Click on the link below to hear Mogens Mogensen, Danish church consultant, describe how Dwelling in the Word
- breaks the ice
- makes it “legal” for lay persons to talk about the Scriptures, and even
- influences conversation in the council meeting which follows it to connect people into the same frame of reference.
Very often when we [Danes] discuss spiritual matters, existential matters, people will look to the pastor. The pastor will be happy with that and be happy to share his own very fascinating opinions. But here [in Dwelling in the Word] we make it “legal” or “legit” for lay people to speak to lay people, and that’s somehow a wonderful experience for people. We have experienced that some people have begun talking about things they would never ever talk about. I remember one occasion we were doing Dwelling in the Word, and I said, “Now we have to stop sharing,” after the listening period, and they said, “No, no, no, we need some more time because this has got us into a very deep conversation on top of what’s been shared.” So it’s also kind of an ice-breaker.
I’ve also experienced that sometimes things that have been talked about in the Dwelling session were brought up again in the business session of the meeting afterwards, and it was referred to as something they all had been talking about. I remember using it in a very conflictual situation I was called in as a kind of liaison, in that position, and we started in a Dwelling session and then when it came to the situation where we were trying to find a conclusion, some of them said, “Well, we have this thing from, this verse from (it was also) Luke 10,” and then they used that in time to come to a common understanding – which was also, you see, having a common frame of reference.