How Do You See It?

Change is an inevitable and never-ending season. Change can be both draining and exciting. All of life continues in motion, even if we seek out a habitat of stationary continuity. As I prepare to leave, and Pastor Linda Tucker prepares to arrive, people will choose to look through this moment with a variety of lenses (ways to perceive and interpret). Two of the more opposite lenses (visions) are helpful to show the contrast and reality of otherwise more nuanced expectations. They each represent an attitude, and expectation, a perspective that will influence outcomes for ourselves and the people around us. Ponder this question as you read: “Which one lives in me?”
Some can be found on the more skeptical side of a transitional moment. They are more apt to see this time in more apocalyptic terms of a sad ending; like a “Going Out of Business” and “Closing” sale. To think of our church as “dying” or “ending” is to think that our people are “done” with being disciples of Jesus and living for God’s Kingdom. This is to acquiesce in defeat to a reality that need not be and is rarely accurate. This kind of perspective enlarges and projects worst-case scenarios as a fastidious, fixed forecast of weather ahead. This vantage point (lens of reflection and prognostication) says things like:
  • The store didn’t work
  • We are living out our last, numbered days
  • Things will only slow down and diminish more
  • It’s out of our hands now
  • It’s time to pack up and look elsewhere
  • It’s too bad; it used to be a great store!
These reflections, left unchallenged, will become self-fulfilling prophecies among people who believe the worst and end up looking for the worst. The famous Christian entrepreneur, J.C. Penney, once said: “As a rule, we find what we look for; we achieve what we get ready for.” I believe this is a profound understanding of human expectations and how we can influence the future – either for the better or for the worse.
Q. What will you be looking for in this season of transition?
The other lens that showcases the opposite expectation is the vision of an exciting and challenging new adventure akin to a “New Missional Launch.” Transitions can be seen as stimulating times when we are getting ready for our next expansive adventure and discovery. The moments leading up to launches are filled with busy work, important preparations, and precision tuning. People understand that launches (like these) are important.

Turns out, details and preparations do matter. Attentiveness, presence, “every-person-at-their-station” readiness is all a part of what leads to our success. While some launches have some last-minute hitches or glitches, most launches are (in the end) the result of what we make of them through our beforehand preparations. And so, here’s how these people choose to believe and behave in “Launch Preparation:”
  • The mission has not changed
  • The KOG is not shaken
  • The Head of the church is still Jesus Christ
  • The Church is still assigned to be the Church
  • Our community needs who we are and what we offer
  • Our successful Launch necessitates everyone’s best
  • Every person, job, and role matters to our new Launch
So, my friends and family, which lens have you been (and will you be) looking through? Our next chapter awaits us, and our story will be less about our pastor and more about who we are, and how we have chosen to live out our faith.

“With God, ALL THINGS are possible!” ~ Matthew 19:26

Pastor David 😊

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