Over the next few weeks I will be writing blog posts designed to help you debrief the Lausanne Congress experience. Before the congress I spoke of how important the “PRE” work is to a successful event. Now it is our chance to talk about the “POST” work.
So many of us attend an event, watch a video, participate in a discussion and then allow the busyness of each day to steal away the insights and progress that the experience facilitated. But if we invest time in post-event debriefing we can get the most out of what we learned.
For this first blog I want to talk about expectations. Expectations are a human response. The ability to expect a certain outcome is driven positively by our God-given ability to hope and negatively by our flesh-given ability to fear. The very nature of hope is the idea of expecting great things from God.
We bring expectations to everything in life. We have expectations about our next meal, our visit with a friend, our performance on a test in school and our effectiveness in ministry. And because expectations are so present in everything that we do, much of our time is spent managing these expectations.
Sometimes we exceed expectations and celebrate in the achievement. Other times we do not meet our expectations and we wonder what went wrong.
As I have watched many congress participants in the weeks after the congress, I have seen several of them debrief by sharing their expectations and how these hopes were met or left unmet. The more I have watched these and read some of them, the more I think this is a very healthy part of debriefing.
Many times our expectations are invisible/unstated/unexamined. We feel happy…or sad about something and don’t know why. Could it be that our expectations were/were not met and that is part of our emotional response?
As we strive to learn from the congress, I think each of us should stop and take some time to examine our expectations. Take a few minutes to go through this exercise: