(this post continues the testimony from Lorna Koskela, Missioner in Finland, about VIRTUAL BANDS. You can read the rest in the December e-News. Click here to subscribe: subscribe to the e-News)
1) TRUST is important and so the golden rule in the virtual band, as in any band, is what is shared in band stays in band.
2) The Inspire RHYTHM of discipleship really helps! Click here to read more: http://inspiremovement.org/movement/vision/rhythm-of-discipleship/ Our band has chosen to have a two weekly rhythm. We reflect on a question for a week on our own, where we are. Then over the second week we relate to the others what we have observed by ourselves. This is then unpacked more by the others in the band. Finally we resolve to do something in response and our band members remind us of this in different ways.
3) GOOD QUESTIONS really help. Asking and answering Inspire-type questions helps us to reflect more deeply. In the past six weeks each of us has shared one question each, which we have reflected on for a a week or two beforehand. We will then take the fruits of our reflection into band – and see where God takes us!
4) Being intentional about our COMMITMENT to be in band together is vital. In practice this means: i) Taking time to reflect on the question on our own and writing down our thoughts, feelings and questions that are raised. Journaling is a really important tool; ii) Sharing succinctly. Limiting ourselves to the one thing that really jumps out from our reflection helps focus both our sharing in band, and also our ability to ‘listen well’; iii) Being open, both in the asking of questions and in the answering. Sometimes our reflection is that we aren’t yet ready to open up more and that’s ok because it can take time to process thoughts and emotions and then relate them to others. However being in band means that we will come back to that question sooner or later – in other words you aren’t off the hook forever! This accountability to each other for our behaviour, our thinking and our relationship with God, others and the wider world, is the key to band helping God’s transforming work in us to stick!
5) BEING HONEST. The virtual world is no different to the natural world, in so far as God is God, and we are who we are. At every stage of the discipleship journey we have to be on our guard against our desire to put on masks and pretend things are different to what they really are! Being in band challenges us to the core because we are committed to sharing life as it is, as it really is! Whether it’s our relationship with God, our relationship with others or the wider world, or indeed our relationship with the spiritual practices that have been given to us to help us as disciples, we need to be open and honest with each other.
If you would like help forming a band, and/or would like to know more about Inspire Virtual Bands, do get in touch with us: email@example.com