Who’s on this episode?
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for most of your life, chances are such that you’ve been offended. Someone has said something or done something directly or indirectly that hurt you. Jeff and Dave are tackling this very issue in the third part of the Building A True Community series.
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The 3 Degrees of Offense
- Bothered – Someone puts onions on your burger after specifically requesting ‘no onions.’
- Offended – Someone calls you a smelly onion.
- Triggered – They throw an onion at your face.
“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer?
Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other.
Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.
So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it.
For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”
10 Necessary Qualities for Building Community (source)
A faculty learning community is a faculty group engaging in activities that provide learning, development, and community. The following qualities guide the design and process of a faculty learning community:
Safety and Trust. In order for participants to connect with each other, there must be a sense of safety and trust. This is especially true as participants reveal weaknesses in their teaching or ignorance of teaching processes or literature.
Openness. In an atmosphere of openness, participants can feel free to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of retribution. For example, in the Community Using Difference to Enhance Teaching and Learning at Miami, participants were able to discuss ways that other participants or colleagues offend them.
Respect. In order to coalesce as a learning community, members need to feel that they are valued and respected as people. It is important for the university to acknowledge their participation and financially support community projects and attendance at related conferences.
Responsiveness. Members must respond respectfully to each other, and the facilitator(s) must respond quickly to their participants. The facilitation should welcome concerns and preferences, and when appropriate, share these with individuals and the community.
Collaboration. The importance of collaboration in consultation and group discussion on individual members’ projects and on achieving learning outcomes hinges on the group’s ability to work with and respond to each other. In addition to individual projects, joint projects and presentations should be welcomed.
Relevance. Learning outcomes are enhanced by relating the subject matter to the participants’ teaching, courses, scholarship, and life experiences. All participants should be encouraged to seek out and share teaching and other real-life examples to illustrate them.
Challenge. Expectations for the quality of outcomes should be high, engendering a sense of progress, scholarship, and accomplishment. Sessions should include, for example, those in which individuals share syllabi and report on their individual projects.
Enjoyment. Activities must include social opportunities to lighten up, bond, and should take place in invigorating environments. For example, a retreat can take place off campus at a nearby country inn, state park, historic site, or the like.
Esprit de Corps. Sharing individual and community outcomes with colleagues in the academy should generate pride and loyalty. For example, when the community makes a campus-wide presentation, participants strive to provide an excellent session.
Empowerment. A sense of empowerment is both a crucial element and a desired outcome of participation in a faculty learning community. In the construction of a transformative learning environment, the participants gain a new view of themselves and a new sense of confidence in their abilities. Faculty leave their year of participation with better courses and clearer understanding of themselves and their students. Key outcomes include scholarly teaching and contributions to the scholarship of teaching.
Thanks for listening. If you like it, share it! Feel free to leave some thoughts in the comments. -J