Tales of exploration have always been exciting reading for me. Whether the focus is on the discovery of new lands or surviving dangerous terrain, new challenges and trials bring out both the best and the worst in us. We learn a lot about our humanity when we try something new.
In Call to Commitment, Elizabeth O’Connor writes,
“When the church starts to be the church, it will constantly be adventuring out into places where there are no tried and tested ways. If the church in our day has few prophetic voices to sound above the noises of the street, perhaps in large part it is because the pioneering spirit has become foreign to it. It shows little willingness to explore new ways. Where it does it has often been called an experiment. We would say that the church of Christ is never an experiment, but wherever that church is true to its mission it will be experimenting, pioneering, blazing new paths, seeking how to speak the reconciling Word of God to its own age.”
Exploration and experimentation are things we ask clients to do in coaching. Too often, we are burdened down not only by the cares of everyday life but the baggage we have accumulated over the years. We have accepted what people have told us about our limitations, we have failed to learn positive lessons from both the successes and failures of life, and we spend more time looking at the cracks in the sidewalk than the expanse of the horizon.
In exploration, all bets are off. In the initial coaching conversation, I often encourage my coaching clients to “think blue sky”-- “If money were no problem, you had all the time you needed, and there were no health limitations or other obstacles, what would you do?” As we begin to think about the various ways that they can address their growth area, a similar mindset helps. What would you like to try that you haven’t before? What are some new paths to consider?
Too often as individuals and as groups, we limit our options too quickly. We need both the opportunity and the sense of freedom to consider all of the possibilities out there. In so doing, we make exciting discoveries.