Reflections on the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly

This past weekend I was at the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly with a display sharing about the Daring Way™ for Faith Communities.  I had so many great conversations with church leaders about connecting our faith and courage – it was so fun to imagine and plan with the pastors, council members, and parish nurses who stopped by about how this will support their ministries!  

One of those who stopped by was our keynote speaker, Brian McLaren.  I was thrilled, grateful and immediately drawn to his kindness, humility, and servant nature.  Those were my thoughts when he was presenting to over 500 people and when it was just us talking for a few moments.  What a blessing this man is!  

Brian McLaren talked about God having downward mobility and how community is expressed in the tensions between what he termed the public and the individual in his keynote.  It was great fun to listen to Brian, especially after reading his books.  He’s the type of man I’d love to go on a walk with and talk about all the connections between his writing and journey of faith and Brené Brown’s research and how it connects to faith.

If we were on that walk maybe we’d talk about - 

Because God has downward mobility, we can give ourselves permission to stop hustling for our worthiness.  How does our theology and Scriptural interpretation support or challenge connection?  

Because so much in our culture connects the public to the individual but sidelines the community, developing critical awareness and cultivating hopeful churches is really important.  Then we’d talk about the fascinating interplay between the neurobiological traits of hope and how that connects to Scripture!

Brené gives us the great language of vulnerability as the path to connection, innovation, faith, accountability.  In Brian’s writing there is the great capacity to hold tension in compassionate love and responsibility to greater social good.  How in church leadership are we encouraged to practice vulnerability?  How is vulnerability in leadership misunderstood?

This walk could go for several miles!  And I imagine others would join in along the way.  And that’s the point – to walk with each other, exploring the things that matter together, clarifying, having the a-ha’s, and becoming a stronger community in faith.  

Let’s get out our walking shoes!