Sunday, July 27, 2008

On ministry and haircuts

Over the last year I've had probably 5 haircuts. I never used to get many haircuts, maybe once every 6 months, but more likely once a year. It was never a big deal, I usually wore my hair long and hardly got bangs, so it didn't need to be "kept up." But this last year I got it cut short and it has been one haircut after another of trying to get it right and keeping it looking less like a mullet and more like a pastor's haircut.

When I lived in Atlanta I would go to the Aveda school and get $12 haircuts from their students, who, after graduation, would charge $50+ for the same cut. Normally I would walk in, and say, "do whatever you want or think looks good" and I'd come out with a great haircut. There was only one time it failed me. I had told her to cut it for a curly style and she gave me HUGE hair (not something desirable for someone with naturally curly and very voluminous hair), after that I always told them, "just cut it as if it were straight and I'll take care of the rest."

This year has not gone so smoothly. I have offered everything from vague direction "do whatever you want" or "just trim it a bit" to more specific guidelines about what and how to cut. I've found that the more direction I give, the more likely I am to get a cut I want. There's the occasional stylist who "gets it" and just does a fabulous job with my vague direction, but there are others who need lots of guidance.

So now, many a haircut later, I've decided leading ministry is like getting a haircut. There are some people I can give very little instruction and they "get it" and go do the ministry and everything is fabulous and as I envisioned it. There are others who are completely lost without a full detail to do list. There are others you give instruction and they do their own thing anyway and it comes out better than you could have expected.

Mostly I think it's a matter of trial and error of figuring out how to direct each person. There's no way to simply look at them and know whether they need a lot of direction or none at all. You can only try it out and see. But generally, you're bound to get the results you desire if you have a clear vision of what you want and acquire and use the terms they understand to explain your vision.

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