What gets in the way of having meaningful (spiritual) relationships across generations? Join us this week as we connect with our friend Chad Ibach DMin as he shares with us some of the key insights from his doctorate research on studying the intergenerational spiritual relating.
He concluded in his findings that: fear, lack of skills, lack of trust, physical safety concerns, stress/busyness, sin/brokenness are the main obstacles to meaningful relationships. These conclusions are likely not a surprise, the answer to “What we do about these obstacles?” might surprise you.
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Chad Ibach’s Bio:
Chad Ibach is a senior executive assistant at Community Financial Credit Union in Plymouth, MI. Chad recently finished his doctorate of ministry in leadership & spiritual formation from George Fox University in Portland, OR. Chad has a passion to see others spiritually formed and challenged in their journey of faith. He and his wife, Hailey, both have a passion to see the hearts of others changed through spiritual formation in the church and their surrounding communities. They enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching survivor, and playing outside with their pup, Neville.
[00:00:23] Kris Gamble: Welcome everybody to this week’s episode of the Relational Spirituality Podcast. I’m your host, Kris Gamble, and today I am joined by my friend Chad Ibach.
Chad a year ago this season finished up your Doctor of Ministry at George Fox.
Is that correct?
[00:00:46] Chad Ibach: That is correct. Yep.
[00:00:47] Kris Gamble: Well done at, accomplishing that. I know a bit about it. His dissertation and it’s of particular interest to us. Chad wrote about and, created a project around the generational divide between particularly any generation above Gen Z and Gen Z. And we’ll dive into that here in a minute.
I briefly wanted to touch on Chad is his family is good family friends with the Crabb family and they have a coffee shop near where they live just outside of Detroit in Northville called the Red Dot Coffee Shop. And. As I gathered it was the Red Dot Coffee shop and your sort of ministry work there that inspired this project.
So just for those that don’t know about the Red Dot Coffee Shop, could you share a little bit more of the vision behind it and, Yeah and, your experience
[00:02:01] Chad Ibach: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, so my parents opened the Red Dot at least seven years this July, which is wild to think about. My mom had a vision to open a space for people to come and have conversations that matter. I helped start that in 2016. We opened up.
I don’t work there any longer, but, it’s still going strong, and it’s been fun to support them not in a, as hands-on of a space any longer, but just being able to be, a little bit more behind the scenes support. They’re really trying to create spaces for individuals to come, whether it’s for the, staff to have conversations or whether it’s for the customers to be able to come in and have conversations.
And it’s been really cool to see the journey over the last seven years.
[00:03:04] Kris Gamble: And if you’re listening and you’re anywhere near the Detroit area check it out.
It’s a cute, restored, historic home and they do have these great little spaces and delicious coffee. Arita, Chad’s mom is just one of the sweetest ladies.
[00:03:30] Chad Ibach: Yep. In Northville. So if you’re ever in Northville, Michigan, come by and have a good cafe meal is our most popular drink. And, but we got good and pour overs and the croissants are to die for. Stop by if you’re in the area.
[00:03:46] Kris Gamble: Chad why don’t you give us just a little bit of overview of your degree and particularly your dissertation, the problem that you were working on by creating this project, and really what made you decide to do this topic, and then how did you arrive at the project that you decided to tackle this problem?
[00:04:19] Chad Ibach: I got my Doctorate to Ministry in leadership and spiritual formation from George Fox out in Portland, Oregon. It’s actually Portland Seminary is the technical term of where my degree’s from, but through George Fox University. So how I got connected from Michigan all the way out to Portland.
I did my master’s at Taylor University in Indiana. One of my colleagues there was getting her Doctor to Ministry from George Fox. And through conversation with her I just decided,that I wanted to pursue a doctoral ministry degree. Specifically in spiritual formation was a huge draw for me.
Thinking about my background and where I’ve come from and a lot of things that I’ve learned over the years that spiritual formation was the direction that I wanted to go if I was going to further my education. So that is how I ended up at George Fox. It was a three-year program.
We would go out to the Portland area. We were out at Cannon Beach for, we would go out once a semester for the first two years. The first two years were like coursework as well as drafting the dissertation. And then the final year was all dissertation work. George Fox moved away from the traditional dissertation model.
My dissertation is not a strictly written paper. It is a project. We produced a project portfolio rather than a specific written dissertation. Which was also a draw for me to go to Portland Seminary because I like to write. But to author a dissertation is a huge undertaking.
[00:06:21] Kris Gamble: Daunting
[00:06:22] Chad Ibach: Very daunting task. I was in a cohort model. We were the first ones to go through this project portfolio format. So we were definitely the Guinea pigs, but it’s fun to be the Guinea pigs at, some points and tiresome at other points.
I was thankful to be able to do a project. Having a deliverable was part of our like, goal and requirement. That is better requirement was to have a deliverable, whether it is a book or a podcast or an app on the phone or a program for people to go through whatever it was.
What was your other question? How did I pick the topic?
[00:07:11] Kris Gamble: Really, how did you land on cross-generational relating and then move into the project that you chose?
[00:07:22] Chad Ibach: That’s great. I, know you asked a couple, but I can remember throughout the program, we had to produce an mpo, which is a need problem or opportunity in our ministry context. My ministry context was when working at the Red Dot.
While there which now I’m no longer there, but while there I noticed a lot of. just interesting dynamics between the generations. We would have a lot of generations, all generations coming into the shop as customers, but then also the cross generations within, among the staff. And I noticed one summer, I think after my first year at George Fox, I noticed just the difficulty that I was having connecting with the younger generation, like Gen Z specifically.
Which was fascinating to me because I feel like I have always been somebody who has been able to connect with all types of generations. But I’ve noticed in myself wow, like I can’t relate as well for whatever reason. And then I wanted to focus, specifically on my project.
Around the idea of having spiritual conversations. As I noticed my own personal struggle with connecting with the different generations that’s what sparked my like curiosity about what could we do to help bridge that gap.
Throughout the process I had a bunch of different focus groups with different generations just with people I was connected with at the time. I was also connected with Young Life. I was working with students and Gen Z as well. And so I was able to pull a group of students from Young Life.
We had a lot of younger staff at Red Dot well as different individuals who were either working with Young Life or different individuals that I was connected with in the area that were in the older generations, and we had different conversations over the three years what is gen Z looking for and what are older generations looking for that we are like not doing well or haven’t done well or just haven’t known how to.
And I think that as I studied and thought through the process, it’s not just Gen Z, it is how do we create conversations among all generations. Cause I think it’s so important, this cross-generational idea having people who are older and younger than me on both sides, that we can do this journey together.
I was thinking through all of that and produced a couple of different ideas. I landed on creating a six month like study going through different spiritual disciplines as well as different readings and different things like that, that I had gone through in my program as well as outside of that.
And I created a hybrid program where it would be in person and online because now in and of itself to connect with all generations, people must be able to engage online because that is just the nature of what the world we live in is. But there is a huge importance of connecting in person as well. I created a six-month study, where one week you’re in person going through questions, different things like that. The other week you’re doing readings and engaging online via a platform to connect with one another.
So, I created a website that houses all of it. That is the project itself and how I landed on doing that.
[00:11:54] Kris Gamble: I agree with something you said going back a little –
That the relating across generations, up and down is important. Why do you think it’s important?
[00:12:12] Chad Ibach: I think that we just have a lot to learn from one another. At least in my own growing up, there was always this sense of separation. Of you are the older kids and you are the older adults, and I’m the younger kids and there is this separation between them, but I think that there’s something that you miss with that mentality.
I think that we are all on this journey together and while yes, obviously people further along in their journey than me have different life experiences than I do and have learned and maybe aren’t in a different space than I am. But you can learn so much from people behind you and in front of you that to not have those types of relationships in your life, really is a detriment because. You just miss out on being able to connect in different journeys. Someone once told me just this idea of going into a conversation no matter who it is, and, there’s always a chance to learn from somebody no matter the age of that person. Especially viewing them having the life of God in them.
That there was a time in my life that there was, I was working with a youth group and some of these young kids, taught me so much of who got,
[00:13:50] Kris Gamble: TikTok trends, right?
[00:13:51] Chad Ibach: Yeah, definitely TikTok trends. I think this was before TikTok actually became like a big thing.
[00:13:59] Kris Gamble: This was life before TikTok.
[00:14:01] Chad Ibach: I’m trying to, it would have been in 2015, so eight years ago.
I don’t know if TikTok was around then, maybe, but it wasn’t big yet. Yeah. I can think back on that time of life and realize like how much I gained from interactions with people who are younger than me. And I think I’ve always been somebody who has had, or respected people older than me, but I have not disrespected people who are younger than me. Any person along the journey can really, show me more of who God is, that it doesn’t matter the age. It just is the life of God and this person really can Yeah. Reflect something different that I don’t really see or know. So I think that’s why I think it’s so important and, that if you just stick with like your own little pack it’s a detriment, I think to you.
And, obviously, it’s like easy to interact with people who are in the same season of life. That’s just natural. So I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I think if you solely focus on I’m just gonna connect with my group of people, I think you miss out on other perspectives and, so I think. I think there’s a time and a place for both. Like obviously there’s a time and a place to connect with people who are in the same season of life. It’s like good to dialogue with one another about what are you going through with this situation? Or How do you all handle this?
I wonder what this younger person thinks about this, or What did you know this older person thinks about this? I think that there’s value having all
[00:16:16] Kris Gamble: It reminds me of something a mentor of mine brought up to me, which is he encouraged me to have at all times appall in my life as if I was a Timothy in my life, as if I were a Paul and a Barnabas as somebody to walk alongside Paul. And not only because there is a transference of knowledge and maturity and life experience.
I guess that’s what I wanna say is that there’s also just real life experiences that happen at different seasons that are relevant to that age and stage that are not what you are, the way you’re thinking what you are having to go through. And yeah, just there’s like the spiritual transference of wisdom and maturity.
And then there’s also just like cultural differences between generations. are valid and important for us.
[00:17:34] Chad Ibach: For sure.
[00:17:35] Kris Gamble: Let’s talk a little bit more about your dissertation. What was the maybe greatest insight or success that you had working on your project, if you don’t mind sharing, were the greatest challenges?
[00:17:55] Chad Ibach: I think one of the biggest insights is what we’ve been talking about of the importance of this type of relationship. I think that, even though I haven’t touched it in a year, I look back and I think, wow, that’s still something that is so necessary and so important, and I also think that there’s an insight. The world is changing, culture is changing. My hope was with this type of project, with creating something that can bridge the gap that Christians, that the church would start to think through how do we continue to bridge the gap?
It’s gonna continue to change because of culture and the way the world continually changes. And so my, hope is even in myself that if I don’t do anything with the specific project that I did, that I learned something that I can problem solve to help this problem because I think that this problem.
Of this intergenerational relationships will always continue to be because it’s, hard to relate to people who aren’t in your season. It, you can become so focused on what’s going on in your own life and what you are dealing with, that it’s easier to talk about with people who are going through the same types of things.
And so then we forget to actually relate to the person who’s down the road for me or behind me in some way. I think the biggest insight being that it’s important to think through this problem. And while I might have come up with one type of solution that. There are so many different opportunities to create something like this as we continue to progress through time. That in each, I think in my context, this is what felt like would work, would be creating some type of program and website that would help guide through.
And but I think through my degree and, my own journey and thought process of creating it, that I have the tools to be like, okay, how do I think through this type of relationship? What is going to not necessarily work, but how do we create a connection?
I think it’s just learning to build connections and, creating a space for connections.
That is what is important. It’s being able to create that space. yI think that would be some of the biggest insights into the importance of it, creating spaces and just that this problem isn’t going to ever go away. It’s something that is a struggle to connect right. you’re in different seasons. It’s just the nature of the journey. And then you said the biggest challenge, right?
[00:21:27] Kris Gamble: And it could be personally or with that you were trying to solve.
[00:21:35] Chad Ibach: The biggest thing is just that it feels like it’s ever changing. We’ve talked about some, just this idea that culture is continually moving, generations are continually moving, and so it’s this target that is always moving, that you can never really hit a bullseye.
It used to be that generations were like 20 years or more, millennials were like from the early eighties, I think to the late nineties, and now it’s like the late nineties to, 2007 I think it was.
And then now it’s, it just is shrinking. And so it’s oh man. We think we understand one generation and then it’s, oh, we’re moving on to the next new big thing, whether it’s TikTok or whatever, what’s the next be real. Exactly. And so, you know, what’s going to be the next massive thing?
That feels like one of the biggest challenges is that it’s an ever moving target. But with that, I think going back to one of the key insights is this idea of creating spaces for people to have conversation. It may look different each time and so it’s now it’s, figuring out, okay, this medium, whatever the medium was, worked two years ago and what is the medium going to be now to connect with this, next generation that’s only two years younger?
And especially I think it feels hard as the older generations try to connect with the younger generations and not coming in as I know everything. Because I think that is like what I really found through conversations. Specifically Gen Z when I was working with them was, they didn’t, they don’t really want this top down type of relationship.
They really want it to be mutual, which is great. I love that. But I think that’s not how I grew up or we grew up.
It was this top down mentality and so how do we respect that? Also push to challenge it a little bit too. I think that would be like the biggest challenge is this idea that it’s continually changing.
And then personally I went into this degree not really being in a ministry context, which is, or not in a traditional ministry context, which is like very not normal. Everybody in my program was either a pastor or a counselor or a, spiritual director, or something in that they had a specific ministry context where mine was genuinely like non-traditional of I’m working, I was working in a business. And using that as my ministry context. And so it just was interesting to think through think through the project in that mindset. And I was noticeably young doing the program. I was the youngest in my cohort
[00:24:55] Kris Gamble: I was just thinking that shouldn’t be a business. A traditional ministry context in the sense that we’re ministering to our immediate sphere of influence.
[00:25:13] Chad Ibach: Yeah.
[00:25:13] Kris Gamble: As you go make disciples, so as you are going in the coffee shop, seeking to make disciples.
[00:25:23] Chad Ibach: It was so interesting for me because I was the only one that was not thinking of it as in the church or in a counselor’s office, I was the only one that was thinking of it in a non-traditional sense. I was thinking of it from a business perspective of how do I create something that could reach even in a non-traditional sense. What was really challenging was, I was really having to think outside the box where a lot of other people were, not that they were not thinking outside the box because they were, but it just was this is my ministry context.
This is a problem that I see in my church. How am I going to fix this problem? I’m thinking of it from a business perspective. How am I going to solve this huge problem? I was not just thinking of in my own context, I was thinking of okay, I’m seeing this in my own life and that’s why I’m doing this, but I’m also seeing this in the global context. And that was part of their feedback too, how are you going to make it focused.
[00:26:43] Kris Gamble: So you conducted interviews, right?
[00:26:46] Chad Ibach: Yeah.
[00:26:47] Kris Gamble: You uncovered root causes to this generational divide. What was your method for uncovering those and what would you uncover were the kind of key root causes? Here are some of my, some of the ones I discussed in my discovery session and one-on-one interviews, fear, lack of skills to have deeper, more meaningful conversations, lack of trust, physical safety, stress, busyness, brokenness.
[00:27:24] Chad Ibach: So those came from one-on-one interviews with different individuals. And a lot of the one-on-one interviews were with older generations. And then I also had in the group interviews or process, and we, the group really was like, let’s go through this journey together of asking these like questions. And we’ll see where the path leads us. And then from that path, I would take that to my, like stakeholders where what we called them. And I would have a one-on-one interview of this is what we found.
Does this feel like it aligns? I had an interview with somebody who works at a university. I had an interview with somebody who is a director at Young Life. Having that type of conversation of okay, this is what we found is like root causes.
Does that seem like aligns with what you are experiencing I was interviewing these people one-on-one with Gen Z. And a lot of what we talked about in the group interviews with like fear and feeling like there’s this lack of connection, not being able to connect those types of things aligned and I think a lot of them too would have said that, just this lack of actual space, like having a, whether it was like a physical space itself or just the space, meaning the environment of trying to create something that felt like conversations could happen between generations.
I think even talking with older generations than just millennials, because millennials were the next closest to Gen Z, obviously. And I think older generations would assume that we can connect with Gen Z and so it was interesting talking with older generations than millennials. I feel certain things that you feel as well of not being able to connect with them too. It’s not just you, because you’re older than me.
I have felt that as well as I’ve wrestled with how I connect with younger generations, it’s going to be a continual process of not feeling like they connect.
Among the interviews it was this idea of what does it looks like to create spaces for, these types of conversations and these types of relationships to happen.
[00:30:27] Kris Gamble: I appreciated what you said about being a millennial and it would seem that we could connect to the next generation below us. More easily, or easily. And I too experience challenges with that when I serve at my church’s high school ministry. Something that’s so funny to me. We have Wednesday night youth group and the first 30 minutes is dinner provided by the church, so everyone shows up on their own.
Time officially starts at six and six 30 is when dinner ends, but it feels like the high school cafeteria all over again where you have your food and you’re like looking where to sit and oh, that’s the cool kids. I’m not sure I’ll fit at that table. So I was socially awkward and still am, but definitely didn’t feel like the kid that could relate as easy to just anybody or was seen as cool. So anyways, so I always find that barrier. Is there something I wonder, I don’t want to move too far from the fear or the root causes that, that we were just talking a little bit about, but something I was wondering as I was reading your dissertation was how much of this is a Gen Z problem?
And we’ve been talking a little bit about it and how much of this is just a generation problem.
[00:32:23] Kris Gamble: A function of different, cultures and different generations and then maybe even more, what I’m, I think about is how much of it to one of your root causes is. The Gen Zers are teenagers and early 20 somethings, and so maybe they just lack the tools to reciprocate conversation. They are teenagers and they’re still learning themselves
And I have not had just as many conversations or haven’t had conversations. That life forces upon you when you to speak with professors and bosses and develop relational skills people that you as closely connected with sociologically
[00:33:28] Chad Ibach: I think that’s a good thought slash question. I think even from my own story and journey as a teenager, I wasn’t gonna connect or engage with people older than me because it was, I was too afraid to what I wished would’ve happened more so was that they would’ve engaged anyways.
I think that is what is needed. Regardless, as we move through time, it’s not just a Gen Z thing, like you said, it’s just a generational thing, period. I just happened to be, we happened to be in the Gen Z part of time and history, that was the context. But I think that this problem of this gap will continue to happen until we say I’m just going to engage because that is what you do. That’s just how you are a human and especially a, follower of Christ. I want to invest in people older and younger than me. And that’s what I think was happening when I was. At that youth group that I was talking about earlier was the older generations did seem to engage with this younger generation, these younger generations. It was extremely easy for them to talk about their emotions and their feelings and, different things that they went through during school.
And, it didn’t matter if they were talking about it with their friends or if they were talking about it with people older than me. It’s we all must learn how to have conversations. It’s not something that just I mean there are people who it does come naturally. Our brains work in all different ways and so some, it just comes naturally to have conversations with people and, others it doesn’t and that’s okay too, but I think, how do we learn how to engage with each other? That is the thing, and I think, like you said, it’s not just a Gen Z problem. It is a generational problem that will continue to happen and that we have to push ourselves and push one another to continue to engage and continue to be willing to like, have uncomfortable conversations.
Not because we’re having uncomfortable topics, but because sometimes it’s uncomfortable to engage others who are uncomfortable. Even in, for myself it’s not if we’re all uncomfortable. It’s hard sometimes you just want to go and eat your food and not talk to somebody. How do I say okay, “I’m uncomfortable here.”
I’m going to choose to ask this person a question because. I care and I want to, I do actually want to know this person better. And that’s how you’re going to get to know them better is by engaging. I think you’re right. The church is going to have to want to engage with one another no matter what generation it is.
We will have to learn how to have conversations with people. And I think that’s like part of my hope with my project was to create a space. I think there’s not a lot of spaces to do that. In my own Story, there wasn’t a lot of space to like actually have conversations with all generations.
It was like, here the kids are gonna go over here and these people are gonna go over here, and then you guys are all separate. I think we have not done, at least in my own story, I know it’s not for everybody, but that I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to engage. And that’s what I hope to do differently moving forward in my own story and my own journey is to create spaces for people who are older or younger, doesn’t really matter, but just to create a space that invites people to have conversations.
[00:37:48] Kris Gamble: When we’ve got our meal and we’d rather just sit down and avoid the awkward conversation. This past week I was looking around and I just ended up going to a table where leaders, people, my generation were sitting because that was the easier route. And in my heart, I want to sit with any of the tables of kids.
But I had this vision while you were saying, making your point of taking my food and going to the table, one of the tables and saying, Hey, I’d really love to get to know you guys and sit with you and I feel anxious about it or I’m afraid of being rejected, but I really would l I really long to know you guys and be friends with you.
Would you embrace me while I figure out how to sit here and work through my own anxiety and have a chance to get to know you and just see what happens, from doing that. But whatI love about this conversation is even what you were saying was one of the key insights it’s a matter that like this crush generational thing is a matter of seeing the importance and making the effort.
I look at that list of root causes, fears, lack of skills to have deeper, more meaningful conversations, lack of trust, physical safety concerns, stress in their lives, or busyness, sin and brokenness. And it could almost feel like we need to have an answer for all of those root causes in order to then be able to enter in and in order to make and establish the connection.
And yes, there is things that can be done to build trust for them to cultivate more skills to address their fears, to feel more physically safe.
But what I’m sensing is that making an effort, a sustained effort, not a one-off effort. Oh Hey, would you want to go to lunch with me this week?
No. Okay. And then never trying again, but rather an intentional and sustained pursuit, obviously with some awareness that if they’re just totally not
Wanting to hang out, don’t be this creepy person showing up at their house. You didn’t come to lunch. What the heck?
[00:41:05] Kris Gamble: I think part of it is just seeing the need and showing up. And just one more thought comes to mind. I feel like I’m continuing on here,
But one of the spiritual directors for Larger Story one day when we were talking about our upcoming courses, courses that have some crossover to your program, an online space that creates opportunity both online and in person.
If proximity affords the in person part to work through material that creates context for and structure for intentional time and direction and vision with the hope that it would be a means for one generation connecting with the next, one of the Spiritual Directors from Larger Story mentioned as we talked about potentially them being involved in this cross-generational digital course.
He said, “I’m too old to relate to that generation” and counted himself out. And I think I just for a moment accepted. Yeah, he is not that this person’s that old, but maybe he doesn’t have the skills to, or the like knowledge of what that generation, he even referenced not knowing.
Really like how to relate with them or what they like to relate to. I think it is part of it. and I’m bringing the point to say that we, I think part of what keeps the gap in place generation after generation is counting ourselves out and saying, I cannot, I just can’t relate to them.
I just don’t like those things.
[00:43:45] Chad Ibach: I definitely feel that already.
[00:43:48] Kris Gamble: And how do we not count ourselves out? How do you not count yourself out?
[00:44:01] Chad Ibach: Believe that God and through the Holy Spirit has given you and equipped you with everything you need for this life and for godliness and to reach and love and pursue somebody that is different and doesn’t want to hear from you that much?
[00:44:23] Kris Gamble: Anyways, but just showing up and trying
[00:44:27] Chad Ibach: I think I even on the flip side of that, as I get older, like I, I do value older generations obviously, but I think as a teenager and as a early twenties, it was like, oh, like I can figure this out on my own, blah, blah, blah, whatever.
And not really seeing the value. I think, that older generations want to count themselves out because they have been counted out so many times.
My hope would be that in some type of program or conversation like this is like we see the value in all of the generations that like young see the value in the old and the old see the value in the young and everything in between.
And that like we can, and show this, mutual respect as well as mutual learning from one another. That I can learn about the tech things from these younger people, but then also the old people can teach me how to live.
[00:45:36] Kris Gamble: Do business or relate to your significant other.
[00:45:41] Chad Ibach: Exactly. Think that it has to be a mutual thing because I think there’s so much I even see it in my own life just like angst towards somebody telling me what to do or how to do it.
But really trying to shift that mentality to really respect that, like somebody has gone through the journey before me and I can learn from them because they do have value. Cuz conversations with older people they’re like, do people like your age even want to hear from, us and do.
Maybe everybody doesn’t, but that is like what I hope to teach younger generations is that has value and everybody has a story. It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are that the life of God is in you. How can you learn that?
[00:46:51] Kris Gamble: Yeah, and humble ourselves because we actually know of the infinite amount of knowledge to be learned in this world. What I know is like a grain of sand on a beach of knowledge and there is something that you know, Chad, or that those 10th grade guys know that I don’t.
And I need to have the humility to say, how can I from you? And I wonder as I’m just saying that out loud, that does create trust and that does create more of a safe space because we’re humbling ourselves to say, I value you and I value your experience, and I value what God has done in your life. And I’m willing to show up and grow too.
[00:47:53] Chad Ibach: It must start with yourself, right? You can’t, we can’t expect somebody younger or older than us to do what we hope them to do. It has to start with yourself of, humbling yourself to say I really can learn from this person regardless of the age.
It’s like I can learn something from them because, they have the life of God in them and, that it really can, God can show up in so many different ways that it doesn’t have to be a specific way. And you can only do that for yourself. You can’t make somebody else do that. It really must start with the individual and hopefully enough individuals in your context will start to do that.
That there will then be the cross. And then hopefully from there, spaces will be created because you, it starts with yourself to create a space that welcomes other people into that, maybe one other, and then maybe another, and then maybe another, and then you have a group of people that are willing to engage.
I think that you don’t start your own story, in your own journey, it really is not going to work because it’s, you cannot force somebody else to want what you want.
[00:49:34] Kris Gamble: We’re coming up on an hour in our chat here, and it’s been enjoyable and insightful. Maybe one of my final thoughts you mentioned, and it’s something we’re hovering around in our conversation most recently you mentioned the rhetorical question, do we create those spaces?
And I just thought I’d ask, do you have insight maybe in addition to what we’ve just been talking about, or otherwise have you, any insight on h how do we create those spaces for those conversations to happen?
[00:50:25] Chad Ibach: Yeah.
[00:50:26] Kris Gamble: Should everyone build a program or do they need a program.
[00:50:33] Chad Ibach: Nope. It’s too much Don’t do that. Do not do that yourself.
[00:50:38] Kris Gamble: But yeah, feel free to just share what comes to mind as you think about how do we create
[00:50:44] Chad Ibach: I think that the spaces that I’ve found in my life are just when yeah, you can gather with other people who are willing to be uncomfortable, are willing to ask questions, are willing to wrestle with one another are willing to engage with the present. And, thinking of what’s going on in each of the individual’s journeys. I think trusting the Holy Spirit that God will move in ways that you will never understand and, trusting that it’s a process that, like creating a safe space doesn’t just happen overnight in that like most people, including myself, have not had spaces where they feel comfortable to be themselves.
I think that takes a long time and there is so much of each person’s stories that you just don’t know about that causes them to. Protect themselves or to not be themselves because that’s what they’ve learned throughout life. And so I think creating a space to unlearn ways that you’ve protected yourself, ways that you’ve tried to overcompensate or whatever and trusting that the Holy Spirit will do his work in those spaces and not forcing something to happen, I’ve had a group that we recently stopped meeting just through life circumstances. But we met for I think five years. We met every week. and that group shifted and morphed over the years, but a lot of our common thing was just coming around different thoughts and questions and really being able to show up each as individuals wherever we were on the journey and being okay with that.
I think like finding spaces where you can be yourself and learn it’s okay to be yourself, cuz I think a lot of us don’t feel okay being ourselves. My little bit of insight of trying to create safe spaces is just letting it naturally happen.
I think so often of life we try to force things to happen because of course, I desire more to see more spaces where people can have deep, meaningful conversations, but, Most of life is not deep, meaningful conversations. And so you just have to be okay with that and still trust that God is working and moving in your life and hope that you can find little glimpses here and there and that often it, it could be a group of one or two of you, but that is okay and that from there each of you can have one or two more and then it kind of spreads.
[00:54:13] Kris Gamble: Yeah, I appreciate your comment about not forcing it because I think as humans, we can try to make it happen in our own strength, and so really
technique is listening to the spirit and trying to follow his prompting timing and the word curiosity. Larry Crabbs used a lot and this season in Larger Story were the theme for a book club. The Pressure’s Off and so not trying to force it. Taking the pressure off is just what I wanted to draw a connection to few. Other Larger Story things. If you’re not a part of that book club it meets monthly and we would love you to join with us. We’ll do it for the whole year and then reevaluate.
We welcome them to join. It’s an online group with teaching and then breakouts based around whatever that book of the quarter is. And then thinking about spaces, we are to create opportunity for those spaces through the larger story courses that will walk through Larry Crabb material.
And be releasing soon the first one Experience a Grand Adventure. It’s an awesome course. Keep your eye out for that. And Chad, anything you would like to share in conclusions?
[00:56:07] Chad Ibach: Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. I would just say, what does it look like to create spaces for other people and specifically for cross-generational relationships and just the importance of that and of people and trying to learn what it looks like to walk alongside one another in this journey we call life.
Hope that we can each find those spaces in our lives. And if you don’t have that, I pray that someday you will.
[00:56:50] Kris Gamble: Indeed. Thanks everybody for listening and we will catch you guys the next week. And thank you, Chad, for joining us.