Yo Soy Kristy

Reflections On Faith From Liminal Spaces

Listening and Seeing

Posted on February 26, 2013

In my previous post I shared what has been disturbing me lately about vision and how we leaders treat it when things look like they are dying in our midst.
So, in light of that, if listening and “seeing” are indespensable in keeping us from falling into selling our people junk food vision, how do we cultivate that in our ministries and lives?

I think, obviously, we need to nurture the deeply spiritual in us. Are we listening to God’s voice in our life? Are we growing in being able to discern his movement in us? But beyond listening to God in the inner places of our life, are we listening to the voice of the people we are meant to be serving too? Are we allowing God to shape our vision of the future by the way reality is impacting the people we lead today? God not only wants to speak to our hearts personally through our time in solitude and prayer, but I think he also wants to speak to us through our relationships. Are we listening to others, especially those most impacted by our decisions? Do we try to understand the world through their experience and let that inform our leadership and direction? And are we listening to voices different than our own, believing that God may desire to use these people to break down our egocentric vision and broaden the horizon that we seek to lead our people towards? How else can we see more and farther if we don’t have the ability to listen to whats right in front of us?

As for seeing, it is true what Sanders says, “Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare.” Are we able to see beyond the status quo of our ministries? Are we able to “see the unseen” so that we don’t just lead people into a future that continues to affirm the way things have always been?

Junk Food Vision

Posted on February 25, 2013

“Where there is no vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
As leaders, we know how valuable vision is to our ability to lead others. We know we need it. We know that without it things start to die. What has been disturbing me lately, though, is how shallowly leaders tend to treat vision when they begin to see their ministries, organizations, or churches starting to experience signs of death.

Numbers are stagnant? People are leaving? We’re lacking innovation and creativity? “We need vision!” leaders yell. But what I sometimes see happen as a result is that some arbitrary goal then is thrown out to the masses in hopes that it will reverse the intertia, breathe life where this is none, and reinvigorate people towards the mission again. It often does work for a little while. But it isn’t real vision.

Not that any of those things desired are bad, but when we don’t take the time to root vision in a bigger context and grander landscape around us, we sell something that falls far short of what vision is meant to be.

I was inspired by this picture on twitter: Christian Book Vending Machine

Isn’t that how we treat vision sometimes? Like junk food? We think that if we give some superficial, outrageous goal that we’ve done our job as leaders? This kind of vision typically lacks any substance despite the fact that it might get people excited in the short run. But just like junk food, it doesn’t carry any endurance with it because the goal isn’t grounded in anyones present reality. Without connection to people’s world, you won’t have long term buy in to your vision. It won’t actually nourish anyone and sustain them towards completing the goal. It’s just like junk food. Junk food vision. It’s lacking in value even though it tastes good in the immediate…

My Liturgical Life

Posted on February 15, 2013

“Kristy, remember you are dust and to dust you will return.”

These were the words my pastor spoke over me this Ash Wednesday as he touched my forehead with ashes in the sign of the cross. It felt significant to me to hear him say my name first. It made it feel so personal to have someone look me in the eyes, address me by name, and remind me that my life is mortal and my own body frail. It was also sobering to see my 3 year old looking at our pastor with bright eyes while he said the same words to her. As much as I would like to view my children differently, they too are bound to these bodies that don’t last into eternity. Yes, there is new life found on the other side of death, but death is our common human reality-young and old.

Right after receiving the ashes, I was moved to tears as we spoke words of confession as a body of believers and asked the Father to have mercy on us for the ways we had failed to love him and others. I was full of sorrow as I reflected on all the ways I had seen brokenness around me and in me over the last several months. I thanked him again that he knew our frame and remembered that we are but dust.