Notes from Dr. Beth Grant's session

I'm back in Mesa at Dawn's house. We stopped at Mimi's Cafe on the way home and now we're with our husbands and I'm sitting here on the couch watching Dawn cook (she doesn't want my help) so I figured, hey this is a great time to blog Dr. Beth's notes from the conference as well as I can. I say that because this was so deep, so powerful...please don't just go by my notes and do yourself a big favor and call the national women in ministry office and order the CD. But for now, while you're waiting for your CD to come to you in the mail...

"A Called Community"

Speaker: Dr. Beth Grant

  • We must grow in community where growth and transformation occur.

  • We must speak the truth in love - grow up - Ephesians 4:15-16

  • The problem is - in our western culture, most of us were being nurtured and trained for independence.

  • We train our children to move away out on their own.

  • We believe healthy humans are independent.

  • We are encouraged from birth to achieve individually.

  • We believe healthy people are autonomous.

  • So....we in ministry start to take on the attitude, "It's MY ministry"..."MY department".."MY vision..."

  • The majority of the rest of the world grows up in community.

  • We need to be trained in interdependence.

  • In the rest of the world, decisions are made as a group.

  • We must ask the Father BIG and unapologetically. Our culture is in bondage and we are taught not to ask. We must stop praying trivial prayers.

  • We must ask for the nation!

  • This is reciprocal. Ask God largely but expect Him to ask of us largely.

  • There are 2 main ways of looking at "self". There is "I Self" - the western self...(diagram of a circle, nothing can penetrate it.) There is also the "We Self" (a circle that has spaces in between -- semi permeable; can give and take without challenging the integrity of self.) I know, you had to be there to understand this and I don't have my scanner right now to give you her diagrams...

  • What happens when you put two "I Selfs" together? We spend our time trying to protect our sense of self.

  • Putting a whole bunch of We Selfs in a room is NOT community!

  • It is hard to leave a church when you have a bunch of We Selfs.

  • When you have truly become one it's hard to walk away.

  • Abraham's community and call - Genesis 12:1-2; He was in a we-self culture and God said go. For Abraham this was a great sacrifice. Realize, it's not an individual call - the group will pay a price. Sometimes people won't understand...

  • Paul did not go it alone - he said, "we are laborers together..."

  • I Cor 12 - interdependence of the body.

  • What is gentleness or kindness or love if I don't have anything to do with anybody?

  • It's so easy to be spiritual if you don't have anything to do with people.

  • Galatians 5:22 - the fruit of the spirit requires relationship.

  • Goal for women's ministers- an increasing development of "Christ-self."

  • We need an increasing realization of growing into the interdependent body of Christ.

  • American women are in bondage to self consciousness.

  • Does your victory depend on the scale?

  • If we get up to minister and we are self conscious everyone else will also be conscious of us.

  • Biblical community is not a luxury. It is critically essential.

  • Look at all the people in ministry who have walked away...they have had no one speak into their lives. Without that we are vulnerable to discouragement, imbalance, pride, etc.

  • We need two people who we look to as mentors - 2 people who are peers, and 2 people we are mentoring in our lives at all times. (She had us write these people down on a paper and decide who those people were going to be in our lives.)

  • Stop the competition - we are sisters.

  • Don't ever stand back and said, "I'll wait and see if she makes it..."

  • With these relationships we have to work with what we have. Some of these are long distance relationships. Use e-mail, phone calls, etc. The point is - just do it!

  • The characteristics of a nurturing community - giving AND receiving.

  • One word of warning - without the submission to the work of the Holy Spirit, this model (2 mentors, 2 peers, 2 mentees) can become selfish and we can gather these around us for self promotion...beware of this...

  • Nothing worse than a minister full of themself. Guard against this.

We ended the service with communion...very powerful and I'm still savoring it. I hope you've enjoyed my messages notes although limited to my notebook and pen (didn't bring the laptop downstairs to the ballroom - thought that would be kind of cheesy since not one other person did and besides with the way my fingers fly at 130 WPM clicking on the keys it would be a bit destracting to the tables around me. Ha! Ha!) To fill in what I missed, order the CD's. There are more workshops than I could list here because we could just select one but you can listen to them if you get the CD's.


Anonymous said…
Thank you Sista!
I love the point she made about self promotion and nothing worse than a minister full of himself! I definately see her point and once she also told me that if we have a chip on our shoulder about the "woman thing", it will show.

If there's one thing that stands out about my dh it is that he's very humble and does not brag at all (to colleages or church folk). It's a little hard on his family...sometimes. How so?
He doesn't brag on us either and sometimes the silence can be misinterpreted by critical people who "read into" the silence (with their own assumptions or projections). Many times I have been picked-on (since I am the extroverted one and transparent)and he's a meek man. Most people know I won't say anything either.
Having two humble people is hard.

I have had to coach dh that we teach people how to treat us by what we tolerate and that someone needs to take leadership in modeling how he wants his spouse treated by others and how people should view his family.

Dh also had to "grow" in letting people honor him or give him focus for his work ethics. He's been a big blessing to this church we pastor! But at first he wouldn't let us do things that hi-light his success and it was hard for him to receive big gifts too. It took a decade to break him of this. He's extremely conservative when it comes to the www and sites that are self promoting. He doesn't like his family on them. He doesn't like "name dropping" and exaggerated successes. He is very humble, but he had a hard time letting others honor him or give honor to his family for their many sacrifices. Ministers can be proud yes. Nevertheless, being too humble is the other extreme. This balance act has been a work in progress our 14 years as SP's.