Courageous Conversations Are No Longer Optional
Amy Butler, Senior Minister of The Riverside Church, New York City goes on to share her reflections from hosting a conversation that included Brene Brown.
My job as host last Thursday was not to contribute any deep wisdom to the conversation; if you saw the event you already know that their exchange was so deep and intense that there was very little possibility I would succeed at even interrupting them. Rather, I was there to prod the conversation along if needed, to offer questions from the viewing audience, and to listen intently …
… which was what I was doing when Brown responded to a comment by McKesson: “There’s not enough preaching in the world that can make people change their hearts.”
I was startled when I heard it. I am a preacher, after all.
“There’s not enough preaching in the world that can make people change their hearts.”
This is a jarring comment for a preacher to hear, especially when we’re engaging issues that are so deep and raw that nobody is sure their best efforts at anything — protesting, policy change or even preaching — can make even a dent in the scar that America’s original sin has left on our individual and corporate psyches.
But here’s the strange thing: I’m a preacher … and I agree with Brené.
There is not enough preaching in the world that can make people change their hearts, and preachers who are under the illusion that theirs might, have a bigger problem on their hands. We live in a country where rhetoric of any kind is not doing the work of changing peoples’ hearts, but instead serving to more deeply entrench us in opinions we already hold and to polarize us in positions even further away from each other than we imagined.
We’re going to have to do more, to move past talking (even preaching!) and into the messy and painful work of deep conversation held together by real relationship. In fact, it’s increasingly my conviction that this may be the heart of the faith community’s work in this moment: building authentic relationships upon which these difficult conversations can rest.
The full post / article is here.
I love it that so many of us are growing courage and clarity together to connect, not just as nicety, but as bedrock for facing these times that we live in. In churches. In communities. In organizations. In ourselves.