I'm off to one of our local YMCAs today where I'm helping their CEO engage with the residents there on the issue of the Christian ethos of their organisation locally. The question of how big the C is in YMCA seems to be a matter of debate in many YMCAs and the outworking of their Christian service comes across in many different ways around the country. They do have very clear Christian underpinnings in the form of the Paris basis, the Kampala Principles and Challenge 21 but the question was about exploring that in our local setting.
When we were looking at how we might engage with the issue of stating our ethos, I came up with this idea (no idea if it's original as I don't read widely enough to be sure!!) of using Ethos Narratives.
Rather than saying just as Christians we believe all people are equal (Galatians 3.28 et al) and so we have an equal opportunities policy etc., etc. I suggested that we chose for ourselves various stories from Jesus' teachings - mostly parables as it turns out - which say something of how we work and why we work; which tell the story of our ethos rather than theologising it out. If it works, the idea will be that we can then use posters, videos, modern translations, sculptures, artwork, songs which tell these stories to help those who provide and use our services understand what it is we're about.
I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about this. Is it new or I have I subconsciously borrowed the idea from somewhere!!??