Friday, February 13, 2009

Fish Bowl

This afternoon I participated in a fascinating dialogue about West Houston in a “fish bowl” conversation at a retreat for the West Houston Leadership Institute. Five of us were invited to engage in a discussion about the quality of life in West Houston while members of this year’s leadership class listened in to our conversation. We were the in the “fish bowl” while they sat around us observing and ultimately asking questions.

In the fish bowl with me were:

Pam Holms, Houston City Council Member, District G
Michael Mallon, President of Terrance Security (and a former law enforcement officer)
Greg Meyers, HISD Trustee, District VI, Second Vice President
Kathy Miller, Vice President of Administration, Metro National

We all agreed that our part of Houston is rapidly changing and each day we become more of Houston’s 7 or so “downtowns.” What only a few years ago was considered the suburbs is today by almost any definition a mixed suburban-urban environment.

I spent a lot of time thinking about and working on city planning issues during my architectural education and career. It was great preparation for leading a church that finds itself near the epicenter of the fourth largest city in the U.S.

Much of what is happening in our neighborhoods is paralleled by changes taking place in the church. There is still much of neighborhood and the church we once knew, the one we grew up with and therefore there is the great temptation to hold on to what was. Yet just as God told Isaiah, “Behold! New things are spring up all around us.”

But whether its in a neighborhood or a church, change doesn’t come easy. As Mark Twain once observed:

“I want to look forward, I just don’t want to change.”

It’s that reality that has me “thinking orange” and “killing cockroaches” and it leaves me scared and exhilarated!

No comments:

Post a Comment