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Blind Spots – We All Need Outside Eyes

Blind Spots

     Everybody has a blind spot!  While riding in a friend’s rental car the other day I noticed that this particular model had quite a blind spot and made it difficult to see cars when changing lanes.  All vehicles do, even though some people still refuse to turn their neck and double check, and you must be careful to make sure you do not hit someone.  There are also blind spots in our lives that seemingly we do not see what can be very apparent to others.  It is a good thing to have another set of eyes to help us see things that otherwise would go unnoticed. 

     In a recent article When You Church is in a Slump Thom Rainer talks about the need for a church to seek the advice of a leader from outside your church.  He says, “Sometimes that person was the pastor of another church.  On other occasions it was a denominational leader or a church consultant. “  Outside eyes can see what maybe you can easily overlook and notice situations we have become desensitized to over time.  This is why golfers have coaches who watch their golf swing and analyze their mechanics.  They film it, slow it down frame by frame, and study the film to help their client perform at their best.

     There is a tool called the Johari Window that reminds us of the need for outside eyes because of the blind spots we all have.  There are four quadrants in this tool that describe what you and others know or do not know about yourself:

  • First, there is what is OPEN to all. This is what you know about yourself and what others know about you.
  • Second, the opposite of what is open to all is the UNKNOWN This is what you do not know about yourself and others do not know it either.
  • Third, is that which is HIDDEN in your life. It is known to you but it is not known to others.  This is who you are when no one else is watching.
  • Lastly, is the BLIND SPOT! Others know this about you or observe it but you have no self-awareness in this particular area.   

The real key is making the Blind Spot and Unknown areas smaller by becoming more self-aware and by maturing in Christ.  I Cor. 13:12 says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

     Churches have blind spots also.  This is why Rainer challenges a church to get someone from the outside to help determine their current reality!  We all know that sometimes we cannot see the “trees for the forest!”  Churches can deceive themselves!  Rev 3:17 says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”  The church at Laodecia clearly had a blind spot!   The first step to a “preferred future” is a clear prognosis of your “present reality.”  

     How do you uncover blind spots in your life and in your church?

  • Pray and ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to see! (Psa 139:23-24)
  • Meet with your church’s leadership to evaluate your effectiveness! (Acts 14:26-27)
  • Don’t be scarred of, or offended by, constructive criticism! (Gal 4:16)
  • Find a Coach/Mentor who will challenge you and be honest with you! (Ecc 4:9-10)
  • Join a mentoring group where you can learn and encourage one another! (Pro 24:6)
  • Get together with several pastors and talk about what is working and what is not working in your churches! (Acts 21:18-19)
  • Use a survey tool for your membership to evaluate how healthy they believe your church is right now!
  • Compare your perspective with the perspective of your leadership and membership!
  • Research what other churches have done to turn their ministries around. Don’t compare or copy but learn from them.   Keep a teachable spirit.
  • Bring a coach/church consultant to help you uncover blind spots in your ministry! Someone who has been equipped to guide you towards a “preferred future.”

     Recently, another friend said this to me, “Larry you can’t see the blind spot in your life right now but here it is!”  He then described the situation and why this blind spot had developed.  Was it uncomfortable?  Yes!  Was he right?  Yes!  Was it helpful?  Absolutlely!  

     Healthy Christians and healthy churches invite others into their lives and their ministries to help them discover any blind spots they might have.  They are not afraid of outside eyes!!!