Jim and I (Elaine Hansen) have been friends for over 10 years. We work together. What do I do for Jim? Good question. Jim says I make him think. I like that ’cause I like people who make me think. My friend, Peter Block and Jim both do that for me. Peter says it is not the answer that is important. It is the exploration of the question that helps us discover what we really think and believe. And each time I think I have the answer, the next question, “why is that important to you?” takes me deeper. Try it on your friends and family. Then watch their eyes as they look deeper inside for the answer. And, they are allowed to pass.
Why am I telling you that? To give you a context for why I’m showing up on Jim’s blog. I’m recruiting Outsiders for Jim’s new project.
On May 14, Jim will be in a church in Woodinville, WA. He’ll be there to do one of the things he does so well, have a conversation with strangers. These won’t be just any strangers. These will be young people who are non-Christians, ex-Christians, kind’a Christians.
Why This Interview?
Christianity has developed a bad reputation in today’s culture. Many Christians operate within a small circle of friends and family with shared values and beliefs. Most Christians have few, if any, relationships with anyone who is not a Christian. Many have so isolated themselves as to view everyone else as outsiders. Christians have their own language and have made many assumptions and attributions of those who are different from themselves and, also, leave no space for differences within their own Christian community. (I’m currently a church refugee because I have not found a church that has space for my differences.)
These Outsider Interviews are being conducted to raise Christian’s awareness to the possibility they are contributing to the reason others do not like or understand us. The hope is this will awaken in them a awareness of how we show up in the world matters. We are inviting those in attendance to explore the possibility that their actions and words are not consistent with the best of Christianity.
What the process looks like
We recruit, identify, and hire non-Christians, Ex Christians, and “ Kind of ” Christians to participate as Outsiders in a live talk show format about religion and spirituality
Our desire is to inspire conversation about how those in the audience might apply these practices in their relationships with people who have different viewpoints than themselves:
1) Connect with Non Christians in authentic and transparent ways
2) Practice being unusually interested in others and listening
3) Observe and participate in a real conversation with those who do not practice Christianity.
What those participating need to know
You will be asked to arrive a little early to connect with Jim Henderson prior to the talk show. It gives everyone an opportunity to get to know each other and feel more comfortable with the process. Our host, Jim Henderson will talk you through what the evening will look like.
You can watch this video to get a sense of what a typical conversation format looks and feels like.
1) We don’t work with mad people – Christians or non Christians
If you’ve been hurt by The Church or Christians and have not gotten over it (we empathize) but this job is not for you.
2) This is work
This is not a bait and switch to try and get you to church. If you are hired, it is to help this group see themselves through the eyes of an outsider by participating in this talk show format. You should plan about 2 hours. You will be paid $50 cash at the event.
3) Model Release
Sometimes we take pictures and videotape the conversations. You will need to sign a release giving the event producers permission to use the video or audio footage in other media formats.
The date of the interviews is May 14.
If you are still interested, the first step is to complete the form below and contact me elaine (at) jimhendersonpresent (dot) com as soon as possible.
Name____________________________________________ Age ____
Email _______________________________________ Zipcode __________________
Cell _________________________ (or best number to reach you for phone screening)
These next items are to help us have diversity in the Outsiders we select for each project.
Highest Level of Education: _______________# years?_________________
(if you are currently a student note that)
(if you are not currently employed, list the type of work you would do or qualify for)
Marital Status (married, divorced, single, etc.) _________________
Provide a brief description of your experience with Christianity and your interest in this assignment (250 words or less): (i.e. earliest memories or relationships with Christians or not)