Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Harvest the Power, 2nd Edition: A Lay Leadership Development Program for Adults

Activity 1: Turning Points

(30 minutes)



  • Read both stories. Choose one for this activity. Decide whether you might ask a volunteer to read the story aloud, or plan to read it yourself. You may wish to provide a reader with a copy of the story ahead of time.
  • Write on newsprint, but do not post:
    • Thinking back, what events or people were part of that turning point?
    • What challenges presented themselves?
    • What gifts and skills emerged from the congregation’s leaders and members that helped navigate that time?
    • When did the leaders realize that the event in question was a turning point? When did the congregation realize it?
    • Did the congregation’s leaders affirm a “we” culture? If so, how did that affirmation make a difference?


Gather the group, and ask them to listen as a participant reads a story aloud.

After the reading, invite participants to recall a time in their lives when an action, event, or chance meeting sent their lives in a new and unexpected direction. Allow a minute for silent reflection.

Invite participants to share their stories with another person, explaining what happened and how their self-perception changed. Tell them that each person will have about three minutes to share. Encourage participants to practice deep listening, allowing the other person to tell their story without interruption.

Ring a bell or chime when three minutes have passed and again when the second three minutes have passed.

Reconvene the group. Invite participants to think of a word or phrase that captures the essence of their experience. Wait a minute for people to think of their word or phrase, then ask each person in turn to share it with the group.

Invite participants to consider if their congregation has had turning points in its recent history—moments that pointed to a whole new set of possibilities or a whole new direction. Post the questions you have written. Lead a discussion that invites reflection on those moments.