Short Chronology of Space for Grace
Like so many things, Space for Grace started from a conversation. Rick James was telling Karl-Erik Lundgren from Swedish Mission Council about a remarkable OD experience he just had, where God had intervened in a supernatural way in an Evangelical Fellowship of Churches in Africa. They wanted to understand more about how God intervened in organisational change today. This led to publishing ‘Creating Space for Grace’ in 2004.
Mission agencies in Sweden were inspired and intrigued. They wanted to know more. So in 2006 SMC hosted a workshop with Rick for their members. As interest grew and technology developed we set up a learning group or community of practice to share ideas and experience. We started sending out monthly bulletins with case studies, thought pieces and useful resources in November 2008. 18 months later we set up our Ning website to store the materials and offer more opportunities for virtual discussions.
But we soon realised that relying entirely on emails and written bulletins was good for communication of practice, but did not really help create a community of practice. So in November 2010, we organised out first ‘Encounter’ a face-to-face learning workshop, hosted by CORAT in Nairobi. Since then we have facilitated three further events, one in Mombasa in 2014, one in Oslo in 2015 and another in Sweden in 2016.
By 2012 we had build up a significant body of knowledge about change with churches and Christian Organisations. But it was hard to know what it all meant to people caught up in the busyness of working in a church or NGO. So we spent some time analysing all the learning from different denominations in different parts of the world. We published our learning with the support of Digni in 2012, entitled ‘Inspiring Change: Creating more space for grace’. It is now in its Second Edition.
To provide bite-sized inspirational reminders to members we started sending out Weekly Thoughts in 2013. We have compiled some of the most popular into themed Weekly Thoughts booklets.
The generous financial support we have received from both SMC and Digni over the years helped get this all going. It now has a momentum of its own and from 2018 is operating sustainably without the need for project funding.
We are excited to see what the next chapter holds…