This morning, after having been through about six hours of the Critical Concerns course, I realized that I had been attending the wrong course. Not that it's not the one we paid for - it's just doesn't have the same goals we expected it to have. We expected to learn about how to build a leadership team, cast vision, equip the team to serve, etc. Boy, were we wrong. This morning it finally sunk in that it wasn't that Mark just hadn't got to that stuff yet -- he wasn't going to. The time was to be an experience in improving communication and group dynamics. Now that I look at the description on the web site I see some of that coming through:
Imagine a day when your leadership team embodies the reality of the gospel—when personal issues and agendas are overshadowed by a corporate calling, and when students are drawn into community. Imagine a day when you understand, love, and encourage each other, where vision and ministry are developed collaboratively, where all of your team is contributing fully with their gifts and with passion—a day when you are doing ministry in ways you never dreamed of. It's not a dream, its Gods intent for how we can function as people in ministry. This highly interactive & experiential course is one giant step towards this new day. Come together as a team prepared to be disturbed, inspired, pushed, enlightened and—changed. This course is designed for youth leadership teams of three or more.
Anyway, today was largely about practical ways to improve communication in the midst of conflict. Mark used a volunteer and had the volunteer carry on both sides of an imaginary conversation with a person with whom he has conflict. The volunteer also commented on the conversation from a 3rd-person perspective.
During the experiential time, rather than actually doing the activity, Jeremy and I talked (about the topic at hand), I wandered around looking for the free coffee (to no avail... what's up with that?), I bought some coffee, and I caught up with my girlfriend for a few minutes. Sorry Mark.
We picked up on some of the different points of view that came up yesterday about the whole positive intention discussion. Today Mark finally said that one could/should tell students that when they do certain things they get robbed of God's good plan for their life. I think that brought some unity on the topic at hand (not that that was necessarily the goal). But the idea that one would never tell anyone they should not do something is disconcerting. I understand grace, and encouragement, and that we don't live under the law. Being able to call sin sin is different.
Mark the Conservative
Mark claimed that he is probably more conservative than most of the people in the room, and that his purpose wasn't to teach us but to give us room to process things.
Mark vs. Eminem
I feel like that the idea of 'teaching' things only to get you to think, even though they may not be true is not unlike Eminem saying that he doesn't mean the things he says in his songs, it's just entertainment. The analogy definitely falls apart, but there seems to be some relation. I don't really believe/mean that, I just said that to make you think/entertain you.
I appreciated my Critical Concerns course with Mark. I feel like we can probably take home some of the strategies for healing team dynamics. Like I said, we expected something totally different. Really we're trying more to build our leadership team up than we are in a state where we have a bunch of conflict to work through, I think. Maybe we'll get pointed to some resources to help us do that this weekend.
- It'd still be cool to have an Irish accent
- Read descriptions of seminars before you sign up