The “It” Factor
We always talk about people or organizations that have “it,” that intangible quality that helps them succeed. However, we’re never quit sure what “it” is. We just know it when we see it.
The problem is that if we don’t know exactly what “it” is, it makes it very difficult to cultivate “it” in our professions or organizations.
In the life of the church, I think we can name what “it” is. I was thinking about this in relation to the story of Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after the resurrection (John 21:4-8).
The disciples were in a boat fishing, and they see Jesus standing on the shore. Peter is so excited to see him that he jumps into the water and swims toward Jesus. This is very surprising. One would think that Peter would want to hide in shame because just before the resurrection, Peter disowned Jesus on three occasions. But there was something about Jesus that drew Peter toward him. Peter knows that Jesus will see him for who he really is, and he will be embraced, loved and forgiven.
I think that churches who have “it” are those who are like Jesus: they are places where people can show up and be seen for who they are, and know there is a place for them. Churches who have “it” are safe places to be ourselves, not places to pretend to be someone or something we’re not.