If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

nextchurch and the waterbug

Attending NEXTchurch this year I heard two themes - collaborative leadership and risking failure - that reminded me of something I experienced only three days earlier...

I watched intently as six 3rd and 4th graders excitedly performed a skit to "sell" their bug-attracting pest crusher and then loaded nearly 300 pounds on it to crush their imaginary bug.

What I was watching was the culmination of nearly six weeks of weekly kid-collaboration, to fulfill the challenge #4 of this year's "Odyssey of the Mind" contest: "Tumblewood."  Basically, they had to design a small structure made of only balsa wood and glue, roll it down a ramp and over to a weight-bearing platform without touching it, then load as much weight as possible on it until it broke.

This group of six 3rd and 4th graders (and several hundred others like them from our part of the state) all collaborated, tested, and tried multiple structures until settling on one. They added creativity and expression, and included everyone on the team, and they bonded as a team over the weeks of meeting. What was even more amazing was seeing thousands of kids come together for the district event and seeing this played out with greater and lesser degrees of "success" - but with a stunning degree of community, trust, and teamwork.

Odyssey of the Mind invites a beautiful synthesis of creativity, expression, ingenuity, teamwork, collaboration... and RISK of FAILURE.  My daughter's team had to go through a number of designs before settling on the one they used.  In fact, Odyssey of the Mind so encourages creative exploration and risk of failure that they have a special award for it, called the "Renatra Fusca Creativity Award."

"Renatra Fusca"

This creativity award is "presented to teams or individuals who exhibit exceptional creativity, either through some aspect of their problem solution, or an extraordinary idea beyond the problem solution.  A successful problem solution is not a criterion for winning the award; rather, the award is a way to acknowledge and encourage creative thinking and risk-taking."

Did you get that?  One of the highest special awards is given to someone who exhibited extraordinary creativity, even if the result was (apparent) failure!  (The reason for the name is a fascinating story worth reading!)

"The Church and the Waterbug"

What if the Church (whether local, presbytery, or PCUSA) not only offered grants, lifted up, and shared stories of success for creative and collaborative communities of faith, but also rewarded, lifted up, and shared extraordinary stories of creative risk (and even failure)?  I've heard more than a few groups encourage risk-taking, but might we actually enable creative movements and groups to take the risk and share lessons learned?


Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth