Every month we do a visitor’s dinner for people who have been checking out the church. It has become one of my favorite events of the month, and I love talking to the people who have made their way into our community (or are at least thinking about it).
At our dinner in December we were having a conversation about church shopping and one of the couples with children said, “We chose this church because there were so many young families.” Their words hit me like a ton of bricks. In my three years of being at the church, I had never described our worshipping community in that context. When the board and I met for the very first time that was my primary objective; bring in young families.
I guess I just never realized that the landscaped had shifted, and “all of a sudden” we had gathered young families.
See, from my perspective I still see the church the same way it was three years ago. I still hear the words of the board ringing in my head. I had spent so much time going after a goal that I never actually asked anyone where we were.
And as we approach the end of 2017 I think this is an important lesson for those who might be setting new goals or resolutions:
Your view doesn’t give you a complete picture.
Your view is limited, and for most of us, it is full of baggage or incredibly biased. Your view has a history with whatever you might be looking at, and because of that it often doesn’t tell the reality of the situation from a complete viewpoint.
The action step to fighting this tendency is simple, but not easy; get help from people in your life. Ask them the tough questions, be vulnerable with them, and trust they are telling you the truth when you ask them those questions. That also means that you have to be intentional about keeping people in your life who you let into your world, it means that you can’t just put your head in the ground and pretend you can do it all by yourself.
Don’t trust your own view, because your view isn’t complete. Your view is mired in your own “stuff,” which is cool because we all have “stuff.”
I think that is why God pushes us not to do life alone so, we can begin to see the full view of the world around us. So we can have a complete picture of what is really going on.
What do the people in your life have to say about your 2018 goals?