Just last week I enjoyed the company of Christian educators at the 2016 National CEF (Christians Engaged In Faith Formation) Conference in Nashville. After participating in teaching, communities of practice, conversations, worship, workshops, table life, and laughter on the lawn, we finished the last day with an hour of response stations. Outdoor stations, enjoying nature, and giving hands-on responses to gather our thoughts and feelings before worship and returning home. These were those stations:
Response Station #1 – Kind Hands TV TRAY, STAND UP FRAME
We are called not only to ‘pray without ceasing’, but also to pray with our whole selves. How we use our bodies when we pray shares what is on the heart of the person who is praying to God. The KINDNESS that comes from God tells us we belong to His family. We must be KIND because we belong to Him.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
While standing, rub your hands together gently as if you were putting on lotion. Make sure to turn your wrists in all directions and touch all parts of your hands – between your fingers, the back of your hands, and even your wrists.
Share with God as you rub your hands, “Thank you, God, that You are kind when you ______ and ______ and ______. Help me to be kind when I ___________. Amen.”
Additional Resource: Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy With God by Doug Pagitt and Kathryn Prill
Response Station #2 – 10,000 Reasons TV TRAY, CLOTHESPINS, CUT PAPER & CONTAINER/BASKET, BIG FRAME, STANDUP FRAME
Let’s COUNT our blessings!
“For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find, …to bless the Lord, O my soul. Worship His holy name.”
Write (or draw) a blessing from this week at CEF. Clip it to the frame with a clothespin.
Additional Resource: Counting Blessings by Debby Boone and Gabriel Ferrer
Response Station #3 – Praying in Color TV TRAY, STANDUP FRAME, FABRIC RIBBON CUT INTO 4-5 INCH STRIPS & CONTAINER, SMALL FRAME
Take a strip of fabric and as you tie it onto the frame, share with God your regrets over the last year. Make a conscious decision to let it go and move on. You may also choose to give thanks for lessons learned.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Additional Resource: Praying in Color: Drawing A New Path To God (Active Prayer) by Sybil MacBeth
Response Station #4 –Psalm 23 TV TRAY, STANDUP FRAME, 15 OIL ROLLERBOTTLES IN CONTAINER/BASKET, PSALM 23 BOOKMARKS
Anointing sheep’s heads with oil shielded them from annoying and even deadly insects, so anointing became symbolic of blessing, protection, and empowerment.
Using the anointing oil, anoint yourself (on the back of your hand, on pulse points, or on your forehead) and recite the 23rd Psalm.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20
Additional Resource: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller
Response Station #5 – Bubble Wrap Worries TV TRAY, BUBBLE WRAP CUT INTO STRIPS, 2 CONTAINERS, STANDUP FRAME
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom
God loves you and knows the desires of your heart. He also knows what you think can keep you from fulfilling His call on your life as you use your gifts and graces back home.
Take a strip of bubble wrap and pop the bubbles as a symbol of giving your worries over to the One who has called you, will equip you, will go before you, will never leave you, and will teach you along the way.
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthews 6: 34
Additional Resource: Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel Chand
Response #6 – A Fresh Word TV TRAY, KIDDIE POOL, STANDUP FRAME, BAG OF SAND, GLASS BEADS IN CONTAINER, FINE SHARPIES IN CONTAINER
Play in the sand with your hands and fingers.
When you choose a word to take with you in your heart, write that word on a glass bead and take the bead with you as a reminder of ‘the fresh word’ you received this week at the 2016 National CEF Conference.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Additional Resource: Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century: Engaging All Ages & Generations by John Roberto
Response #7 – In Memory PVC PIPE STAND, FISH NET, WHITE TABLE CLOTHS, 2 COLORS RIBBON, STANDUPFRAME, TV TRAY, BASKET FOR RIBBONS
We all follow the saints of our journey. The saints who plowed the fields before us. The saints who spoke truth into our lives when we didn’t want to hear or maybe didn’t know to listen. The saints who have gone on to Glory, yet their influence upon our own calling lives on in us. We are their legacy.
Tie a ribbon in the net as you give a prayer of thanksgiving for the saints of your journey who have gone on to Glory, yet their influence continues in you.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell
Response #8 – In Honor (SAME STATION #7 AS ABOVE, ADD ON)
We all share in influencing others for the cause of Christ. We teach, we lead, we speak, and we pray. We laugh, we train, we offer an effective hand off to those coming behind us. They are our legacy. They are the lives in whom we speak truth and influence to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.
Tie a ribbon in the net as you offer a prayer of hope for those who you are influencing to answer the call to carry the banner of Christian education.
“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” Kenneth H. Blanchard
As you end a growth event, like a conference, how do you process on the last day to gather your thoughts and prepare to return home to implement what you’ve gleaned and learned?