Blending principles of constructivist inquiry with principles of holistic thinking creates a spiritual lens for collecting and analyzing information about spirituality. This link describes the lens and makes a case for using discussion protocols instead of focus group questions.
“The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Dallas Willard is an excellent resource for understanding the theory of change (ToC) for Transformational Development. The attached one-page paper relates becoming a better disciple to becoming a better TD facilitator or transformative evaluator.
Refection on Proverbs 16:1-9 can prepare you to engage in holistic planning.
Verse 9: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (NIV)
I plan my course in my heart; I envision goal and milestones. But the Lord determines the steps to take that will move toward each milestone as seen by the Lord.
I have plans in my heart; I can envision what I desire to do with my life. But I cannot make my case for them; I must depend on the Lord to do that. Moreover, I cannot do what is in my heart without direction from the Lord; this is a consequence of original sin. I try to plan as a servant of God. But I cannot know all of the consequences of what I think and do. God loves me; God desires that I choose to follow the way to righteousness. Only God knows how my plans will affect plans of others. (Verse 1)
The Lord detests the pride I have about my plans and my doing; I will be punished for it in the sense that I will miss opportunities to engage fully in God’s redeeming work. (Verse 5) The Lord works out everything as he desires it. He even uses the plans and deeds of the wicked for godly ends. (Verse 4) Sin is atoned for through love and forgiveness; evil is avoided through fear of the Lord. (Verse 6) It is better to gain little with righteousness than much with injustice. (Verse 8) When we please the Lord, opportunities open up for God to transform the lives of even wicked ones or those who oppose achieving the purpose of righteous planning. (Verse 7)
Therefore in prayer I submit my plans to God for judgment, sure that there are aspects that will be found wanting. I stand ready to revise, even abandon, plans as directed by the Holy Spirit. I commit to implementation and accept responsibility for repenting as events reveal God’s judgment on my plans. (Verse 2)
LORD, I commit to you the implementation of my plan for this project. As I take the steps that make sense to me I will pay close attention to what happens, trusting that you are guiding the effects of my doing. I will reconsider my vision as you reveal your will, and praise you all the day long. (Verse 3)
Spiritual Landscape Assessment is a group of processes and exercises in which persons seek to understand each other’s views on spirituality and religion. As mutual understanding grows, the participants may discover a common will to improve aspects of their context or setting related to spiritual development and religious beliefs/practices.
The attached slides present my initial thoughts on the nature of SLA. They do not necessarily reflect the views of my World Vision colleagues who have more knowledge and expertise in this area than I have. Critical comments are welcome; I am eager to learn about SLA.
Click the link 85 SLA Frames
This category of posts is focused on my thoughts about work under way in World Vision International to assess spiritual needs in Transformational Development programs, particularly those that are related to child well-being.
For an overview see the post, http://evalfrank.com/2015/11/thoughts-on-developing-frames-for-spiritual-landscape-assessment-sla/