Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems 2. to increase in value.
In-quire’, v., 1. the act of exploration and discovery. 2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities.
-from A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry by David L. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney.
There is a wonderful organizational model called Appreciative Inquiry, or AI. It is defined by David Cooperrider, co-author with Diana Whitney of A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry, as “the search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.”
With this in mind, I thought you may enjoy an exercise of Appreciative Inquiry taken from Gary Simmons work. One that is just for you…that will enable you to answer the question for yourself in your own life. Who have I come here to be?
So pull up a chair, grab a pen, and answer the following appreciative inquiry…
Step One: Make a short list of individuals – personal heroes or persons you admire. They could be living or dead. Each must possess qualities that you value or attributes you wish for yourself.
Step Two: Beside each person, briefly list the qualities you admire in them. The quality answers why this person is on your list. For example, if one of your heroes is your husband, beside his name you might write “strength,” or “persistence.” Use one or two word phrases to identify the attribute or quality, such as “compassionate,” “faith-filled,” or “trustworthy.”
Step Three: Circle up to seven themes you notice in your Attributes and Qualities column. For example, you may have the word “compassion” listed several times. Compassion then represents a theme. Place up to seven themes representative of your list on a new list.
Step Four: Look at your list of themes. These reveal who you have come here to be. You may want to write these down on a 3X5 card under the heading, “This is who I have come here to be” and place it where you can see it each morning.
These are the qualities that you came here to be in our church and in every aspect of your life. As you and I express what we came here to be, we grow in consciousness and in good. Thank you for you!