By Carrie Bare and Steve Stuckey

Attentiveness Six Hour Workshop

This workshop consists of eight sessions, including a meal break. The outline listed below suggests time allotments for each session. feel free to make adjustments to fit your situation. Handouts that can be downloaded are also provided.

Session One- Introduction- 30 minutes

Welcome and Greetings to the team members

Goals for the day

  1. Give definition of Attentiveness
  2. Identify the benefits of attentiveness and the dangers of distraction as it relates to our mission.
  3. Practice attentiveness exercises
  4. Give them time with Jesus
  5. Help them develop a plan to be more attentive during the Fall Semester.

Do this:

  1. Ask members to read the definition of attentiveness.
  2. Group brainstorm/ sharing on the benefits of attentiveness and the dangers of distraction.

Handout:What is Attentiveness.pdf

Session Two- Scripture Study- 90 minutes

The Good Samaritan and Mary and Martha- The Gospel writer Luke put the story of the Good Samaritan next to the story of Martha and Mary. Why? Is distracted, overwrought Martha an example of what can happen to folks who take the Good Samaritan story seriously? Is Martha the Good Samaritan who cares for the needs of Jesus and his disciples? (Note- Instead of the Luke 10 passage, you could use the story of Elijah under the broom tree found in 1 Kings 19:1-18)

Do this:

Give staff members 45 minutes to study the passage individually. Take 10 minute break and then discuss the passage as a group for 35 minutes.

 Handouts: Attentiveness-Luke 10.pdf Additional Reflections on the passage can be found here

Optional Study on Elijah: Attentiveness-1 Kings 19.pdf

Session Three-Prayer Partners- 30 minutes

Prayer Partners- Share how the passage spoke to you. Practice listening well during the sharing time. Pray for each other.

Session Four- Meal Break, Pay Attention to Your Food, Rest or Exercise- 90 minutes

Lunch break- Some groups encourage staff to eat together as prayer partners or in triads. Others encourage staff to eat their lunch alone in silence. Avoid the situation where everyone eats together and the best story tellers dominate the conversation or where staff members talk shop.

Do This:

60 minutes for eating and sharing. During the meal time, encourage the staff members to eat slowly and pay attention to what they are eating. Ask them to record in their journal answers to the following questions:

  1. Which foods and flavors did you most enjoy?
  2. Do you have any memories associated with any of those foods or flavors?
  3. Consider where the foods you ate today came from. Consider who grew, picked, or prepared your meal. Thank God for those people.
  4. We pray "Give us this day our daily bread." Consider how this meal is a tangible expression of God's care for you. Thank Him

30 minute rest or exercise break alone.

Session Five- Listen to Nature Exercise- 30 minutes

Jesus encouraged his followers to pay attention to the birds of the air and the flowers in the field. Their are life lessons to be discovered in his creation. If the weather is cooperative, invite staff members to sit outside and try to focus their attention for 20 minutes on something in God’s creation. Provide sketching and journal material for individuals to sketch or describe what they see. Journal for 10 minutes what you experienced. What did God's creation tell you about the creator?

Session Six- Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart- 30 minutes

Discuss as a group options for paying attention to God’s voice. Ask the question, "What helps you pay attention to the voice of Jesus?" Record answers on the board. Then ask, "What hinders paying attention to God's voice in your life?"

Handout: Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart

Session Seven- Develop a Plan for the Fall Semester- 30 minutes

Developing a plan for the Fall-Review the handout on nurturing silence and write down a few things you would like to do this fall. Identify one discipline to do as a group

Do this:

5 minute instructions

25 minute individual work

Session Eight- Share the Plan- 30 minutes

Ask staff members to share their plans with members of their campus team and then pray for each other.

Do this:

Conclude the workshop with a benediction and prayer for the group.

Workshop Guide as PDF Document: Six Hour Attentiveness Workshop.pdf