Think of a house, perhaps your own. There are several rooms and areas in our homes. There’s the living room, the bedrooms, the master bedroom, the kitchen, the front porch, even the sidewalk. There are different “levels” within each home. There’s also certain areas we let people onto or into and some areas we keep people out of. And for good reasons! Not everybody should be allowed at every level of your home. Certain domains within our houses are more intimate where we don’t just allow anybody to come in.
Now think of your life and the people you allow to speak into it. What if your life is the house? And, what if we identified FOUR areas or “levels” of sharing in your life? What people do we allow to share at varying levels? And, are they the right people?
In the Spring, I went to a leadership conference called “Catalyst” and heard one speaker named Mike Foster speak on Levels of Sharing. I thought today I would simply restate what I learned from his teaching during that conference. Since hearing this, I have re-taught it now several times because it really impacted me and made me adjust who I allow to share at certain levels of my life. We cannot allow anybody to speak into any area. This teaching will no doubt make you think, maybe even re-evaluate who you allow at the most intimate parts of your life. This is focused on reflection.
There’s really FOUR Levels that we allow people to share with us. They range in intimacy and gravity from least to greatest: the sidewalk, the front porch, the living room, and the master bedroom… This blog post will be divided up into TWO separate posts! So, stay tuned because this weekend I’ll post “part 2.”
Master Bedroom – Level 4
Let’s go in reverse order… Starting with the Master Bedroom. This is the area of your life that is most intimate. Here’s what I’ve realized: there are people in our master bedroom (that we allow to share into our lives) that SHOULD NOT be there! Then, there’s some that we have not allowed to dwell there that desperately need to be there. This is the level we must get right!
I’ve met married people that don’t even allow their spouse into the most intimate parts of their lives. The people who need to be here are the ones who’s words will carry the most weight. They are the ones that are 100% “for” you. They have no agenda other than to selflessly love you. Who is this in your life? Perhaps you need to do some kicking out of those who have set up camp in the most intimate parts of your life but don’t have your best interest in mind. Maybe you need to open up and invite in someone who needs to be there. Who you have at your “master bedroom” level of sharing will make the most difference in your life and leadership, guaranteed.
Living Room – Level 3
The only other place “inside” of your life is the living room level… This is where you allow people to speak into your life but not at the most intimate level. These are people who are very influential on your life and leadership and who you “do life” with. In church terms, this is your small group. They are folks who are for you and will be there for you. They don’t spend every waking moment with you but it’s often enough.
Sometimes we allow these folks to get into our master bedroom which is where they don’t really need to be. But sometimes, we still have people in our living room speaking into our lives when they really have no business being there. But we need the right people in this space. We need people who do life with us often enough, and who love us well enough, that they will speak the truth you need to hear into your life. I have a much smaller group of people in my living room (and even smaller in my master bedroom). The people in my living room are ones that I know are for me and will be there when I really need them. Likewise, I’ll be there for them. Why? Because we are doing life together.
What are your levels?
All of us have people in these levels of our lives. We will dive into the other two over the weekend. This is to get us started with the most intimate “inside” folks in each of our lives. Why am I writing about this? Great question. The reason I chose this topic this week is because if we don’t put people where they belong in our life, we will end up burning down our own house. But, our life and leadership will surely thrive when we have people at the right levels of sharing.
This week you might want to grab a journal and a cup of coffee and really discern where the key people are in your life… This is a practice that could really change your life. Stay tuned for part 2!