Entering a New System

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eModule Description

The Bible is full of stories of people who journeyed to new lands, adapted to the culture, and became an integral part of the community. Think, for example, of Ruth and of Joseph. God was with these journeyers throughout, and while becoming part of a foreign culture the journeyers stayed true to themselves and their God. As ministry personnel enter new ministries, they too must find ways to stay true to themselves while becoming part of the culture of their new communities of faith. Similarly, when new members become involved in a community of faith, they bring their personalities, values, and preferences and their presence changes the community.

This module is intended to help participants understand that communities of faith are living systems and that the way new people enter the system can have a substantial impact on their ministry. This module provides some tools for new leaders and their communities of faith to get to know each other, and learn about the community of faith’s history, culture and expectations.

The total time to complete this eModule is about 60 minutes: 30 minutes of video and 30 minutes to complete the Reflections. We recommend that you then engage in a conversation with a group from your community of faith who have taken the module (at least 90 minutes).

You will also automatically be joined to the Entering a New System Forum to chat with others who have enrolled in this eModule. Click the Community menu link and navigate to the Entering a New System eModule Forum to participate.

What You’ll Explore


Understanding communities of faith as living systems - 8 videos, 1 worksheet


Using the JoHari Window to gain insight into your own place within the system


The Quadrilateral of Evangelism as a tool for understanding your community of faith


Ways to ensure spiritual care for ministry personnel and lay leaders

If you are planning to engage this eModule with an in-person group, you can download and print these resources ahead of time. Otherwise, you may disregard them for now since the images and worksheets will appear in place as you work through the topics.