The Compass and GPS
Here’s a little known fact: I was once a Cub Scout and Boy Scout…for short tenures. I just didn’t get many merit badges. I was just too squirrely as a boy to follow the discipline needed to be a good Scout. However, in college I discovered a love for backpacking and learned why you need to use a compass and how to read a topographical map. That was back in the days before GPS and cell phones were available to the general public.
To find your way in the wilderness, you need a good map and compass – I know! I once was leading a middle school youth group on a backpacking trip. Each day we allowed a student to lead the group and actually make the decisions about when to stop, how far to go, what trails to take – for good or bad. There were times when we had to pack into the night with flashlights and make supper in the dark because of poor decisions. I made sure a student never made a decision that put the group in danger, but they didn’t know it! We wanted to give the students the real experience of leading.
One day the other leaders with me got scared and demanded we stop. It started to become a kind of mutiny. They were lost, but I wasn’t. I knew how to read the map and I knew right where we were. I had to get out my compass and map and showed them right where we were, where the trail was and where we were going. That’s the key – know where you are and where you want to go!
Today, the modern version of a compass and paper map is GPS – an amazing technology that can pinpoint right where you are and show you what is around you and even give you directions to where you want to go.
But where do we find guidance for our spiritual journey? Where is our map and compass to show us where we are and where we need to go spiritually? Our greatest guide is the Bible. There is nothing better and there is no equal. The Bible is God’s Word to us to guide us. It shows us where we are, the right way to go and helps us avoid dangerous paths. It is always trustworthy and infallible. That’s why I recommend you use our Bible Reading Plan (currently in Psalms) or one like it (there are many plans in the YouVersion Bible app).
In addition to the Bible, there are many many good resources that use the Bible as a foundation that can guide us on our spiritual journey and determine our best next steps. But you have to know where you are first before you can know where you want to go next. To help you with that, we’ve developed a tool we call The Compass. In fact, we just launched our new and improved Compass! May I encourage you to go online and take The Compass. It takes just a few minutes and it will help you assess where you are at in your spiritual journey and then give you some suggestions as to what might help you grow in your faith. It will suggest some books, classes, groups, videos, or ways to serve that might help you take the next step.
Primarily, The Compass is designed to help you with some great action steps for spiritual growth. If you are part of a group, I encourage you to share your results with your group leader or group members so they can help encourage you as well.
Secondarily, it is very helpful for as many Pantano folks to take The Compass as possible as we use the collective results of all who take The Compass to measure if we as a church are growing spiritually. Your results remain anonymous and we don’t look at your specific growth. The only ones who know that are you and those you choose to share the results with. But this is a great tool to help us measure if what we do and provide as a church is resulting in our church growing toward Christlikeness. So please take The Compass first for yourself and also for your leaders at Pantano who will use the information to continue to improve what we do as a church.