Why are we afraid of reality? It is true in business, in the church, and even in our everyday conversations with friends and family, we obscure the reality of life. In the church, we often hear, “we’re doing fine.” Or “We’re running about the same as last year.” The interpretation of the reality of these is, “We’re losing ground. Not as many people coming, no new people joining our church, we keep cutting due to lack of finances.”
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins speaks of facing the brutal facts of reality. In Reaching the Summit, I speak of having a Vigorous Face to Face Summit with Reality. In all situations of any relationship or organization, until you are truly ready to confront the true (often brutal) facts of reality, you will not be able to pull out of any downward spiral in the relationship or organization.
Unfortunately, many people (most people) would rather glaze over or totally ignore reality, rather than face the true and often brutal facts. We want to live in our fantasy world, believing everything will turn out alright – someday. And we want to believe that day is just around the corner with our next big event, or the next big wave or program sweeping the nation. Brutal fact: It just does not happen!
It is apparently human nature to hide the truth when there are potential consequences and possible risk. Many churches remain in decline because the members (and leaders) refuse to accept reality. It is often not until the church is in dire consequences they will call on someone from outside to help. In fact, the call for help is usually one of the final grasps for survival. Even then the church is looking for a savior. Reality is; the church already has a savior and does not need another savior.
If you want to find the realty of your situation, call on a trained, unbiased outsider – someone who has nothing to gain – to assist your organization in uncovering the reality of your situation and assisting in strategically planning a turnaround.
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.
Accepting the Brutal Facts of Reality