Friday, November 08, 2013

Leadership formation days

All around us at Uniting College is change. So much of it that at times I find it hard to keep on track of.

Back in July, we introduced changes to our Leadership Formation Days (announced here). Building on the past, we decided to try in our Leadership Formation Days to focus more specifically on practices and storytelling. Leadership Formation Days (currently) involve Uniting Church candidates for ministry and those in discernment. Prior to 2010, they occurred weekly on a Wednesday afternoon for chapel, community and colloquium input.

With a move to more dispersed training models and Candidates in context and at distance, we needed to find a different rhythm. So we shifted in 2011 to monthly on a Monday, all day. We kept chapel and community and offered a range of topics considered topical.

Another shift began this semester. We’ve moved from topics to practices. We opted to explore the practices (10) essential for mission-shaped spirituality. (Drawing on Susan Hope’s Mission-shaped Spirituality: The Transforming Power of Mission). Each time we gather we take a particular practice and over our day together, explore it in more depth, with a particular focus, on what the practice might mean for us as life-long learners and effective leaders in mission today.

Rather than work through them in the order from Mission-shaped Spirituality: The Transforming Power of Mission, we opted for a most challenging basis. This involved an initial introduction to all 10 practices and as part of that, the question – what practice challenges you the most? The results have shaped how the order.

So the shape of our final leadership formation Day for 2013 – with a focus on being bearers of the message – was as follows.

9:30 am – Missional Practice – Tim Hein – Being message bearers – the habits that shape and sharpen “message bearer” ministry

11 am – Morning tea

11:20 – Communities of trust processes in groups in S1, chapel, common space – Introduction including reflection of practise as a disciplines that read us, read our community actions.

12:20- Chapel with special guest Malcolm Gordon leading

1:10 – Lunch

2:00 pm – Storytelling one – Julie, an ordinary evangelist – a great example of a message bearer – using Skype. After the story, reflect in groups using a regular set of questions to engage and deepen insight.

2:45 pm – Storytelling two – Saint story told by Steve Taylor – Parikaha story as an example of a community as a message bearer.

After some adjustment over the last few months, all that initial trying out of new things – story, group processes – there was on Monday a real sense of depth and engagement. The mixed modes of input – teaching, storytelling, chapel, discussion, food are throwing up some lovely patterns. A highlight for me has been the storytelling – inviting new voices among us. We’ve used a mix of local, national and international guests and heard some great stories of God at work. A change, one of many, that is working it’s way nicely through our life.

Posted by steve at 06:11 PM

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