Facilitating with grace

By Elaine Vitikainen

A few weeks ago, I was observing a training of 30 church leaders in Cambodia. It was a very hot day as Cambodia was approaching the hottest season. During the lunch break, the participants laid on the tiled floor of the training room. It was a refreshing break, away from the sun, with the air-conditioning cooling the air. When the time came for the training to continue, the participants sat in a circle. In the middle of the circle, one child was still asleep covered in a red blanket. Nobody minded. We went on with the training.

When the facilitator started talking, the girl who was asleep on the floor in the middle of the room woke up and started crying. Then something happened that I did not expect at all. When the child started making noise, the facilitator did not tell the mother to go and take the child away. He did not say, the child was disturbing the training. But instead he said simply, “Oh, I think I was talking too loud.”

This reminded me of the verse on being patient with one another. Ephesians 4:2 says, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Technically, I can see he was a good facilitator. But no, he was better. He was facilitating with grace.

Think about how you deal with unexpected disturbances in your work. This week, how can you relate to others with grace?

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