Christian Action Tools: Kairos Circle and Rev. King Jr. Principles

I feel like this has been one of the most effective tools I was provided by the Christian Community.  An example is shown below (clearly from The Salvation Army). In the center is Kairos, which is ancient Greek. Super useful, right? It’s actually pretty awesome. The ancient Greeks had different words for time: Chronos (bet you guessed that was chronological, didn’t you? correct) and then they had Kairos, which is almost a “timeless” moment in which all things happen. It’s trippy, other-worldly. Holy. You might describe experiencing one of these moments as having an epiphany, an experience with God, etc.

This tool gives you a perfect and necessary way to process it. From a Christian perspective though, remember that after steps one and two, always make sure that part of your reflection and evaluation include comparison to scripture and discussion with individuals whom you trust are in relationship with God and will speak Truth to you. This is an extremely important step to make sure you are in alignment with God, that you have the support of a few people in your community and that they are able to be there to hold you accountable (this circle is used for everything from quitting smoking, changing careers, fasting, etc.).

Kairos

The second awesome tool I came across I somehow must have forgotten up until this point and much of it falls in line with what is above. I felt like I’d hit a bit of a wall on my final paper and I switched over to my other class’ assignments and of course part of the reading is an actual Reflection Circle on a topic very close to my heart: Dr. Martin Luther King’s 6 principles and practices of nonviolence (I want to be fair in saying I see no citation so I went to find it elsewhere, which is the citation you are getting).

Six Principles of Nonviolence

  1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
  2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
  3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
  4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
  5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
  6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change

  1. Information Gathering (calls out knowing all sides to increase your understanding of the problem)
  2. Education
  3. Personal Commitment (eliminate hidden motives and prepare to accept suffering)
  4. Discussion/Negotiation (use grace, humor, intelligence, look for the positive)
  5. Direct Action (if discussion/negotiation fails, create “creative tension” by supplying moral pressure)
  6. Reconciliation (goal is not defeat but friendship and understanding)

http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy

You should just go read the whole King philosophy.

I was going to write a lot more but I’m too tired and I haven’t finished MY reflection circle on MY kairos moment.

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