Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Group Intelligence

The following article is about the way groups function. The research tends to show that groups, who value collaboration, tend to function at a higher level than individuals. The article also addresses our persistent tendency to focus on the functioning of the individual. I believe individuals can make a difference in any organization to the extent that there is a guiding vision, and that vision incorporates and takes seriously other members of the team.

The simple approach of organizations is often grounded in finding the "right" leader. I believe it is more complicated. The "how" of leadership is probably as important as the attributes of the individual. This is an important lesson for the Church.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent and The Second Letter of Peter

The New Testament reading at Morning Prayer, yesterday, came from the first chapter of The Second Letter of Peter. It begins with a reflection on the grace and righteousness offered through Jesus our Lord. The central theme of the opening bit is that God has given us what we need for life and godliness, but it quickly expands upon that theme, considering an appropriate response.

Our response to God's gift of life can either frustrate of facilitate our participation in the divine will. The Second Letter of Peter offers an interesting and useful way of considering our response, "You must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love." I think we are meant to be in mind of virtue, and the development of virtue, grounded in love. This development is about growing in love and faithfulness. It is a continuous circle.

As we approach the end of our Advent observance, I hope we recognize the unique nature of the gift we are being offered, and that our reception sparks something profound and significant. We are called to appreciate Jesus as the unique, sufficient and complete revelation of the divine love and will. Appreciation is only the beginning of the process of a full and rich appropriation and participation in the life of God, the coming of the Kingdom and the transformation of our hearts and minds. It is all grounded in love.