Everyone Knows…. Or Do They?
by Charlie Smith
In the Kansas town in which I was a pastor, the community arts festival was a big deal. The church that I served was an organizer of the inaugural festival many years before and remained a major benefactor. In gratitude, festival organizers annually provided one of the performing artists for the church’s use during the festival weekend’s Sunday service. I had only been at the church a few months, and I worked hard to craft a sermon that would complement the musicians. As I was practicing the sermon in the sanctuary, only an hour or so before the service, the choir director approached me and said, “Why did you write a sermon? The pastor never preaches on this Sunday! Everybody knows that.”
The “Johari Window” is often cited in leadership circles. (The theory’s title is a mashup of the first names of its creators, Joseph and Harry.) It is presented as four quadrants, or the image of a four-paned window. The four elements are “What Everybody Knows and I Don’t/Blind,” “What I Know and Everybody Else Doesn’t/Hidden,” “What We All Know/Known,” and “What Nobody Knows/Unknown.”
As the moderator of the Rotary Newsletter Committee, let me suggest that the newsletter that you are now reading can be a response to our Johari Window experiences. Many preachers will tell you that they wish they could wear a T-shirt each Sunday that says, “IT WAS IN THE NEWSLETTER” in response to parishioners’ questions about things and events that we are convinced were exhaustively publicized and should have been well-known to everyone. That is another way of saying that my hope is that each of you read this newsletter carefully to know what is going on with the Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29.
As a former journalist, I know that the news and the calendar in the newsletter are the most important elements. The Reflections, by me and a stellar group of dedicated writers and volunteers, might better be classified as part of a newspaper’s Features section, or its Op-Ed page, designed, at best, to bring a smile, spark some thought or stir your own memories (much as a sermon might in my second career.) I hope that no Reflection makes news, as is my goal with the pastor’s writings in church newsletters.
So, enjoy. And stay informed. And never, never, never, presume that everybody knows anything about everything.