Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about bias. I’m in school again and have been studying various theories of human capital and capability. These theories are essentially about how our experiences create habits, tendencies, and inclinations. Since we can’t help but have bias, how is bias entering our discernment process and becoming part of the discussion? We’ve got some great checks and balances and are seeing God’s faithfulness to us in so many ways. The five tree analogy the Leadership Council has seen grow out of our Prayer Schools and Mini Summit is proof that this is actually coming together, though “beautifully and inherently messy,” as our Council described. But I still see our biases and hope we embrace what we should and let go of what we need.
I’ve asked myself about what stewardship means to me, what does dreaming big mean to me, and what is the intersection of those two categories? How do my biases affect my leadership of a Prayer School (how I interpret what I hear the group saying), my listening and responding to others’ ideas (what ideas I do and do not resonate with and why), and my idea of what it means to leave a legacy for future LaSallers (physical, spiritual, monetary)? Do I just want my name on the building, so to speak? Do our biases prevent us from seeing the big picture or have us focused narrowly in the present?
Well, trying to listen to my biases, especially in light of our austerity budget for 2015, has made me think about what LaSalle Street Church has meant in my life. It’s meant a safe place to ask questions and explore faith and doubt, it’s meant meeting some of my best friends, it’s meant feeling proud, and sometimes it’s meant feeling sad, angry, and sorry. Specifically for me, it’s meant working with youth, writing Lenten and Advent prayers, stage-managing Shakespeare plays, connecting with a small group, and having a meaningful wedding. Ultimately, I’m biased toward LaSalle Street Church—the pastors, the staff, the congregation, the buildings, and the turf. You are God’s people, my people, and I want to take care of you.
If we can acknowledge our bias for LaSalle Street Church (in my case), we can begin to look beyond our bias and discern the ways that we can join God in God’s work as LaSalle Street Church.
Dar Fieberg Herdegen
Prayer School Captain – Royal Grammas