Since September of 2015 we have been testing the first draft of the program with six partners in different settings. This weekend will be the fourth of those six tests. With each test, we have been learning about different aspects of JTT in more depth and revising the program according to what we learn. In some cases, we have learned that the first draft of the program serves participants well and genuinely helps people create space for conversations together about faith in their lives. In others we have learned how we can adjust the way JTT is designed to serve participants better. Overall, we have been fortunate so far in having a positive impact with participants with the program in its first draft.
In other posts I have been sharing a few pieces that we have learned. I have tried to share some bigger items that we have seen in multiple tests so far.
For a slightly more fun way to read the highlights so far, here’s a series of quotes from my brain as I’ve observed the three tests that we have completed:
“Well what do you know, this thing actually works!” “We designed something with college students and young adults specifically in mind, and it seems to connect with them.”
“So you’re saying we don’t all have to agree on everything about faith to have a good conversation about faith in our lives?.. Brilliant!”
“We can’t ask people to leave any part of themselves out of the conversation. I’m glad my program doesn’t do that.”
“Journey to the Table isn’t designed to be overtly evangelical.” “What happens when someone who is questioning faith shows up? Pull up a chair next to me, I have some questions I’d like to ask too.”
“Participants seem most engaged when it doesn’t feel like a lecture.” “How do we get the people giving talks to be more personable?”
“Of course this doesn’t have to be a weekend retreat – everyone already knows how to meet once a week.”
“We’re not trying to tell people all of the right answers. How do we do a great job of inviting people to talk about interesting questions of faith and life? That’s a more interesting conversation – at least to me.”