Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ethics and Orientation

Francois spend yesterday with Carnegie Mellon's first year MBA students supervising a work site around the corner from our house. Given the landscape of today's business world, CMU decided that the first day of orientation for these business students should be about ethics-in-action: an introductory lecture on ethics followed by a day of community service. It's also a great way to connect these incoming students to life outside their new campus home.

check out the story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Long Obedience In The Same Direction.

Although we did not read Eugene Peterson's book by the same title, it's one of the lessons students learned on LDW this summer while we paddled 170 miles on the Georgian Bay.

Sometimes it's not easy to explain to folks how transformation happens in the wilderness. Students often need time to process the intensity of the experience and its application back on campus. Other times it cristalizes in a way that inspires. Here's what one participant said at the end of the trip:

"We learned a lot about many different aspects of leadership during this trip - how to communicate effectively, different leadership styles and when they're appropriate based on the needs of the group, and tons about group dynamics. At first I thought I was collecting a grab bag of skills and knowlegde having to do with leadership or a list of areas I would have to consider in any leadership roles I take on, but I realize now that we were learning a lifestyle - a new level of Christlikeness that I had never seen before. On one of the last nights, Francois introduced us to the idea of 'yada' - to know. He told us it involves identifying what is true and responding to that truth, and the truth is that God loves each and every one of us, that He designed us all fearfully and wonderfully unique, and that He designed us to be known by one another and be in relationships with one another. It is in these relationships that we may image Him, both as a community and in all of our individual relationships. We learn to communicate effectively first and foremost so that we might understand one another, so that we have a more finely-tuned means of knowing one another and also allowing others to know us. We practice different leadership styles so that we might discover how to lead out of our own characters and in a way that best responds to and develops the characters of those we are leading. We study group dynamics because studying a community that strives to follow Christ is studying Christ himself. It's learning how Christ can work through any and every interaction and then just watching him do that. The next time I take on a leadership role, I will see it as the chance to work with a group of people, learn who they truly are, and love them with a Christlike love so they can grow more into who they are in Christ - as his beloved, all while they are revealing to me more of who I am as well. I've seen that leadership isn't about having a certain type of personality or a certain amount of knowledge, it's about relationships and discovering Christ with and through other people, and that's something God created all of us to do.
-Kelly Royer, LDW 2007 participant