Experimentation and Learning: Evolution in action
If communities are to keep themselves from becoming fossilized, they must find new ways to evolve. To become a learning community it will be essential that you feel safe with one another. You’ll need to feel safe enough to admit that you do not have all the answers, a difficult acknowledgement for educated communities. You’ll need to be more tolerant of mistakes and view these more as learning opportunities, rather than as failures or flaws. You’ll need to have the freedom to fumble in trying out the “new.” You’ll need to let go of your need to look accomplished and professional and become instead neophytes and novices again experimenting with new approaches.
A spirit of experimentation and inquiry along with trial and error learning will be essential. A different approach to mission and ministry will be important. Trying out new community life forms and structures as well new forms of membership will be important. Walking the talk in a new way, trying out new behavioral patterns more congruent with values freshly claimed will also be important. Experimentation with new values and concomitant behavioral patterns will be essential if refounding is to become more than just words.