Monday, October 31, 2011

the white spaces in leader formation

Imagine a page. On it are black marks that make up words.

On it are also white spaces – the edges of the paper and the gaps between words.

Easy to overlook, yet essential for legibility, for clarity, for ease of reading.

Often when we talk formation, we concentrate on the back marks – the topics, the books, the content that needs to be internalised.

But what about the white spaces? If faith is caught much more than taught then what does it mean to cultivate the white spaces of leader formation, to be deliberate and intentional not just about developing and assessing the progress of black space internalisation, but white space formation?

The whites spaces include many things. For me, the list starts with things like mentoring, worship, spiritual practices. What would you add?

In what ways have you seen good practice in regard to the white spaces in leader formation – both in your own life and as you engage with others?

And how might we tend to the white spaces in a dispersed culture, when the academy is no longer monastic or the student’s sole community, but is one of multiple communities they are part of? How does we encourage God and the student’s work across what is in fact multiple white spaces?

Posted by steve at 12:37 PM


  1. thanks! good thought. I keep saying something similar re. liturgy design…

    Comment by maggi — October 31, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  2. Thanks Maggi. Your comment re liturgy design links for me with the notion of curator, which of course links with “white space” doesn’t it – that attention to environments as well as the actual hanging of the art.


    Comment by steve — October 31, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

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