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The Next Faithful Step

Week 3: Health

CF565: Empowering the People of God

The Leader As Learner

    1. Learning How to Learn
      I am going to ask you to read an article by Chris Argyris about what prevents experienced leaders from learning.  It is our tendency to hide from our weakness – to blame other people rather than to admit our failings. I will provide you with a link to the article and a Word document with my study notes on the article.

      1. Read Chris Argyris, "Teaching Smart People How to Learn" (Harvard Business Review)
      2. Reflect on the article with the Study Notes
    2. Learning to be a Minister is like Learning to be a Surgeon
      Atul Gawande describes what it is like to learn to be a surgeon. I would love for you to read the whole article.  But I know many of you do not have time. So I include a summary of the article below. Please read the summary. And perhaps that will entice you to read the whole article.

      1. "The Education of a Knife" Atul Gawande {my summary of his article}
      2. "The Learning Curve" Atual Gawande {this is the original article from the New Yorker that he later published in revised form}
    3. If you are going to get better, you will have to take a different approach to your own failings.
      1. Read "Formative Assessment"
      2. Read "Temporary Incompetence"
    4. Preparing for what? Most of you are preparing to lead.  What does that mean from a biblical perspective?  Listen to John Goldingay's take.
      1. Read this article, "Is Leadership Biblical?" [Word doc] by John Goldingay
      2. And watch this video: John Goldingay on Leadership 

The Vocation Of A Leader

Please read the following twenty-four page article where I put together a number of the themes that we have already seen in this course and introduce a number of other themes we will see later.  The article is the draft of a chapter I was writing and then decided not to publish.  Because of that, there are missing references and unfinished transitions.  But it should introduce a number of issues for you.

      1. Read "The Leader's Vocation" (Word doc)
      2. Themes and Ideas that we will use in class
        1. Practices
        2. Defensive Reasoning
        3. Fear
        4. Pride
        5. Belonging

Role Conflict

I introduced the idea of role conflict in class last week.  Let's review it.

    1. Types of Role Conflict
      1. Person and Role: My person and my role are in conflict when I bear a responsibility or have a commitment in my personal life (e.g. I am committed to being at my daughter's choir concert or I am committed to the Christian ideal of grace) and it is conflict with a role in my public life (e.g. I have to be at an all-day board meeting while my daughter is singing or I have to enforce the letter of the law when I would like to practice grace).
      2. Role and Role: My roles can be in conflict.  For example, I sat on my presbytery's committee evaluating candidates.  One time a candidate was assigned to me as a mentor.  The roles were sometimes in conflict when we were evaluating him.  As his mentor I wanted to be his advocate.  But as the vice-chair of the committee, I was supposed to be impartial.
    2. Listen to one Fuller professor talk about Role Conflict
      1. Kara Powell on conflict between her private role as a mother and her public role as a professor
      1. Kara Powell on conflict between roles
    1. Extended Example
      1. We will each watch an episode of the television show "The West Wing" in order to see how role conflict can play out in the life of a leader.  I will have you watch the episode and then reflect on one of two scenes.
        NOTE: If English is not your first language or if you would rather read the episode, the script is available online here.
      2. To watch the episode, it will cost you $1.99 on Amazon. The episode is from Season One of The West Wing.  It is called "Take this Sabbath Day." You can find the episode here.
      3. Once you have seen the episode, reflect on all the instances of role conflict that you can find in the episode. Let's focus on two scenes.
      4. Please write a 500 word reflection (to be turned in alongside your regular weekly paper) about ONE of the two scenes:

Reflect on how Toby feels conflict between his beliefs as a Jew and his role as a counselor to the president.

Reflect on how the president is trapped by role conflict.  His personal belief conflicts with his duty as president.

Case Study

There are two case studies this week. Each deals with role conflict.

      1. Read "Catherine the Single Mom" and "Stella the Deacon".  You will write your weekly paper about one of the two cases--your pick.
      2. Biblical Resources
        1. Esther
        2. Jeremiah 2 [Word doc] by John Goldingay
      3. Theological Resources: Baptism
        1. Read "Baptism Stories"
        2. Read "We Believe"
        3. Read "Baptism" by Linda Peacore

Writing The Paper

Before you start thinking about the reflection paper, take some time to think about how role conflict plays out in your own life.

    1. How does your role as a student conflict with your roles at home? Or at church?
    2. How does your role as a Christian conflict with any job you might have?
    3. How are your personal roles in conflict?  For example (if this applies to you) how does your role as a spouse conflict with your role as a parent?  How does your role as a boyfriend/girlfriend conflict with your role as a child?