“In an ideal world, the congregation becomes adept at [Courageous Conversations], and they become the host for conversations in their community. The dream here is that people start saying, ‘I don’t know what else they do in that church, but they seem to be really good at talking to one another about hard things. We can’t get anything done in the city government, so we’re going to go ask the church to come help us…'”
Allen Hilton in Sally Hicks of the Faith and Leadership project interview with him about House United.
The biblical prophet Isaiah has a splendid little line that makes it into an old spiritual, “I ain’t a gonna study war no more.” Isaiah famously says, “[Many peoples] will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2.4)
In American culture, we’ve trained for our culture wars for so long that the ways of that war are instinctive to us — emphasizing our differences rather than our commonalities, oversimplifying the nation into two sides rather than a wide multiplicity, waxing certain about things that are far from sure, dismissing someone and stomping away from conversation after seven words if we disagree with what we hear, and characterizing our opponents by their most extreme voices. It’s time to stop training for war. In this piece Ron Blankenhorn helps us train for unity instead. Do you have the 7 Habits of Highly Depolarizing People?