Preaching proclaims. Faith-based facilitation demonstrates!
Since March of 2008, my wife and I have been sharing karios moments in ekklesia with beautiful people at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee. The experience has been so amazing that I wrote a book about it that was reviewed in the September 2016 issue of War Cry USA. They called it “ground breaking”.
Now I have just discovered a booklet, Building Deeper Relationships using Faith-Based Facilitation, published by The Salvation Army International Headquarters. It confirms and matches much of the nontraditional way we worship at Berry Street.
“There is therefore never a time when we do not need to be recalled to our roots as an Army, never a time when we do not need to seek a new vision of the possibilities that are open to us today.” –General John Larsson
“Faith-Based Facilitation (FBF) is a way of helping people think, talk, explore and respond to their issues in the light of faith. It results in the development of healthier people and communities who enjoy deeper relationships.”
“General John Gowans, captured the need for Faith-Based Facilitation when he said: ‘We must continually review what we are doing and why we are doing it.’”
“Remember the Holy Spirit is sometimes a ‘disturber’ as well as a ‘comforter’.”
“The starting point for Faith-Based Facilitation is the appreciation of the many assets, gifts and resources that people have in themselves, their families and friends, and their community. Every person – rich or poor – has unique gifts and abilities which need to be recognized and affirmed”
“Faith-based facilitation deepens relationships, helps people care for others and transforms the world God loves. It helps people connect their faith with their actions.”
“Effective, faithful leaders have always been careful to listen, consult and encourage participation when seeking to respond to the challenges and opportunities around them”
“Salvation Army facilitation teams have learnt four important things to remember in a home/community visit – Stimulate, Appreciate, Learn and Transfer (SALT). In other words, encourage people to talk (stimulate), listen to and value their perspective and resources (appreciate), learn from their experience, situation and ideas (learn), capture their learning and share it with people in other communities (transfer).”
“Unexpected ideas can occur at any step of the FBF process but especially during the times of reflection, evaluation and decision. People of faith can often sense God at work in these moments. A ‘Kairos Experience’ is the term used to describe these occasions. Kairos is a Greek word that isn’t easy to translate into other languages – it means something like ‘God’s moment’ or ‘the right time’. Such flashes of inspiration may come when we are not actively seeking them. New insight may also happen gradually and not necessarily at a specifically defined ‘moment’. FBF understands these experiences to be the work of God. Christians find the Bible, prayer and times of reflection can stimulate and lead to a Kairos experience.
“Being properly heard and understood helps people feel valued and cared for, and tells them that they really matter. This is one of the best gifts we can give someone, especially someone who has lost hope. Even if there is very little we can do to help in practical terms, our gift of compassionate listening can soften the pain and suffering.”
“Techniques for good listening may help but on their own they are not enough. Good listening begins in the heart!”
“There are different ways of listening to the wisdom of the Bible in relation to facilitation and reflection on ‘what we do and why we do it’.”
“AN EFFECTIVE FAITH BASED FACILITATOR • Shows interest in everyone • Listens carefully • Encourages participation • Is well prepared • Shows respect for others’ views • Is patient • Is flexible • Is open minded • Motivates others • Uses a variety of tools and approaches • Keeps the process in place without controlling the outcome • Admits and learns from mistakes • Has an ear for Kairos experiences • Encourages people to explore Bible stories.”
“A LESS EFFECTIVE FAITH BASED FACILITATOR • Likes to be in control • Demands answers • Hurries things along • Judges • Is insensitive • Talks a lot • Forces his/her opinions on others • Thinks s/he knows best • Has a fixed plan • Gives most attention to the loudest people • Ignores quiet people • Sticks rigidly to a time table • Is anxious about using faith resources.”