Many people are submerged in the same circle of ministries and churches for years, if not decades. They only visit those churches, they only preach in those churches, they only talk to pastors from those churches, they only recommend that you go to those churches, and they only understand the culture in those churches. That circle of churches and ministries has created a bubble in which these individuals live.
Let me say that there is nothing wrong with having a certain style of church or ministry that you prefer. But what has happened for many in Baptist circles is that their bubble now defines reality; it’s all they know. As a result, if affects how they make decisions, it affects how they view outreach, it affects their view of missions, and it affects how they interact with those not in their bubble. They begin to think that the issues they face in their bubble are the only issues that are facing the Church and Christianity as a whole. They begin to think that their methods are the only methods that are permissible. They begin to think that those not in their bubble are wrong. Their bubble has created a new, but false reality.
The individual that called me was critical of my view of missions and my desire to create a new missions strategy. The problem with his comments was that they were all based on the reality inside his bubble; not true reality. He was convinced that everything he said was true. However, he simply demonstrated that he was living in a bubble.
Pastors, if we are not careful our bubble can make us blind to reality. It is something I fight daily. We must intentionally resist the urge to redefine reality based upon our specific circles. If you allow this to happen there are several things that will unknowingly take place in your life and ministry.
1- You will become isolated. You will choose only to associate with others in your bubble — those who define reality in the same way as you.
2- You will become legalistic. Your way of doing ministry will be the right way, and all other ways will be wrong.
3- You will become defensive. You will feel the need to defend what you do. You must keep the bubble from being popped.
4- You will ignore the weaknesses of your movement. It is easier to ignore something than fix it. If everyone ignores the problem, then there is no problem.
5- Your effectiveness will be limited. When you are blind to reality you cannot effectively influence those living in reality.
We must intentionally be aware of reality. Please, beware of the bubble!