Saturday, August 01, 2015

PamBG's Blog: Faith Sharing

I'm going to start our 1st faith sharing group with this blog post I just found responding to Fr. James Martin's suggestions about the practice in his book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, written by a Methodist pastor, you can see her blog at:  PamBG's Blog: Faith Sharing

05 September 2010

Faith Sharing

I am currently reading The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, SJ.

In the book, he talks about a practice in the Jesuit community that is called "faith sharing". I immediately recognized this process as the one we used when I belonged to the Ignatian lay community called the Charistian Life Community.

Many Methodists talk about reinstating the original Methodist classes and many people wonder what they might do in such a "class" when they gather to hold their fellow members accountable in love. My own experience of "faith sharing" (I didn't know of this term until I read the book) was that it was the most profound experience of fellowship and growth in faith and prayer that I have ever had. And Fr. Martin can explain it better than I can, so I offer his words here: 
Every Sunday night in the novitiate our community gathered for "faith sharing," which meant speaking to one another about our spiritual lives: where we had experienced God in our daily lives and what our prayer was like.

There were two rules. First, everything was confidential. Second, no comments were allowed after someone spoke, unless it was a question asked to clarify something.

The first rule made sense. The second seemed ridiculous. Early on, when people expressed their struggles, I wanted to say, "Why not try this?" If someone talked about being lonely, I wanted to say, "Knock on my door." I couldn't understand why the novice director wanted us to be silent.

Gradually I realized: it was so we could listen....

Gradually I grew to love faith sharing. When my fellow novices, as well as Gerry and his assistant, David, shared about how they had experienced God in the previous week, I was fascinated. What a wonder to see how complicated these men were and how much they were all trying to grow in holiness, trying to be better men, better Jesuits.
I've wanted to write about my experience in CLC for a long time. But it's hard to write about because it's so simple. I personally found the rule of "no talking except to clarify" to be rule that made the entire process work and I think that many people find it a bit silly. But here is what I found:

* When no one can tell another that they disagree with his or her experience of God or that the speaker has got their doctrine wrong then people begin to be totally honest with each other.

* When no one interrupts others, the speakers don't get desperate to talk more in order to be heard and the listeners actually listen instead of worrying about what to say.

* The Spirit of God does move to challenge people and hold them accountable without any human in the group needing to don the mantle of Spiritual Rule-maker.

* When people are really honest about what is genuinely going on in their faith-life, the group members grow to love and appreciate each other and to understand their challenges.

In my experience in CLC, neither accountability nor faith-sharing required a human police(wo)man to make sure everyone was on track. God managed just fine without human intervention.

I'm not an historian of exactly how Wesley did things, but my hunch is that this format would work well for many accountability groups in our time. But the urge to make exceptions to the second rule really does need to be resisted at all cost.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Startup Show

Watch each Friday, 10 am MDT or via unedited recording here until the edited version is posted a day or two later. Guests on the show meet with us in the afternoon at the SBCC Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Praxis, more info and optional RSVP at To be a guest on the show call (303)861-1447

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rise of the entrepreneur.


Management Science

I remember the late 60s and early 70s when there was talk of "management science" sparked by Fredrick Taylor and his concept of the "one best way."

We've learned that is just not how humans do well.

So why is it that those involved in business startup seem to be thinking of the one best way to start a business? Understandable for the government to think that way with the Small Business Administration.

But why others? Seems like everyone from university programs on entrepreneurship to local chamber of commerce programs all talk about doing market research, writing a convincing business plan, finding investors, although almost no small business actually gets off the ground using those tools.

That's why I say I'm a recovering MBA, much of what I learned in graduate business school has had to be overcome to be helpful to people who want to start something new.

Want to talk with me about this? Post a comment here, watch The Startup Show Friday mornings, or when you are in Denver let's get together at the Denver IDEA Cafe Praxis. For more see 

If you did formal market research and formal planning before your first sale, I'd very much like to talk with you. I've been talking with people who have started successful businesses for over 20 years, you'll be the first I've met that did it that SBA-way.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


An Episcopal priest Bruce Youngquist became a good friend. He taught me many thing, maybe the most important had to do with today's gospel, the feeding of the 5,000. 

An interesting commentary is on 

I responded with a comment on the author's website 

Is the feeding of the world every day any less of a miracle?