Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Steve Shoff's "Meaningful Service Initiative"

For Steve's leaders' meeting ("E-quip") he had us fill out a service initiative statement. Here's what I put together after some short thought.

What? (overall idea/vision):

To bring each member of my group to another level of maturity and
connectedness with each other and the rest of the fellowship; to
empower each of them to clarify their own needs and what it will take
to meet them; to empower each of them to pursue their own individual
or collective projects with community, workplace, or church

Why? (reason/purpose/meaning):

We haven't spent enough time cultivating people and their gifts, to
where each person knows him- or herself deeply and knows what he or
she can offer. As a result we have many who do not know what they
really want and feel instead like they are wandering without hope or

Who? (people involved/friends/team):

My "Changes That Heal" discipleship/support group. I also need to
develop relationships with people that will meet my needs more
directly; specifically, strong-charactered men that I respect.

What for? (goals/objectives/aims):

An overall more healthy west region, and more specifically, singles ministry.


I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. I mean, partly I just put something in order to fill in the blanks. During the meeting itself we worked on a "Credo Memo" — an exercise described in the book The Leadership Challenge. The task is as follows: assume you are on a paid sabbatical from your job or group for six months and will have no contact at all during this time. What kind of memo would you leave them with? We worked on it for about ten minutes; I spent the first half of it finishing my Pat & Oscar's BBQ chicken and thinking what to write and then the last quarter of it cleaning off my hands. Unfortunately I lost the paper after the meeting. I'm pretty sure I put something like this though:

Credo Memo

Help people be the best that they can be by: letting them be themselves, cultivating their strengths, realizing their weaknesses, celebrating their victories and mourning their losses. Love several different forms, at several different times, in many different ways.


As I wrote that I kept thinking, the more I write, the easier it is to get too bogged down into details and to place too much emphasis on something, to the neglect of something else. It seems that I am limited to the overly broad term "love" to express my thoughts. I start to appreciate how supremely difficult it would be to write something like the bible, for this reason. I wonder if that is why the book of John can seem so "lofty" sometimes, as if John purposely kept things very conceptual. To those who would criticize the bible for not spelling things out more explicitly — I imagine it is pretty difficult to write something useful enough that the population that benefits from it transcends gender, age, culture, and even historical time period.

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