What do you see when you look at the world? Take a moment with me and reflect. With your mind’s eye, capture images that pop up when you think of the world today. Write down words on a paper to describe what you see. Look at those words. What do you see when you look at the world? What is your worldview?
Recently, there have been some interesting conversations about the world on several blogs. From the “Stanford Social Innovation Review” Daniel Ben-Horin, founder and co-CEO of TechSoup Global, wrote and interesting post called Tension and Possibility: The New Dynamics of Change. Ben-Horin writes about generational approaches to change in NGO’s. The comments that he received to the post are very insightful, so much so, that a friend asked him to post some of them on her Blog. The comments are from various individuals around the world working for different NGO’s. The ways in which people see the world and act upon their worldview’s struck me reading the original post and the comments.
Change is the “water” we are swimming in these days in CBF. Organizationally there are major changes happening with retirements, searches for key leadership positions, and the 2012 Taskforce recommendations. Of course if we weren’t experiencing change then that would be a sure sign of something wrong. Just look at the landscape of the Western Church.
Numerous articles, books and events have discussed the major transitions occurring in the Western church. The reality is that there is a significant shift in the contextual reality that the church and individual Christians in the West find themselves in. The current contextual reality has led many churches to a congregational, theological and cultural loss of identity.
Yet it doesn’t stop there with just the Western church experiencing change. Our entire Western Culture is experiencing vast change and much of this change we are experiencing is due to technology, communication, science, etc…all of which shape our culture and change our perspective of the world.
The thing is that it just so happens that we find ourselves directly facing a HUGE worldview shift. When I was a kid I lived in Uganda. We had a phone on a desk in our house that had no use other than gather dust. In the 4 years we lived there it worked once. The telecommunications infrastructure (1980’s) in Uganda (and most of Africa) was nonexistent. It took us 3 months to get mail from the USA. Then we moved to Greece (1988-93). While there in Greece, there were not enough phone lines because of lack of infrastructure for every house to have a phone. A die hard Tarheel fan, I remember getting up every morning in 1993 in Greece to see the NCAA basketball scores from the day before.
Today, most of Africa uses cell phones and Greece has one of the highest rates of personal cell phone use in Europe. Friends in both places chat with me using Facebook and Skype. You can watch the NCAA over the internet. I completed my MA from Fuller with a Cohort of 25 persons all living in various places around the world. We all interacted via technology with integrated face to face stints in Pasadena.
We live in a different world and the way that we engage each other; school, work, organizational management, communications, church, etc…will change and adjust to the reality in which we find ourselves; unless of course it doesn’t…ask Kodak and Western Union how that works.
By no means do I mean to suggest that all change is always “better”. What I do mean to suggest is that facing change is inevitable in our fast paced world and that we are too busy to act without reflection.
So, I ask again, what do you see when you look at the world? What is your worldview?
To get somewhere, we have to understand where we are coming from. Then, along the way of our journey, we have to ask those we meet and travel with where they are from, where they are going and discover why we are journeying together at all.