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When the Work Doesn’t Come with a Manual

In training, our team of RIH facilitators reflected on the emergent and relational nature of the work ahead of us.

Because all we are about and all we hope to do is rooted in relationship, this work is inevitably unpredictable. Relationships = unpredictable!

Because this work is rooted in the uniqueness of each congregation’s context, it will inevitably take on diverse expressions in particular places. Place-based ≠ “one size fits all” approach!

child's hands building legos

Kristina compared it to her experience building Legos with her 5 year old daughter. What we would like is topick out the box of Legos on the shelf and say – “That’s what we want to build!” – and then set out to calmly and predictably move through each step of instructions. What this process is more like is the experience of a parent and child sitting down with the Legos working to create something new. It requires care, attentiveness and resourcefulness. It thrives with patience and creativity.

The work of being a public church in a life-giving relationship with the particularities of one’s neighborhood is discerned on the go, in real life, and often…one relationship at a time. There is no step by step manual (which would be nice!) But there is the promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance when we create the space for relationships to be fostered that teach us how to show up faithfully as neighbor in our places.