Things May Look Good, But Are They Clear?

Because I travel regularly, I have developed systems and rules to quickly check for life’s  essentials (wallet, phone, earbuds and keys) by assigning them each to a pocket. In hotel rooms, plugs, cables and toiletries all have their assigned place. Rental cars have rules about armrest storage and what is allowed to be in the backseat. My one travel goal is, essentially, to never leave anything behind. And so far, my systems and rules have worked… except last month at Catalyst.

I left my beloved, 8 year old, pair of glasses in my hotel room in Atlanta… they never made it out of my bag when I unpacked. I remember seeing them in their proper spot, next to my contact case on the hotel bathroom counter, but never held them again. A few weeks ago, after about 5 calls to the hotel, I gave in and got a new pair.

Then a strange thing happened… when I put on my new glasses, the world changed.

Objects have a new found crispness.

Colors seem a bit more vibrant.

Trees in the distance are more defined.

Traffic signs and advertisements become readable noticeably sooner.

The distance at which I need to hold a book is now variable, not fixed.

As it turns out, my eyesight has changed over the past few years, and I also require a slight difference in my strength for glasses as opposed to contacts. I had been living on an old prescription and over time, my perception of the world had adjusted.

If not for my optometrist and her set of tools, “this-one-or-this-one” questions and techniques to assess, analyze and adjust my vision, I would continue to fail to see things as they actually are. And worse yet, I would still need to be right up on a road sign before I could clearly see the needed turn coming, greatly diminishing my decision making ability.

The truth is, every church and organization needs a vision checkup on a regular basis. The problem is, that leaders adjust to seeing through their current and aging “prescription.” They fail to account for changing needs of what it actually looks like to make disciples. Every input measure used, attendance, budget and operations, can appear fine, yet in reality, not be what God has created or intended them to be. In most cases, until a crisis or loss occurs, needed change will not.

How about your organization or church? When was your last vision check-up? 

You might be surprised at what you have been missing.

A few places to begin a clarity check-up are: assessing your Vision Frame, downloading the Church Unique Visual Summary or starting a clarity conversation.