Could you imagine what it would be like to be color blind to the color of the lights at an intersection? It would be disastrous! Not only would your life be in danger but others as well.
I wonder if in the church today, we are dealing with a sense of color blindness. Here’s what I mean by that. We tend to surround ourselves with those who think like us. We’ve all done it before. Whether it be at a work function or party we usually end up spending the most time talking with people who are like minded. This isn’t necessarily wrong but it can be very unwise. If we only surround ourselves with those who think, feel and act like we do, we are only seeing one perspective. Churches do this all the time. Leaders or staff are hired because they think just like the senior pastor. It’s important to catch what I am saying here. I am not saying that we entertain heretical doctrine or rebelliously choose to not carry the vision of the local church we are planted in. However, even solid doctrine can and should be looked at from all angles. In the same way, the work and strategy taking place within the local church or organization needs multiple views to get a full perspective
Now, I know what your thinking, “Bryan I can’t stand “so and so” because whenever I bring up an idea they always give a counter-thought that, I think, shuts down my idea!” Listen, I hear you. You are getting so excited to go and evangelize your community with this great initiative when “Bob” pipes up about how the church needs to have an “encounter” corporate prayer and worship night. Then, “Sally” chimes in with this idea of how the church should have a “world religions” study group so the church can be more informed and understand the people around them. So let me ask you…whose right? I hope you said,”All of them.”
The truth is we have a God given perspective that is primary in our life. You are quite possibly either a GO-er, a KNOw-er or a GROW-er. Which means you are either ACTION orientated, INFORMATION orientated or ENCOUNTER orientated. In Natural Church Development, we have a great tool called the Trinitarian compass. This tool will help individuals and churches see exactly which of the three color dimensions you would primarily be in. Its important for us to discover the the origin of this tool… God! In the Trinity we see God the Father which is represented by the color green, God the Son (red), and God the Holy Spirit (blue). One God, yet three distinct, but unified, persons. You could also say it this way, we have God above us, God among us, and then God in us.
So, what defines a “GREEN” person or church? A person in this dimension is going to love having information in front of them. They want to deeply understand principles and strategies sometimes even just to be able to say that they know about a certain topic. These are more contemplative people who love unity. They have a passion for Gods creation and the value thereof. Also, they are motivated to be involved in social justice issues with a bend towards tolerance.
Secondly, a “RED” person is all about “getting er done”. They want action! If they could have it their way, there wouldn’t be any chairs in the church because chairs lead to sitting and not doing! (Joking…well sort of) This dimension is passionate about discipleship and evangelism. A perfect example from the Bible would be Martha. Remember, she was all about serving Jesus and was upset that Mary was sitting at Jesus’s feet listening to Him. Its important to realize what exactly Jesus said to Martha. In Luke 10, He spoke to her saying, “you are worried and upset about many details”. He wasn’t rebuking her for wanting to accomplish tasks and get work done. He was saying that it had gotten to an extreme. I will dive into that more later.
Lastly, the “BLUE” is going to be all about encountering the Holy Spirit. They will tend to have a strong focus on emotional health and spiritual power. If there is a problem, they are most likely going to want to pray about a solution rather then make a decision based on the stats or the urgency of the need. To them it just needs more Holy Spirit, more prayer, more worship. Like I had mentioned in the above paragraph Mary just wanted to be a the feet of Jesus receiving from Him.
Like I had said before in the red paragraph, the problem was an extreme. This goes for all three of the dimensions. If the green person goes to an extreme they can become syncretistic and “wishy-washy” on fundamental distinctions of the Christian faith. In the same way, when in an unbalanced perspective, the red person or church is all about activism instead of being proactive. Likewise, the blue dimension can be pulled into emotionalism where their emotions are God instead of God being God.
To sum this all up. Not one of these dimensions is better or worse then the other. They are meant to compliment each other in our churches to be able to have the full perspective and expression of God. The tendency is a proverbial “tug of war” where each color wants to get its own way, when God desires to have diversity working in unity. So, next time you are in a meeting around the staff table, instead of focusing only on expressing your own color, focus in and see the color your are blind to. This will only help you and your team to grow in all dimensions and therefore grow in health. When things are healthy, they grow all by them selves.
click here to download your own “Trinitarian Compass Survey Tool”