The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kin-dom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (Matthew 18:3-5)
How can we become a Church that overturns injustice and empowers people on the margins of a community? To lead a Church that can make a real impact in the world, we need tools that can dismantle oppressive power structures and access the truth of our experiences. These tools must help us address the ego-centered ways we’ve learned to live so that we can become — as Jesus urges — “humble like [a] child.”
This Saturday, March 11, LDI will run a training on team coaching and nonviolent communication. Our morning session on coaching will be taught by Natalie Finstad, LDI's Executive Director, and will be limited to participants in our “Be the Church” Formation program, who will be gathered together for the first time since our kick-off in January! In the afternoon, Lydia Strand, LDI’s Program Director for Praxis and Contemplative Programming, will lead a session on Nonviolent Communication, and the Formation participants will be joined by several people from outside the six-month program.
Coaching works from a deeply theological perspective. Rather than simply offering solutions to another person, coaching uses exploratory and sometimes agitating questioning to unearth the power of God’s Spirit that lies within each of us. Coaching can be practiced between peers and it is a way for members of a team to develop a sense of vulnerability and shared power as they develop one another’s capacity for leadership.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a practice that allows individuals to get in touch with their own needs and feelings, and convey the reality of their experience without judging other people. NVC equips us to confront conflict in a loving and empathetic way, cutting through our learned narratives, assumptions, and habits. By teaching us to access what is alive within us and make requests that address our needs, NVC allows us to return to a child-like place of humility.
This workshop will take place at St. Mary’s, Dorchester, which currently has two different teams going through the “Be the Church” Formation program! We are so grateful to St. Mary’s for sharing their space, and we are thrilled by all the ways LDI can collaborate with their community.
Our March 11 training is an exciting opportunity for LDI to share important and empowering skills with our participants. As we continue in this work, it is humbling to imagine the kind of Church we can — and will — become.