This post was written by Kim Hudson, a member of the INCM Blog team.
Most mornings I start my day drinking a steaming cup of black coffee while enjoying the view of the pond just outside my back door. Delightful ducks swim, Canadian geese circle overhead then come in to make a smooth landing, and, occasionally, fish leap then quickly make a circle in the water as they return to the deep. “Coffee and conversation with Jesus,” is what I have come to call this quiet time with the One who created all the beauty I see from my plant-filled, enclosed patio.
Sunday I slipped out earlier than usual to be greeted by a dense fog. Unusually, the sights that I anticipate early each morning were hidden. Or were they? I thought to myself.
You see (pun intended), as I eased into my favorite chair and strained to see the fountain that usually sprays and bubbles in the pond, I began to hear the gentle sploshes that my eyes could not see. Ducks quacking, Geese honking, and fish splashing were louder than I had heard before.
We welcomed 2020 with the anticipation of a year of perfect, clear vision. Now, many months into this tumultuous year, I wonder, what if 2020 was less about clarity about old vision and more about new vision? I’d even like to suggest that it might be about multifaceted vision.
Let me explain. I have worn corrective lenses for as long as I can remember. Lenses, that when they function correctly, allow me to see up close and far away all at the same time. Magic, right? “Monovision” is what my optometrist called this concept over 10 years ago when she initially sold me on the idea. Except, over time, what was meant to do two things at once, stopped working. They prevented me from seeing up close, forcing me to wear oh-so-cute, but easily misplaced, readers.
Becoming more and more frustrated with my inability to see clearly, I made an appointment with my eye clinic. I suspected I needed a new prescription. I listened to the diagnosis of a new-to-me eye doctor who suggested “multifaceted” lenses, which, he promised, would allow me to see in ways I had never seen before. Sure, I thought to myself, I will try them, meanwhile I expected to depend on my colorful readers. However, over a month since these slivers of silicone hydrogel slid into my eyes, I can see better now than I can remember ever seeing, just as the wise doctor promised. I am so thankful I listened and was open to the possibilities of literally new vision.
Vision means “having the ability to see or the ability to think or plan.” It also means “a mental image, a thought or concept or object formed by the imagination.” Corrective lenses allow us to see. Wise minds help us plan. And multifaceted vision comes from our willingness to listen. As leaders to children and families, we must listen especially to the Holy Spirit who wants to pour out His vision on all of us. We must be willing to unmute His voice in a time we have (for good reason) muted so many other voices. Multifaceted vision allowed me to see the ducks swim, geese fly, fish jump, and fountain spew through the thick fog as I changed my posture from that of a seer to that of a listener.
Multifaceted vision for us as leaders during this time requires us to listen to Scripture that is unchanging, which allows for perfect vision that doesn’t need correcting. It requires listening to wise leaders for clarity as we reimagine what ministry looks like. And it requires listening to the families we serve to hear what seems blurry and what seems perfectly clear. Through listening to these three sources, we get the opportunity to realign our mission to what God is speaking through our community as we listen to His word.
As we imagine what ministry looks like when everything is foggy and unclear, what would it be like to stop looking for what once was and start listening for what is next? To grasp that the world is forever changed. To ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us about His multifaceted vision for children’s ministry.
Ask. Even when He seems quiet. Keep asking.
Open your eyes and listen.
“The word of God is clear: Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18a KJV
Kim is the Early Childhood Pastor at a church in North Carolina. Though she began her marathon in ministry as an 8-year-old believer with a sensitive spirit, she transitioned into vocational ministry 7 years ago. She is an INCM Engage Certificate alumni, and has her Masters in Religious Arts in Education. As a writer, speaker, and INCM coach she is passionate about connecting Kingdom calling to the world around us because she sees Jesus everywhere and believes kids and their leaders can too!