Cathedral Thinking

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Leadership Development, Spiritual Growth
Tags: , ,

From time to time in this progressive age, we need to take a look at the past and re-learn some lessons that have been taught from former generations. In days of old, when people were thinking of building a Cathedral, the visionary would not concentrate so much on how much money it would cost to build it or on how fast it could get done. Instead he focused on the long term effects of the Cathedral, how it would last for generations, how the trees he planted would endure the course of time, and how it could be improved and expanded into the future. Jim Rogers (business man of our age) noticed that the people who envisioned these great buildings often didn’t live to see them built. Instead, they articulated a powerful vision that galvanized people to work on something that took generations to realize.

Although thinkers of our age are just discovering this concept, God has had such a concept in mind all along. He was constantly telling his people not to forget the great things he had done for them, to talk about them with their children as they walked along the road, planting seeds in them that would grow beyond the faith of their parents. In Hebrews 11, the famous faith chapter, the writer concludes that those who walked by faith so often did not see the full outcome of their faith within their own lifetime. I would suggest that if our vision stops when we die, our vision is way too small.

When we bring such a concept into our everyday lives, this is what it can look like. So often we want to do what is fast and what will make me feel good at the time. Our priorities tend to be for the here and now. We can say, “I don’t have time for that.” However, saying we don’t have time for something only indicates that our priorities don’t allow for it. The Bible teaches us that what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Successful people reminds us that sometimes what is important is not always urgent and what is urgent is not always important.

So what is really important to us as believers and how can we begin to think and act with a cathedral mindset? One group of people that tend to be marginalized in our society, and even sometimes in the church, is our children. It is a sad reality that many kids are shoved in school, shoved in day care, shoved here and there and we as adults often don’t take the time to listen or pass on to them the central truths of our lives or to train them for ministry right now. We are all guilty of it from time to time, and there is no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus. It’s true that kids tend to be messy, disturbing, and inconvenient at times. We can neglect it because it is hard work and it doesn’t pay off very fast. Then when they grow up, we wonder why they don’t behave, why we don’t have leaders, why they have some of the same problems we did when we were their age. Right now, whether we have kids of our own or not, we have a responsibility to plant within our church, oaks of righteousness for the display of His Splendor. They may be just little saplings right now, but if we water them and value them as important, they will grow into mighty oaks for the advancing of his kingdom further than we ourselves could go in our natural lifetimes. Let’s begin to think of the younger generation in a new light. If you want to be an agent of change for the future, an influencer of public opinion, and a light to the world, a smart place to start is to begin sewing into young people today. Ask the Lord of the harvest for his strategy and get to work!

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