So close but so far!
What is it about the human make-up that allows us to be so close yet so far? We can be with the same person day in and day out, work on the same team, discuss issues in depth, pray for one another yet barely know anything about that individual. Sometimes marriages can experience this. Living together but not connecting, talking but not sharing, and the result is two lonely people in a relationship that skims the surface. Sometimes this happens with our children. As they get older, we can sense them distancing themselves from us even though they are still under our roof, close but far!
This happens in ministry all the time. We know each other on one level, yet on another level we really don’t have a clue what is going on. It’s like we have been taught that we must put our “game” face on for each other. Church has for some become a place where they need to keep it all together, show no weakness, share no pain, cry no tears - sustain the plastic smile. Why do so many live like this? Let me share with you my observations. Let me know what you might add.
Fear - For some, they have managed their public persona for so long that they are fearful what people might think if they ever shared some aspect of their life that might not be seen as a strength. They fear that people accept them for who they have projected themselves to be not who they really are. That is a terrible prison to live in.
Modeling - For some they have never seen real community modeled. It’s always been about the Sunday face, the “spiritual” smile.
Appropriateness - Some believe that if they are serving on a ministry team, it is not right or appropriate to take time to share on a personal level. The meeting agenda must be accomplished, the to-do list must be checked off.
Permission - Some don’t feel they have the permission to be honest about some of the deeper issues of their soul. No time is allowed to draw out individual team members on how they are really doing.
Pride – I know of situations in people’s lives that have exploded to the surface because they were too proud to share the problem in the earlier days of the issue. Keeping it private gave the issue greater life until it became obvious to everyone that something had been brewing for years. Pride often prevents us from dealing with issues in seed form and thus they are allowed to grow and establish strong roots.
Shame – We feel we should be victorious but have walked in defeat for a long time.
Let's work together at building authentic community at Bethel. If you are a team leader why not schedule some heart-to-heart-time in your next meeting agenda. Oh ya, be willing to go first!