Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

I have been thinking about Medusa lately, actually I have been thinking about her hair.

We all know Medusa, she was a guardian in Greek mythology that had snakes for hair that were tangled and went in every direction. The story goes that if you looked at her and she looked into your eyes you would turn to stone.

I haven’t been thinking about her eyes. I have been thinking about her hair.

I was asked to facilitate a visioning session for a camp up in Washington, so Friday I rode my motorcycle up to Kent Washington were I dropped my bike off and car pooled with one of the board members to the camp.

It is a camp up in the tip of Washington near the San Juan’s, very beautiful.

The camp is in trouble, people have stopped using it, and the buildings are in need of repair.

After we arrived and had the compunctional greetings and introductions had been made. The board started telling me about all the things that they historically had done at the camp; this went on for quite awhile. As I listened to them tell me about all these great ministries “that they used to do” it became very clear that they had no direction, no real understanding of what “Donald Duck Ministries” (Not their real name but stories always go better with a name) was.

They are your typical 501-c-3, which has articles of incorporation, bylaws…

I asked them to tell me their mission statement; they didn’t have one.

I asked them to tell me their vision statement; they read me their purpose statement.

There was other discussion that lasted to 11pm and I finally said that I was going to bed.

Saturday morning;

We came together around 8am and I told them that the focus of today was to create a vision statement; “What is Donald Duck Ministries going to be when it grows up.”

There was much discussion around, the need, or rather not having a need for a vision statement, but they had brought me up there so they agreed to go through the process.

We started by writing the words, “To become.”

We went back and forth most of the morning but by 1pm we had a vision statement.

Why am I telling you this?

Because by 1pm the board had realized that Donald Duck Ministries is much bigger than just a camp, a place.

They realized that whether or not they utilized the camp was really secondary to their Vision for their ministry.

They realized that this “place” was only one of the tools that they could use to minister to the weary, those with broken spirits, to kids, to adults, to families, to those inside the church, to those outside the church.

They realized that ministry is not a building; ministry is people.

They also realized that while they had all these great ministries going on it was like Medusa’s hair, a tangled mess that was going in every direction and without a defined sense of direction people that got to close might just get bit.

Their new vision statement had incorporated into it a sense of mission. It met their purpose statement and their values statement.

In essence they had successfully combed their Medusa hair.

I left them with this thought, “Visioning without action is nothing more than looking.”

As I rode home on my motorcycle, something that I love to do it gives me space to think.

I began thinking how we tend to have Medusa hair.

While what we are doing is an attempt to do good things, without a sense of direction, a vision, a mission, a purpose. We actually don’t get much accomplished.

While what we are doing is an attempt to help people, without a sense of direction, a vision, a mission, a purpose. We actually hurt people.

Christ has a vision for us.

Christ has a mission for us.

Christ has a purpose for us.

If we take our focus off Christ and lean on our own understanding we have Medusa hair.

Only Christ can comb our hair.

My prayer is that we let Him.


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