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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Toolbox Update: What is "Shiplap"?

Are you familiar with the names Chip and Joanna? If you recognize the names, then you know all about “shiplap”. Thanks to the current “DIY-Do It Yourself” movement in our culture, HGTV’s Fixer-Upper hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, have introduced us to shiplap, a rough sawn pine paneling found in historic homes. Shiplap is a favorite construction element for Chip and Joanna as they travel the process of imagining new possibilities for an existing home in an established neighborhood or community.

The process includes drawing multiple design plans, consulting with the residents of the home, demolition of some areas, re-construction of others, and eventually the unveiling of a home re-imagined and ready for the next chapter of life with a family. Inevitably the process includes re-discovering some foundational elements (such as shiplap), while also weaving in new elements (such as energy efficient windows). Throughout each step of the process, a variety of tools and builders are invited to collaborate on the journey.

In this this method of building, the old and new are reflected on alongside each other, with each being valued and considered for what each adds to the hospitality and function of the project: sometimes re-purposed, sometimes welcomed as is, and sometimes something new is woven in, each for the elements it adds to the vision. And throughout the journey, tools are used to design, develop, and build. Might this be an example for us in the ministry journey?

At the 2015 Fall Cluster meetings in Region 1 and 3 (the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest, respectively), we explored and unpacked a new tool that is a re-imagination of an older tool and thought about how this tool might enrich our lives together as God’s family. The new tool, Motivation By Appreciation, is a new application of the tool The 5 Love Languages.

In the Motivation by Appreciation assessment, we are invited to understand ourselves better, namely to improve our self-awareness, and in the process also learn about our colleagues, including both our work and volunteer partners. Here are several insights from the book The 5 Languages of Appreciation:

  • “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”
  • “Gallup reports that almost 70% of the people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace.”
  • “Whatever else each of us derives from our work, there may be nothing more precious than the feeling that we truly matter-that we contribute unique value to the whole…”
  • “…the experience of enjoying one’s work comes from a combination of factors: our own attitudes, practicing healthy habits within relationships, being affirmed and valued by others, and acknowledging that enjoying one’s work is a gift given by our Creator.”

Our ministry toolbox has the capacity for new, re-imagined, reliable, and vintage tools. The Contextual Learning team at Luther Seminary seeks to support and accompany all of our internship partners, including the Intern, Supervisor, Internship Committee, and Congregation, on their journey together.

So what kinds of tools do you need or are curious about?

Your input and feedback on ideas and tools to support the important work you are doing, either individually or together, are sought and welcomed. We can best support and accompany you if we hear from you. So send an email, give us a call, or stop by the office! Your insights are a gift and will enrich our journey together!

Meanwhile, consider this quote from an episode of Fixer Upper: “Today is a good day for a good day!” This sounds a lot like Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”



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