Wednesday, March 21, 2012

appreciative inquiry and mission through Jess’s eyes

I’m speaking on appreciative inquiry and mission with folk in a Catholic leadership formation programme today. In preparation I’ve been re-reading Mark Lau Branson’s wonderful Memories, Hopes, and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change.

And loving this video, young Jessica affirming all that is good about life.

I’ll use this to seque into the theological foundations for appreciative inquiry, in Luke 10:1-12 and in the Pauline letters. But for now, I’m thankful for my dad, my house, my pyjamas …. Yep, you get it, go Jess … 🙂

The Gospel: Luke 10: Where is Appreciative Inquiry in this Biblical text?
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for workers deserve their wages.


  • Peace is shaped by Old Testament concept of “Shalom” – love of God, love of neighbour, love of alien, love of earth. Go looking to bless, looking to affirm
  • Disciples look for response. They don’t force ourselves. But where there is “life”, we stay.
  • Assumes “common ground,” that we are not the only people who desire the wellbeing of our communities.

Letters of Paul: 1 Corinthians: Where is Appreciative Inquiry in this Biblical text?
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


  • Paul writes to a church in conflict. Yet he starts with thanks.
  • It is important to note that each letter of Paul’s has a unique, specifically, different “thanks.” In other words, the thanks (the AI) is specific.
  • As it is specific it can thus only connect as it truely names.
  • Key “problems” in the church (for example spiritual gifts, eschatology) at Corinth are engaged in the “thanks.” Hence its not Pollyanna!
Posted by steve at 08:55 AM

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