Serving on a team is both rewarding and most challenging. Rewarding because the efforts of the collective group are far better than what we could accomplish on our own. Challenging because it involves working with other people; and if we are honest – working with people is not always easy.
All of us desire good healthy relationships. However good relationships are hard to come by. I don’t really have to tell you that relationships take work. That is one of those truths that are just experienced universally.
In the book Leadership Axioms author and pastor Bill Hybels offers some great thoughts on the pathway to great lasting relationships. You see we all desire genuine community – especially with those whom we serve alongside. But the nature of relationships – the general pull of momentum is to slide from genuine community to what you could call “pseudo community.” Pseudo community is when you are going through the motions – it looks good on the outside, but inside you know it is hollow. It’s when we move from celebrating each other to simple tolerating each other. A shift occurs when we move from sharing truth with one another to sharing platitudes.
None of us desire pseudo community, but we know that the natural pull will take us in that direction. How do we move from pseudo community into genuine community? Hybel’s suggests you have to go through the Tunnel of Chaos.
Tunnel of Chaos might sound like a ride at Six Flags, but it is not a theme park attraction. The Tunnel of Chaos is the intentional road of honesty and openness that allows true community to flourish.
So what does it mean to go through the Tunnel of Chaos with someone? Sometimes it means asking the questions that you don’t feel comfortable asking. It means you say the things that need to be said, even if it is uncomfortable. The tunnel of chaos is a place where our character and love are tested. It does a forging work in relationships.
Going through the tunnel of chaos moves us from pseudo community into true community, and that is not a one-time journey. You see over time issues and tensions can build up, and the tunnel of chaos allows us to stay current – it fights the build up and boil over of relationship issues.
So on your volunteer team, in your personal relationships, in your marriage or family relationships – I want to encourage you to go through the tunnel of chaos as your path to true genuine community.