“Friendship and love are impossible without a mutual vulnerability.”
Great doctors of the church appear in the generations of the faith. Henri Nouwen is certainly one of those who provided powerful insight and guidance to the faithful.
Before the research demonstrated it, Nouwen experientially knew that fostering an enviroment where it is safe to be fully present, and share one’s honest self is the root of friendship and love.
Whether we are trying to bring vitality to our congregations or tackling racism, developing a community of mutual vulnerability is essential to our success.
On this page, you will find a growing collection of resources that you can use to help grow a healthy, legitamate, and mutual vulnerability in our churches.
Sermon & Bible Study Ideas
Vulnerability is not a Biblical term but it is a profoundly important concept in the Bible. What would our faith be if God was never vulnerable, if Jesus was never born, if Jesus never came to serve? Below you will find some helpful passages and lessons. For more information on Focus and Function statements, call our resident preaching professor, Rev. Chip Hardwick, PhD. You can reach Chip at The Synod of the Covenant.
A Place at the Table
For just and unjust, a place at the table,
abuser, abused, with need to forgive,
in anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy,
for just and unjust, a new way to live,
and God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace:
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice and joy!
Glory to God, #769, verse 4
The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.
This book comes highly recommend by Elder Joani Brode.
Joani writes, “As I was listening/watching your message this morning, I immediately thought of a book I’ve read by Molly Baskette- Standing Naked Before God: The Art of Public Confession. She describes using a time of personal confession before the congregational confession as a way of allowing our vulnerability be a method of comforting the newcomer as well as those in the congregation who have issues they are afraid to talk about.”
Healthy vulnerability is built when people feel they belong.
Healing Care Ministries
Recommended by Pastor Kathleen Adams
Over the past decade or so many of our leaders have learned, grown, and healed by participating with Terry Wardle at Healing Care Ministries. Sometime we are not ready to be mutually vulnerable as a church because we are too wounded. If you need help healing on your journey, let us know. We can help cover some of the costs.Healing Care Ministries
Developing a healthier culture in our congregations includes sharing key language. It may be helpful to teach and regularly share key phrases in Christian community.
Everyone has a seat at the Lord’s table.
Everyone has something to offer.