What Do You See?
Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, MBA
A new year is upon us, and a unique one it is. The date gets your attention: 2020. Could it be a call to vision, a reminder of how to focus, a warning to look carefully? I wondered if focusing on the vision aspect would be too obvious, if everyone would be doing it, or if it would be too predictable. However, the year 2020 will only come once in this millennium, only once ever! Because the needs among us and around us are so great, we will be taking time to concentrate on what we see around us in the new year that begins on January 1.
Twice each month through the year we will be strategically asking the question: What do you see? Each question will have a particular perspective, but all will be encouraging us to open our eyes and look – look hard, look seriously, look with conviction and compassion at what is around us.
Now in my 14th year of serving with Metrolina Baptist Association I am more and more convinced that we really do not see what is around us or if we do, we work hard to ignore it. In a place like metro Charlotte, you can blink and miss a hundred opportunities. So in the year 2020 we are going to ask some hard questions, challenge one another to open our eyes, and look for God’s truth and direction in the realities around us.
One of the biggest challenges for churches is to keep an outward focus, an on-going awareness of what is happening in the mission field around us instead of a selfish focus on ourselves and what is going on with us. The Christian’s perspective needs to be on those near us who have needs, especially the need of Jesus and the life, hope, love and faith He makes possible.
With each question we ask we will explore the needs in neighborhoods, the condition of churches, the challenges in our culture, and the opportunities individuals and congregations possess to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. We will be intentionally concentrating on a Kingdom Focus, a perspective that acknowledges the lordship of Jesus Christ over life and His headship over each church. It is His Kingdom we serve, not our own. We long to bring Him glory as we trust and obey Him where He has planted us.
Jesus told his disciples, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest” (John 4:35b CSB). In 2020 we will be challenging one another at least twice each month to open our eyes and look at the fields around us. The needs are great, and the harvest is ready. It was true when Jesus spoke it and it is true today.
So, what do you see? When you look at your church…when you look at your neighbor…when you look at a school…when you look at a city…when you look at yourself…what do you see? And, what will you do about it? My prayerful hope in 2020 is that Christians will be revived, neighbors awakened, and many eyes opened to all God will do if we see what He is doing and join Him in His work. Let it be so, Lord Jesus!