Perspective comes in community.
Left to myself I can only create a one-dimensional view of the world. Add another person and suddenly I start to get depth perception and perspective.
Growing up my family regularly drove long distances together overnight and thought nothing of it. My mom made curtains for the car and as we rolled across the Tennessee line headed south from Ohio early in the morning we would change clothes. We counted cars and read books and slept in between the suitcases in a day before child safety seats.
I have now met several people for whom trips like that create anxiety and sleep deprivation. What I took for granted I now realize was somewhat unusual. Many families are not comfortable travelling long distances in a car for 20 plus hours at a time.
Left to myself I would have stayed in a one-dimensional world. Left to myself I would arrogantly assume that everyone sees things just like I do.
Now, in community, I suddenly begin to see a world of different perspectives. When James the brother of Jesus says we should be “Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” he is helping us maintain a guardrail against selfish and one-dimensional thinking.
In what part of your life are you clinging to a one-dimensional view of the world, and who can help you gain perspective in that area of your life?
In leading worship your perspective matters. By perspective, I mean the way that you think about what you say and sing and how you lead.
For instance, if your perspective is that you are supposed to give something you have to people who do not have it, you will come across as an evangelist.
On the other hand, if you try to understand the perspectives of the people coming through the door in order to speak directly to them, you will come across as compassionate.
The next time you lead worship or speak, take a few minutes to think about the people walking through the door. What if that person is a widow? A teenager? A single mom or dad? A downsized worker? A newly divorced person? Will it make a difference in how you speak or lead or not?
Can I suggest that choosing to ignore these details will make those people feel ignored? We often simply think about what we are giving to people rather than about the people to whom we are giving it, and our message can sound aloof and pretentious.
I remember once as a young worship leader saying, “I don’t care if you’ve had a difficult week, this is the time to worship with all you’ve got.” I am grimacing right now just admitting this. Wow. The height of arrogance.
Learn from my mistake. Have a little humility and compassion when you prepare to lead.
How do you need to change your perspective in your preparation for leadership?