One of Circle of Hope’s main mantras is “Dialogue keeps us connected and protects our gravity.” We need a healthy dialogue of love at the center of our community all the time, but once a year we really ramp the dialogue up to eleven. We get as many people as possible to participate in a conversation that lasts for a month or more that the Holy Spirit uses to set the direction for our church in what we call our map. We want to do something with everything and everyone that God has given us and we need dialogue to get us all moving in the same direction.
Here’s a video from Monday night’s open meeting where a bunch of groups are working on what we received from each of our cells. Listening to each other and to God, trying to set the direction for our whole church.
The whole process takes boatloads of trust. We trust that even if we don’t say it all, someone else will. We trust that what we feel we have to say is from God and not just our opinion (not an easy skill to hone!). We trust each other to listen. We trust our leaders to carry our ideas into their next form. We trust God to give us what we need to rise to the occasion of our ambition.
But it’s hard! It would be much easier to avoid the problems, keep it nice and steady, ramp it down to our current capacity. If we kept everything the same we could probably master what IS pretty quickly. Then we wouldn’t have to talk that much because everyone would know their place and what they need to do keep it nice and easy. You probably know what that’s like. Most families are like that. A lot of offices are too. And families are notorious for drifting apart; people are notorious for getting a new job. Something has to bind us together more than tradition or profit margins. Jesus does, and it happens through loving dialogue.
We’re going to come up with some great plans for next year through this process, but just as important if not THE MOST important is that we are keeping ourselves connected and protecting the gravity that draws the next person in and gives them a chance to get in on the dialogue with us. Want to join the conversation? Check out a cell in your neighborhood.