What I’ve Learned: Summer FieldEd 2009

Use and work in partnership with the people around you. They are a priceless source of valuable information and know more than you do. Always assume that the person you are talking to knows more about something than you do. We all have our specialties, interests, and expertise. You always have something to learn. People around you are a resource; use them.

When you enter someone’s home, you are entering their privacy. Respect it. Respect them. If they offer you something to drink: Always accept (especially water) it helps them in their hospitality, and if you are conducting an interview or doing a pastoral care visit, you can time the visit by how quickly you drink. Use it to slow down and listen. Seek an understanding of the mystery in each individual.

When you write a survey or conduct an interview or have a casual conversation, use words appropriate to the audience. Do not use Silly Power. If you find that those around you seem to be confused, change what you are saying. There is always a different way to explain yourself, if you get stuck in a single lexicon group this only shows your wider cultural ignorance, and you are crippled when you are talking to a wider audience.

Let those whom you work with know your focus, dream, and goals. Let them help you with them. Be clear. Be open. Be explicit.

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2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned: Summer FieldEd 2009”

  1. I have similarly learned several lessons.

    1. Ask questions if you don’t know or need something clarified.
    2. Always look closely at people before you “call on them” for prayer requests for the pulpit. The guy putting his arm around his girlfriend is NOT asking for prayer.
    3. People give weird compliments. Take them. And take the good ones, too.
    4. Sometimes your words and actions mean more than you think they do. Accept it. It’s a grace, and the Holy Spirit living in you.
    5. Maybe the most important thing we do is hold people’s hands and pray. Not that God isn’t there, but maybe we remind them by our very presence that he/she is.

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