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

Activity 1: Tapping Out of "Fake Fights"

(15 minutes)



  • Arrange for a participant to read Tapping Out of “Fake Fights” aloud; you might provide them with a copy of this reading in advance.


Have the participant you chose read the story to the group. Then, point out examples of fake, or proxy, fights that Ladd names: disagreements about by-laws at the annual meeting, or paint colors, or whether and how to speak out on public issues. Ask participants to identify any fake fights that have roiled their own congregation. What conflict was the fake fight a proxy for?

Next, ask them to name instances of conflicts that led to better, more faithful decisions about the congregation and its mission. Allow a couple of minutes for reflection.

Ask participants to consider how untended or broken relationships contribute to fake fights. Ask how attention to relationships could support conflict that generates healthy change.

Repeat the closing part of the story:

The real fight beckons—the real conversation about our history, our identity, our relevance, our resistance. The world does not need another place for like-minded liberal-leaning people to hang out together and fight about who’s in charge. The world does not need a place where you or I or any of us is going to get what we want.

What the world needs is a movement like ours to step more fully into our higher calling; to serve as an instrument for encounters with one another, with the holy, and with the world, so that we might love more fully, and speak more truly, and serve with greater efficacy.

Invite participants to begin thinking about how we might develop the capacity to do just that.