Here's another come-and-go community build workshop, this time to help adults at a regional meeting for a mainstream denomination envision a future. We offered a choice of two challenges: "It's ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW, and the Church is THRIVING. Build (1) WHAT it looks like or (2) HOW it happened." Below are some of the resulting models, with summary titles,

When we use play, such as the Lego® Serious Play® methods and materials, to move a group toward reflection, agreement, or action, we don't impose our meanings. Nor would we expect a few models to give us a definitive answer for Future Church. But it is possible to take the meanings of these individually-built models and see three themes: embrace of uncertainty, love, and rescue.

  • For the WHAT challenge, there's a recognition and embrace of ambiguity, uncertainty, and diversity--it's okay to have an imperfect table, or a good pirate, or ALL the people including half a person. But there's also agreement on love--simply love, or as the Trinity--as the foundation.
  • As for the HOW challenge, that involves reaching out--with bridges or ropes--into the unknown and rescuing people.
  • Finally, in the models in the bottom row, there's both wonder and amazement, as well as an appreciation of the nuts and bolts of actual life. 

We've found that continued reflection on the rich details of the models and their stories allows people to perceive other, more subtle themes. At the same time these models were being built, attendees discussed the future, and came up with a list of ideas--those ideas are related to, but different than, embracing uncertainty, love, and rescue. LSP® doesn't replace that discussion, but enriches it.