Thursday, January 3, 2008

Take a stand

When I was an RA in college we had diversity training. As a part of that, we did an exercise called “Take a Stand”. We all stood in a big circle and a moderator read statements. If we felt the statement was true for us, then we took a step into the circle and after about 2 seconds stepped back out and waited for the next statement. It was a silent exercise, except for the moderators. At the end we sat down and talked about how we reacted. Many of the statements were race, gender, and class related. I’ve used it in other settings and tweaked it as necessary. I’m leading a young adult retreat this weekend and have designed yet another version of it. I’m posting it here both as a resource and as a work in progress. If you have other statements you think I should add, please post a comment. If you think this, or a version of it, would work well for your group, feel free to use it and tweak it as necessary. (They are in no particular order)

· I am a child of God

· I’ve been changed by my relationship with Christ

· I was baptized as an infant

· I was baptized as a child or adult

· I have doubts about my beliefs

· I have wondered about the divinity of Jesus

· I have doubts about the virgin birth

· I consider myself a faithful Christian

· I am willing to be challenged in my beliefs

· I use spiritual disciplines to grow closer to God

· I believe in the power of prayer

· I wonder how prayer actually works

· I wonder if I’m a “good enough” Christian

· I have been embarrassed to share my faith

· I have missed a chance to talk openly about Christ

· I have been compelled to help someone in need

· I believe faith makes a difference

· I believe God can use other religions to reach people

· God has done things in my life I think are worth sharing

· I believe in the power of Evil

· I believe in the devil

· I have been forgiven

· I have sinned

· I don’t feel I’m worthy of God’s love

· I consider myself an evangelist

· I have a role model to follow in my faith walk

· I believe the Bible is the word of God

· I believe the Bible is inspired

· I know what God wants me to do with my life

· I have not asked God what God wants from my life

· I am waiting on an answer from God

· I believe God has a plan

· I believe I have free will to follow God’s plan or not

· There have been times when I’ve chosen not to follow God’s will

· I care about the future of the world

· I believe I can make a difference

· I care about the future of the church

· Worship at my church is meaningful for me

· I have stopped attending church regularly

· Most of my friends are practicing Christians

· I’ve done things I otherwise wouldn’t because of peer pressure

· I pray at restaurants

· I wish there were more people with whom I could talk about my faith

· I pray regularly

· I practice Sabbath

· I have a prayer partner

· I have an accountability partner

· I came to this retreat expectant for what God has for me

· I came to this retreat for fellowship

· I came to this retreat for a chance to get away

· My soul is full of joy

· My soul needs to be replenished

· I want to leave this place different than when I came.

Some follow up questions (this can be done with a large or small group and if you have a large group, feel free to break up for the discussion questions...): What question were you surprised by? Which question were you encouraged by? What response gave you pause? Which question stuck with you? Which question made you want to change something in your faith life? Which question challenged you? Is there a part of your faith you want to share with the group?


John Meunier said...

That is a long list.

Do you go through all the questions?

Meredith said...

Hi Deb - We met in Chicago two summers ago, remember? A couple weeks ago, I went looking to see if you had a blog, and I discovered that I was your quote of the day! I'm so pleased to run into you in the blogosphere!

How did the YA retreat go? I like your exercise. It sounds like something I would enjoy. How did the participants react? Here in WV, people don't seem to think that faith invovles the freedom to ask some of the questions you ask. I hope it went well!

Deb said...

I did go through all the questions. I sometimes wonder if the list is too long, but really it went well, and it gives folks various things to grab onto. we had folks from a gamut of beliefs and I think most folks found it helpful. We had a good discussion.