Have you heard about best-selling author, Brené Brown? She is a researcher who listens to stories- lots of them. Over years of listening to people's lives, emerged recurring themes of guilt and shame, scarcity and vulnerability, empathy and creativity, authenticity, whole-heartedness and courage. What Brené heard surprised her, even frightened her. If what she was hearing was true, it meant she needed to make some changes in her own life if she was going to experience whole-hearted living.
Brené began to share her findings and her own struggles with change, first in a TED Talk, then in books. It struck a nerve. Her TED talks are some of the most watched in history. Her books* have become best-sellers. She has been consulted by such disparate groups as the Pentagon (in trying to crack the code of PTSD) and Pixar (releasing and enhancing creativity).
Have you ever noticed that the Bible is full of stories, too? You don’t have to listen too long, before you also begin to hear some common themes about shame and guilt, scarcity and vulnerability, empathy, authenticity, creativity and wholehearted living. Some of these go by other names, but the underlying lessons are remarkably consistent. I believe our communities and our churches would benefit from and people’s lives would be changed by, integrating Brown’s insights and the truths of scripture.
That’s why I am so excited about our Fall. We will be using some of the insights from Browns most recent work and integrating them with the lessons of the Bible, in a series called “The Daring Life”. We will have a set of materials and discussion questions for our LIFE Groups, and with our new Sunday schedule, we’ll be offering an Adult Class @ 10:45 that complements and extends the sermon themes. The more I work on this material, the more excited I get.
But it gets better...
We are going to kick-off the series by hosting a two-day workshop, called “The Daring Way” on October 9 & 10. Brown understood that the implications of her research needed to be worked out in ways that went beyond books and lectures. She took a year off to develop a course and then train and certify instructors who could work with smaller groups of people to present, explain and apply these findings. My good friend Rich is one of those instructors. His presbytery recognized that what Brené was talking about had deep implications for churches and the ways we try to live out the gospel. He is coming out to lead the workshop that weekend.
You can find out more information from our website, but briefly:
- The Workshop begins Friday evening, October 9, and extends to the afternoon of October 10, here at New Hope.
- The materials have been prepared by Brené and there will be plenty of video material from her, but Brené is NOT leading this event. As with all other of the Daring Way events across the country, it will be facilitated by a licensed and certified instructor. Our will be my friend, Rich Gantenbein.
- Because of the nature and structure of this event, participants are asked to be present from beginning to end.
- The cost is $25, and includes your materials, desert on Friday and lunch on Saturday. You can register here. This is an early-bird rate and after September 20, the cost goes to $35.
- Childcare is available at a very reasonable rate and should be arranged directly with Jordan.
- The good news: this event is open to the public and we hope members will feel free to invite neighbors, co-workers and friends. Brené is well known (her latest book, Rising Strong, was just released) and people outside the church will likely know of her and be interested in finding out more about her work.
- The bad news: Brené is well known and we are limited to no more than 150 people.
- This event lays a great foundation for the Daring Life series, but it is a standalone event. The materials presented there are unique to this event. The sermon series will also use some of the insights from Brown’s work, (books, lectures and video presentations) and integrate them with the truths and insights from scripture. They are related, and even build on one another, but are still separate and stand on their own.
- This would be a great event for couples to attend together- or even a whole LIFE Group might want to attend together. I can’t think of an experience that will deepen their life or equip them to care for one another better, than The Daring Way. The good effects will only multiply.
The registration site is up, the word is out and I wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible. It’s going to be a great event and I hope you’ll be part of it.
We used Brown's book, The Gift of Imperfection as one of our Summer Book Club selections, and copies are still available at the church. We'll also have copies available of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong.