One of the things about Jesus that is rather striking is his use of questions. It appears that questions, rather than answers, are the way Jesus enters into the life of our world. The question which arises is why might this be so?
While theories abound of how change can take place in the life of a person and/or organization, one thing does appear to be certain: it happens to the degree that we begin with seeing things for what they are rather than what we would like them to be. As an example, this motif is woven into the very fabric of Leadership Foundations’ work for the social and spiritual renewal of cities. Citing Stanley Hauerwass, the central argument in the LF book, Cities: Playgrounds or Battlegrounds? Leadership Foundations 50 Year Journey of Social and Spiritual Renewal, is that you can only act in the world that you see. This presumes a process that requires telling the truth about ourselves and the world we live in before we can get to the world we hope for. And, perhaps this is the answer to why Jesus makes such great use of questions: it is the most effective—perhaps only—way to discover what is going on so we can get to a place of behaving differently going forward.
For the past three months and extending through the end of August, LF has had the great opportunity to engage The Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespangroup.org) through a project we titled the Advancement Plus Project. The Bridgespan Group, one of the premier nonprofit consulting groups in the world, is asking LF one central question: What organizational shifts from the current state are needed for LF to achieve greater impact? Through looking at LF data sources, facilitating interviews, and reviewing foundational documents, an assessment is being made of what is to create the space to focus on what could be.
Jesus embodied these theological truths of seeing what is so that we can begin to imagine seeing what could be. In similar fashion, LF’s Advancement Plus Project is helping LF see what is so we can begin to imagine, plan and work toward what could be in order to create greater impact in our work of the social and spiritual renewal of cities around the world.