Recently, I had the opportunity (thanks to my bud Matt Guevara) to sit in on and join the conversation with other local kidmin people tackling the topic,
"How can we become better story tellers?"
My regular readers (all 5 of you ... on a good week) know this isn't something I typically concern myself with. I'm usually much more concerned with being biblically accurate and understood (as if those who attended aren't), and making sure what I teach fits into the time I have. I'm more concerned with WHAT is be taught (information) and less about the HOW (making sure the audience is engaged and entertained). I rationalized this by coming to the (false) conclusion that the information was more important than simply "entertaining" my students.
Right from the start I felt like a fish out of water. These were leaders from larger churches. Some seemed to be more artsy and entertaining than I'll ever be. Their philosophy of ministry and how they "do" church is different than how I do it. Even though I have that philosophy in my church background, I obviously have been gone long enough that those thought patterns needed to be dusted off. More than once during our 2 hours together, I had the thought, "What am I doing here?" As I spent a good chunk of time thinking it through over the rest of that day, God reminded me. Here are the 4 reasons I'm glad I participated:
I don't know it all
I don't have it all figured out. I don't have all the answers. Maybe if I did, I could've run a similar discussion ... maybe. There are still things I can learn and people I can learn them from.
"All of us are smarter than one of us"
(ASIDE - I attribute the above title to Craig Jutila. I don't recall if he came up with it ... although I wouldn't doubt it ... but he's where I heard it from; therefore he gets the credit.)
The group was made up of: both sexes, diverse ages, and even somewhat diverse ministry contexts. This made for an awesome group dynamic. The longer the conversation when on, the more the ideas started to play off each other.
Take what you can use
Not everything that was shared applies to my ministry context and/or philosophy ... and that's ok. But some of it does and will. So now I have the task of reviewing my notes and figuring out how to implement it.
There's value in learning from other tribes
This is EXACTLY why there are churches of all shapes, sizes, denominations, and philosophies. And this is EXACTLY why we should be networking with them. While it's true there probably won't be value in all, it's been my experience that there is tremendous value in some. All it takes to find it is a little discernment.
In the end, I'm glad I participated. Hopefully I was able to add at least as much as I learned. Thanks for the reminder that not only can I work on my weaknesses, I should be as well.