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

Activity 3: Working and Coping Styles

(15 minutes)


  • Paper and pens or pencils for all participants


  • Ensure that participants have appropriate surfaces for writing.


Distribute paper and pens or pencils. Read aloud this scenario:

The board of your congregation has just asked you to be part of a new seven-person committee to work on an issue of great importance to the congregation. You have agreed to serve. The charge to the committee is unclear to you, and the board has not chosen a leader, instead telling you to choose a chair from among the group. The night of the first meeting, all seven of you assemble in a room at the appointed time. What would you do under these circumstances?

Tell participants that they have three minutes to reflect on the first two or three things they would do at this hypothetical committee meeting. Prompt them by asking, “Might you sit back and listen first? immediately volunteer to chair the committee? dash out of the room for supplies? start a brainstorming session? something else?”

After three minutes, invite participants to move into groups of three and share their ideas.

After participants have spent 10 minutes sharing in triads, invite general comments from the group about the experience. You may prompt discussion with these questions:

  • In what ways did you and your conversation partners respond similarly to this situation?
  • In what ways did your responses differ?
  • To what do you attribute your different approaches?
  • Where is self care in this scenario? Where should or could it appear?
  • What are you noticing about the patterns and tendencies that are part of your personal leadership style?