I so enjoyed one of my colleagues yesterday speaking to “Round World Strategies.” There were eight of us meeting via Zoom (yes, it looked like a Brady Bunch window). It was an important time to clarify essential bits of information for them to present to their board to propose a 9 month learning leadership cohort for United Church of Christ clergy and lay leaders. There’s lots of good details about timing, location, the invitation, the kind of people we are looking for, format, etc. But what we needed was a story. Round world was it.
When we think that the world is flat, it changes our thinking, right. I imagine those living in that time of world view. “Careful not to go to far — you’ll surely fall off of the edge into an abyss.” The perception of edge taught us to be careful about how far we might venture. Can you imagine sailing into a horizon, falling asleep on that boat, not knowing if you would fall over the edge in the middle of the night? Or trekking out onto the flat plains imagining that there was some point of drop off where it all ended. Brave, right. The discovery of a round world changed that. Amazingly so.
My colleague was naming the significance of a difference in a simple narrative that could hold the distinction. For them, it is about how to change church so as not to drop off of an edge into an abyss or decline into irrelevance. It is a world view layer of shift that is needed, and that is needed by those in power and with resources. The eight of us were not dreaming up just another event. Not a place filler. Not more flat world strategies. Not something to do because we all have oodles of time and don’t know what to do with ourselves. This is about changing the way church is done. And the way that people access spirit within, among, and divine. This is about enough intention and focus such that we might just have us looking back in 10 or 20 years to the time when it all shifted.
That layer of shift requires a story. Round world. Fingers crossed that they can invite the board into that story with honesty, simplicity, and spirt. It would be quite a journey together, trepid and courageous friends together.