NACOS 0.3 PREFACE: “Mental Models.”

NACOS 0.3 PREFACE: “Mental Models.”
A word on the educational method … Mental models are tools to understand the raw data of a complex system.

A satellite map provides a picture of reality. Raw data.

If we overlay that reality with geographic lines of a map, the reality does not change but our understanding is enhanced because we are aware of locations. The raw data is unchanged by the overlay of the geographic mental model.

If we overlay that reality with lines that indicate cold fronts and warm fronts, what is happening in the system, our understanding is enhanced. Mental models help us recognize what is happening because we aware of events. The raw data is unchanged by the overlay of the mental model.

Does this make sense?

Any change, especially one which is forced upon a congregation against their will, is likely to stimulate forces of systemic resistance to change. The Diffusion of Innovations sociological research provides a mental model for understanding how cultural groups accept a change or resist it. We will apply this mental model to congregations that are struggling with change, which often presents as grief or conflict. The mental model provides with an understanding of what is happening within the system.

The second mental model is William Worden’s “four tasks of mourning.” Grief is defined (by me) as “an adjustment to change perceived as a loss.”

In our discussion, we will consider ways to provide pastoral care to a congregation and a community as a cultural group responding to change. These losses can include death, illness, disability, conflict, struggle, tragedy, a change in leadership, innovation and cultural change. Our current grief and loss related to the coronavirus pandemic provides a rich context to understand how to provide pastoral care to congregations dealing with grief and resistance to change.

The intent of our class is to be able to recognize the pattern which is the mental model.
And then to consider how we would minister in that situation.

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