain a workplace spirituality

On Sunday, I preached on the Bible as a resource for our workplace. I looked at Esther as beauty queen, Nehemiah as urban developer and Lydia as a business women. All were found in hard ethical places and yet sustained a missional spirituality. I suggested the church should be encouraging our young people to be ministers of the gospel in government and politics and business. Halfway through my sermon I thought; “Steve, it would have been really useful and practical if you had some practical tips on how to sustain a workplace spirituality.” But by then it was too late.

So I am on a mission this week to collect resources that would help sustain a workplace spirituality. Here’s my start. What else do you know of?


Posted by steve at 06:22 PM