Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

Broken Blinds

Posted on 07 Jun 2014 in Christianity, Church | Comments Off on Broken Blinds

We have cats. (Okay, so that’s not news or blog worthy, but let me explain).

Our cats love to look out the window, and will destroy anything in their way of doing so. You see here the status of the poor blinds in my office. The ones in the living room are bad too and we had to completely take down the ones in the kitchen because they were completely destroyed.

What happened to the blinds was painful for my wife and I, because at the time they were new. We enjoyed them. They kept out the hot afternoon sun, and for what it’s worth, helped us feel more safe in our house, no one could look in.

But we finally accepted that they were broken, but also determined that we didn’t need to rush to fix them and have nice ones up.


Because the cats would have inevitably destroyed those ones too. Broken Blinds

And so we live with mostly functioning, mostly intact blinds.


I think we can learn something from my cats and these broken blinds.

Behind these broken blinds are broken people. I’m not always a perfect husband, father, pastor, or friend. I get angry, I can be mean, I can say a harsh word, and now to some degree you can all see that. I can’t hind behind broken blinds.

But too often in the church, and in our relationships in general, we try to hide behind good blinds. When we are being an extraordinarily nice person, have accomplished something great, or want to show off, we can open them up and let the world see us at our best. But when we want to hide, get away from everything, be mean, or put someone down, we can draw the blinds and hide within ourselves.

And so week after week people show up into our lives, our churches, and our home groups and only see the best possible versions of ourselves, and they start to wonder, “Is this place for me? I’m broken, hurt, and struggling and these people don’t seem to be any of those things.”

What the friends, families, and neighbors around us need to see is not a perfect, have-it-all-together-gee-aren’t-I-a-nice person. They need to see real, authentic faith. Faith that struggles and doubts. Faith that doesn’t have it all together. Faith that can say, “I may not know it all or have it all together, but Jesus is faithful.”

I hear two common things from people when it comes to wanting to live on mission and share their faith, that I think need to be challenged.

  1. I don’t know enough to lead/teach/share my faith/etc… The reality is that if you can say you know Jesus, you know enough. You can share what he has done for you already and how you are learning to understand and trust his faithfulness. Plus, I’ve learned that anybody who says this often actually knows too much because they start to rationalize (with the Bible that they don’t claim to know) why they shouldn’t do something. The reality is that there has only ever been one group of people who did claim to know enough, and we call them Pharisees, so if you ever teach because you say you know enough (or ‘it all’), you should probably be excluded from teaching for obvious reasons.
  2. My life is broken, chaotic, or weird. Short response? “Yeah, whose isn’t?” John wanted to kill people with lightning and a fiery attitude, Peter betrayed Jesus, Paul tried to wipe out his followers, and we’ve all lied, cheated, or manipulated at one point in time to try and get our way. Brokenness comes with the territory of humanity. The powerful thing that people want to see is not that they have to be perfect first, but that they can be loved, valued, treasured, and used in spite of their brokenness.

For many, tomorrow will ‘be church.’ It will also be an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with brothers, sisters, and seekers to say, “We don’t have it all together but we do have Jesus, and that’s enough.” It’s a chance for the people of God to open the blinds and let people into their lives, all parts of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and together to seek Christ, to experience his peace and reconciliation, and to grow in faith, love, and justice.

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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