“Mirror, Mirror… ”
I think we know how the rest of that line goes. A real classic in the Disney canon that gives you a glimpse at what’s on the mind of the antagonist to Snow White. In that moment, the Evil Queen wanted a little personal validation about the scope of her beauty regardless of the truth.
Aspects of this storyline are not that dissimilar from tendencies that individuals and entire institutions sometimes display. The desire to look for confirmation bias because of title, positionality, privilege, and (or) power is real.
We see it all the time.
I’m the leader, so I must be good at leading.
I’m popular, so I must be a good person.
We’re the church, so we must light.
As God would have it, our titles, roles, resources, and abilities alone don’t determine who we are.
Our very soul can desire and crave to live up to our myriad of assets, but who we are has more to do with what we practice vs. what we have.
One of the ways that Flourish Placemaking Collective (FPC) desires to serve the community is through our work of helping churches consider and understand what they practice.
We strive to aid churches in their work to think deeply, critically, and soberly about how they use their assets to live up to their title and position, as the church.
The power of true reflection avoids seeing what you want to see. It lets go of magical mirror thinking and embraces the hard work of naming what we believe, what we have, and what we do (the SOUL work of placemaking).
The nature of this work unlocks the ability for a church to imagine ways it can further align the desires of its soul with what it practices in the community.
For our part, FPC is committed to helping as many congregations as possible avoid the draw of magical mirrors for reflection that is deeper, harder, slightly uncomfortable, but lovingly powerful instead.