Archive for Amanda Box

Spaghetti, Marshmallows, and Ministry

by Amanda Box The spaghetti marshmallow game is a famous activity used to teach group dynamics. It was created by Peter Skillman, who wanted to discover why some groups worked together successfully and others did not. In the game, a group is given 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string […]

Difficult Conversations

by Amanda Box –  This semester I’m team-teaching a Sunday morning class called Difficult Conversations. The goal with this class is to teach and practice basic conflict management skills to help negotiate differences and controversial topics. Being able to have productive conversations with believers and nonbelievers about critical subjects that connect with our deepest beliefs and […]

The Post-Conflict Show

By Amanda Box – It was Saturday, with Sunday fast approaching. Due to travel and family emergencies, I was the last minister standing. Having several things to accomplish, while getting dressed, I texted my husband, Chuck, who was in the kitchen. “Can you take Hazel for ice cream or something so I can finish running […]

Texting as a Spiritual Discipline

by Amanda Box I’ve observed over the last 25 years that scapegoats are really popular. When I was growing up television was the major evil, blamed for all sorts of unhealthy human behaviors. Interestingly enough, in college, as a communication major, my research revealed that television wasn’t the first scapegoat. Movies preceded television. Radio preceded […]

Shifting Focus

by Amanda Box I saw the movie Wonder yesterday, which tells the story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Because of the irregularities of his face, Auggie wears an astronaut’s helmet much of the time to avoid the stares and awkward comments […]

Why Did You Do That?

by Amanda Box –    I saw a news story not too long ago in which a mother left her young children in the car unattended. I confess, all I know about this news story is the two minutes of video that I saw on the news, so that is precious little information. Possibly like […]

Word Problems

by Amanda Box –  Traditionally, in math class, the word problems are tougher to solve. I’d say that holds true everywhere, not just in math class. On Sunday mornings this summer I’m co-teaching a class called Difficult Conversations. We are using James 3 as our anchor passage. Last Sunday someone in class asked, “If I […]


by Amanda Box –  Steve sat down in my office and began to talk about his small group. He talked about the past year and shared one meeting in particular when the air was thick with tension as a result of some controversial church decisions. The tension had been building for weeks. The next meeting, […]

Vote Yes, Elder Spokesperson

by Amanda Box When elders need to address the congregation to communicate significant information, they are usually limited to a precious few minutes during the Sunday morning hour that is rightly designed for worship. This presents some special challenges for church leaders who want to keep the congregation informed and involved in significant leadership decisions […]

Listen, Someone Has to Go First

by Amanda Box Listening is one of the most validating things you can do for another person. When someone is sincerely listening to me, I feel significant, loved, and in context. M. Scott Peck says in The Road Less Traveled that the most valuable thing one can give another is to listen! Of course God […]