The thing is, sometimes we need to be hard. The trick is to finding the right place and time. For me circuit (working in my church) is like being in an overgrown jungle. The church has been in a state of neglect. They started working on it last year, but there is still much to be done. My supervising minister and I have now spent just over three months watching and learning. We need to start making paths through the undergrowth. And this is not going to happen by sitting on deck chairs on the edge of the jungle. It takes a lot of courage to take a machete knife, step in and take that first swipe at the weeds. We're taking risks. We are going to be hurt. We may hurt people unintentionally. We will make mistakes. There will be people that resist us - because they don't like change, because they are nervous - and sometimes because they have a source of power in the system. But if we get it right, we will be doing what God has called us to and what most people will know in their hearts is right. This is no place for wimps. [I am talking about small changes here - nothing major for a while yet!]
On the other hand, college is like marshmallow. After the rigours of screening and the candidates' year and compared to the difficulty of circuit, college should be easy. It's almost like the separation between a stressful job and the home environment - one shouldn't deal with them the same.
But really it is the wrong way round. If college is preparing us to work in circuit, it should be presenting us with more preparation for circuit. The challenge in college should be greater, so that when we get to circuit we begin to feel that we understand what we are doing. But for most of us, if college was even as challenging as circuit, we would pack up and go home. Actually, I already have a four year theology degree, whereas the others don't - so I am not challenged by the undergrad courses like some of them are. It is hard for me to see the challenge that college may be presenting them.
Maybe, maybe phase 1 is not such a good idea after all. It must be hard for those who are struggling with academics as well.
Ok, some random thoughts I suppose. Thanks for listening as I try to work myself out!