I uncovered in graduate school, and now practice almost every day, the deeply held belief that when adults gather together, “the answers are in the room.”
My favorite adult education professor would tell you “the answers are in the room” means that the rich experiences which shape the lives of adults gives us the capacity for outstanding problem solving and the ability to see into our settings and know far more than we initially deem possible.
At a recent VantagePoint3 Enriching Retreat in Green Lake, Wisconsin, I witnessed this depth when adults work together. More than 40 adults who care deeply about their churches and people, confirmed once again that “the answers are in the room” but much more than this. They confirmed the evidence for the Spiritual Kingdom that is already alive in the hearts of believers.
Let me explain.
At the close of the second full day we were processing together what we were each seeing and learning. I was leading the group through pretty complex layers of reflection on individual spiritual growth, care for others, and care for our church settings. I asked everyone to simply write down on an index card what they were seeing and learning while the session was finishing up. We wrote in silence.
What was written on those index cards was beyond my wildest imagination. And it was beyond the concept that “the answers are in the room.”
The “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16) was revealed through the hearts of God’s people in the words I read. There was deep genuine desire to faithfully follow and serve God. There was surrender to God and acceptance of self as a beloved child of God.
There was deep concern for others and how it is that we can more intentionally and carefully connect, communicate, invite and care for those in our midst.
There was acknowledgement that our settings are all unique, but we are walking together in the same direction as participants in this Spiritual Kingdom that is already established in the hearts of believers. We can make a difference in our settings. We notice a lot and we have a part to play.
I believe we underestimate the potential for spiritual answers in our earthly settings. I believe we rely took heavily on programs and institutions to offer answers and wisdom. And I believe as followers of Christ we have the capacity to see and hear God’s simple direction for us when we slow down and pay attention.
I close with these “answers” from a room that you were not physically inside… but perhaps they will resonate today in your setting. Be encouraged… “the Kingdom is among us.” (Luke 17:21).
God seems to tier/layer his work with us.
First individually, then others, then our settings/churches.
We must trust this trickle through experience and realize our role in it.
There is a measure of quiet and solitude
that reveals the action of God in our midst.
It gives us an energy and focus for the work we desire to do. Without which we ramble and are void of purpose and intention.
There are people being left out.
And connect and invite some more.
Ask good questions.