Creative Questions

On Wednesday, I will have my second interview with my dream church.  Yes.  That means the first interview went really well.  There are no red flags -- which in itself is a red flag for the state of chaos that is most familiar to me in the call process.  Nevertheless, I have a a second interview on Wednesday.  This interview is once again on Skype, but this isn't a normal interview.  My preparation is not only on those basic reminders about interviewing.  This time, I get to lead the interview.  In the words of the search committee chair, "do whatever you want."

I feel I must be creative.  It can't be your average series of questions and conversation.  That would be ordinary.  That wouldn't set me apart.  More accurately, that wouldn't be me.  I like to do things outside the box and this is a perfect opportunity to make that apparent to the search committee.

So, there are some obvious limitations.  It's on Skype.  They sit in a room where they are far away from the camera.  They didn't move around in the last meeting.  They are obviously healthy enough to do so -- but I'm not sure how to use that space when I'm not physically in it too.  There's a time limit which I would expect.  I'm not sure that I could do much more than a 90-minute interview myself.

With these things in mind, I'm pondering how I might be creative in my interviewing.  They've just emerged from a visioning process and are really excited about their new vision.  I'm considering what it might look like to do some visioning together with some of the things that I dreamed of doing with the church I currently serve.  That sounds like it's rushing ahead to the end of the first year of my settled call there, right?  Yeah.  That's why I'm not so sure.  It would have to strike the perfect balance so that the focus is on learning how we innovate, how we might work together and how the congregation does planning.  I need to look through my visioning materials some more.

I'm also considering asking each of the 8 committee members to bring an object that represents change in their church.  (It could represent something else but I'm leaning toward change as I'm really interested in where it is that they want to go in the next 10 years.)  Of course, I would also bring an object too.  With these objects, we'd make our journey together asking what these objects mean, how they relate and how we might use these objects to work toward the change that we imagine.  I can tell you what my object would be.  I will bring the stole that was given to me by a friend in seminary that chose not to be ordained.  He's gay.  He's Presbyterian.  Those are not the only reasons -- but he wasn't ready for the fight.  He didn't feel called to prove his worth.  So, he gave me his stole to wear in protest (as I had done many times in seminary) for the very things he dreams of in the church.  This exercise would really be about making connections to see where our ministry would go together.  My fear in this is that it would totally flop. And then, do I default to a list of questions?  Arg.

I need your help.  Brainstorm with me.  Please.

1 comment:

Susie/Nuevacantora said...

I think this sounds fascinating. I hear the "jumping ahead" piece, but since they *just* finished the visioning process, it seems more like an invitation to tell you about that. I think it also sets you up as someone who wants to listen to them, and not just talk about yourself for 45 minutes, definitely a good thing.