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Sunday, June 11th 2017

11:57 PM

Trying to Grow the Church Part 3

The Twilight Zone is probably one of the most intriguing sci-fi shows that has ever been created.  In fact, some have gone so far as to say that it is the original sci-fi show that started many others.  Well, I am a fan mainly because my dad let me watch some episodes, and I got hooked on the twists and turns similar to that of a roller coaster when watching it.

Rod Serling is a genius when writing, and he seems to have some kind of moral that goes with every episode.

In this particular episode that inspired me to write, there was a couple on their way to New York.  Their car broke down in a small town somewhere in Ohio, and they decided to go to the diner while waiting for the mechanic to work on it.

In the diner, there was a napkin holder that had a mystical figure on top that would give answers to questions when you insert a penny.  Think “Magic 8 ball” and you know what I am talking about.  It is a novelty, but the couple got concerned because the answers were too close to truth for it to be a coincidence.

The man got sucked in and started to believe that it could predict the future, so he continued to ask questions.  Eventually, the toy convinced the man that it was not safe to leave town, so he made up his mind to stay where he was.  His girlfriend was scared and wanted to leave because if the toy was really predicting the future, she did not want any part of it.

Eventually, the girlfriend convinced the man that the toy was not predicting the future, and they needed to leave.  The mechanic got the car fixed, and they were on their way.  As they were leaving the diner to pick up the car, there was another couple coming in looking like they haven’t slept in weeks.  They go to the toy, insert a penny and ask if they could leave town.  Out of frustration, the guy said, “Looks like we will never be able to leave town.”

Sometimes fear can convince you to listen to that which you know is unreasonable.

I’m sure that most of us can relate to this kind of situation.  The church meets to discuss something, but there is always a person or people who will say something that will stop the entire process dead in its tracks.  It could be something as little as spending money to replace the carpet that nobody likes or something as elaborate as an entire building that is needed for growth.

The problem is that the vocal minority can often control the room, and that can paralyze a church and kill a project.

What can you do when fear takes over the room?  Unfortunately, there is not much you can do until you find the source of that fear and why it exists.  If the fear is based on something real, you can work at correcting the issue that is causing people to react.  That is easy enough especially if it is a money thing, or a timing thing.  Those are easy to spot and the answer is obvious.  You either show that the money is available or will be available or you wait for the right time to make it happen.

However, if the fear is based on assumptions or the unknown such as “This could happen” or “What if this ends up happening” or something else like it, we have to be wise in how we handle the people who are afraid.

While it is silly to allow fear of the unknown to take over, it is not a good idea to fight those who have that fear.  Instead, we should figure out a way to make sure that they realize that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.  This can happen as long as you take the time to work with the people who are afraid instead of leaving them to continue being anxious over what is happening.

The girlfriend on the Twilight Zone episode got the point across to the man by talking to him and reasoning with him.  He finally came to his senses, but it took time and a conversation.  In the same way, we need to take the time to have a conversation with those who are afraid so we can move forward with whatever project is on the horizon.

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