Seeing People… Holes, Needs, Potential, Connections, and Ourselves – By Heidi Matson

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about seeing. First impressions and assimilation ministry is all about  seeing: Seeing people who look lost; seeing holes in our systems of communication; seeing needs; seeing potential volunteers; seeing connections that need to be forged; seeing ourselves more clearly-the list could go on.

Jesus saw people. He saw Nathanael sitting under a tree. He saw the soul wounds of the woman at the well; He saw the hypocrisy in the Pharisees hearts. He saw the crowds and had compassion on them. He saw me when I was lost.  In the Old Testament God saw Hagar in her distress and she called Him, Jehovah El Roi- “the God who sees me”.  We must be people who see.

As First Impressions /Assimilation Pastors we must constantly be checking our vision and working to deal with the things that impede it. We must lead our people to be people who see. So often as regular church attenders we come to church nearly blind. We know where to go; we know who we’ll sit with; we know what’s coming next. Thus, our vision is impaired because we can “do church” by rote, from memory. New people don’t have this luxury. We must look for them and be willing to really see them. I guarantee you, they are gaining a vision of us. Let’s determine to be people who see and lead others to see as well.

Practical tip:

Periodically, it is wise to employ a new set of eyes. Ask someone from outside your church community to walk around the campus with you and tell you what they see—would they know where to go if they had a Jr. High student? What message are the signs and banners communicating? Is it consistent with who you say you are as a church?. Then ask someone to watch on a weekend and tell you what they notice.  A new set of eyes will help your vision.


Heidi Matson ©

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