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Activity 3: Choices Leaders Make (25 minutes), Workshop 5: Fated To Be Free

In "Harvest the Power," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Review Workshop 4, Activity 4, to be comfortable with the concept of "adaptive challenge."

Description of Activity

Engage participants in brainstorming a list of the kinds of choices that congregational leaders make. Invite them to include all kinds of choices, from practical to philosophical to spiritual. Record their ideas on newsprint.

Present this definition of "adaptive challenge":

An adaptive challenge is one which requires developing the organizational, cultural and spiritual capacity to meet problems successfully according to our values and purposes. It often requires clarification and integration of competing values.

Comment that in the Chicago case study, leaders had to meet an adaptive challenge.

Draw the group's attention to the brainstormed list of choices and invite them to decide which constitute "adaptive challenges" for the congregation — challenges that presented choices to leaders.. Acknowledge that the group may not agree on which of the choices are adaptive challenges. Mark the items which the group agrees are adaptive challenges.

Then invite participants to work in groups of four to select one adaptive challenge to consider together. Tell them:

To face an adaptive challenge, leaders have choices to make, such as "Is this the right time for the leadership and the congregation to consider this challenge?" In your groups, name some choices leaders might make and the choices the congregation might make in meeting the challenge you have selected. Consider how you as leaders would draw on your faith in leading a congregation to meet this challenge.

After ten minutes, ask the small groups to report back to the whole group. Then, invite general comment and discussion.

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Last updated on Saturday, October 29, 2011.

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