Mark Lau Branson's Class Blog

Student participation in Fuller Seminary classes

Archive for February, 2012

Memories, Hopes & Conversations

Posted by Mark Lau Branson on February 14, 2012

Leadership, according to Alan Roxburgh, is about creating spaces and environments in which the people of God can discern God’s presence and initiatives in their lives, among their neighbors, and in their contexts. This is not the work of experts but rather a way of life among the everyday people in our churches. Keys to this work include how we ask questions, receive and interpret the stories and perspectives we hear, and then shape experiments for next steps. Memories, Hopes & Conversations (Alban, 2004) explains the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry. “The theses of Appreciative Inquiry is that an organization, such as a church, can be recreated by its conversations. And if that new creation is to feature the most life-giving forces and forms possible, then the conversations must be shaped by appreciative questions.” (xiii) The book walks through one church’s “AI” process – explaining assumptions, modeling steps, and describing outcomes. (A followup book is currently being edited which will provide stories about how AI was used by several churches to change their relationships with their neighbors and contexts.) Student discussion here will focus on essential assumptions and attributes of Appreciative Inquiry, theological and biblical parallels, and why it might be generative in their churches.

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