Ends development with the congregation
ENDS DEVELOPMENT -- This is a World Café process for congregational engagement in developing Ends statements. It is based on a process from . "World Café" Conversations are an intentional way to create a living network of conversation around questions that matter. A Café Conversation is a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue, sharing knowledge and creating possibilities for action in groups of all sizes." -- Thanks to Helen Foss, First Unitarian Church, Wilmington, Delaware for this outline.
Café Conversations Design
WELCOME & Background Information - 10 minutes - Brief explanation of Policy Governance; Explanation of "Ends" and how draft ends were developed; What we want to accomplish today & why your input matters. Invite Questions - 5 minutes
TABLE CONVERSATIONS to anchor connection to the church
Question 1. (4 minutes to write and 6 to share=10 minutes) - What is it that you love about your church?
Question 2. (staying at same table with time to reflect, then share=10 minutes} - What are the most important things that First Unitarian can do or be?
Reaction to Draft Ends Policies
Move to other tables for three rounds of table conversations:
First round, focus on "mega" Ends statement - 10 minutes
Second round, focus on Policies 1,2,3 (then move) - 20 minutes
Third round, focus on Policies 4,5,6 - 20 minutes
For each round of table conversation, first reflect on the following two questions: 1) Does the ends statement support you in allowing the church to touch your life? 2) How does this match your vision of what we can be? Then discuss your responses with your group, writing the following on chart paper: STRENGTHS: List key aspects CONCERNS: Identify gaps. What is missing? (Depending on the size of the group, these charts can be hung for sharing at the end.)
DEBRIEF experience (possibly back in the original group, then together=15 minutes) -- What did you hear from others that surprised you? What did you find in common? Does what you have talked and thought about today lead you to engage in the church differently?
CLOSURE - 10 minutes -- Thank participants. Reiterate next steps (taking all feedback into consideration and process planned for refining Ends draft)
---A followup response---
I use this process in my business all the time - have used it with groups of up to 2000. It has never failed me. It is important to have some music and to have flip chart paper for doodling. Four to a table works best if you can do it. I find the most powerful understandings come if you go back at least once - with the model suggested here I would go back at least twice to the "home table" so you can see what are common threads and interesting questions being asked. I also prefer - a preference thing for sure - to let the first conversation be very undirected - just explain policy governance, ends and let them talk about any reaction first - you get important and powerful stuff and people get to share any fears, resentments as well as hopes and dreams without too much structure. Then go to the more focused questions. Just my ideas - for what they are worth. But I agree it is a wonderful, energy giving, inclusive process. -- Carol Houseman, Houseman Consulting, www.housemanconsulting.com