• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Swift Trust

Listening to a webinar the other day on leading global virtual teams (www.ecornell.com/june16archive), I was struck by the timeliness of the presenter’s comments when he said, “Trust is the glue of the global workplace.”  As we have walked through this idea of community, we have been asking one another what elements are part of how that community should function.  Yet, somehow deep in hearts we know that community is tenuous (if not impossible) without trust.  

Right there is the start of so many critical questions: what is trust?  How would we describe it or define it?  How does it work out in community? 

Now here’s where the presenter in this webinar caught me by surprise.  Noting that trust was the “glue of the global workplace,” he defined trust in this way: “the willingness to make oneself vulnerable to another.”  I would not have written the definition in this way.  My definition would have tilted more towards “me” and how I could have confidence in another; what are the factors that would make me more likely to put my faith in another person.  Then the proverbial snowball  began to gain speed as I thought of so many biblical illustrations or texts like the one in 1 Corinthians 13:7, where the apostle Paul writes: “[Love] bears (or puts up with) all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  Our offer of trust flows out of the reality that Jesus made Himself vulnerable for us, so that through His sacrifice and love we might make ourselves vulnerable to others.

Often people tell me that “trust needs to be earned.”  While I certainly agree with that statement, I’m wondering if there is not a sense in which our community needs to practice what this presenter called “swift trust”.  “Swift trust” would mean that we start by assuming that others are worthy of trust (by that offer, we actually make ourselves vulnerable to both joy and disappointment), and then look for indicators that would validate that trust.  So, how might this change our experience of community together?

3 Responses

  1. This issue of trust is mentioned so frequently when reading about teams. But the “swift trust” is what most will not be willing to offer until the other person has show it first. Powerful thought for each of us and all WT workers. But is this not what Jesus has done for us when he went to the cross for us, to provide us with a divine victory if we will only trust what He did. He took the first steps, never asked us to do anything but believe and trust.

  2. This morning in a breakfast meeting with the Taiwan team, the issue of cynicism came up as a result of a major trust buster. Tim McCracken defined cynicism as “realism without faith.” Seann Gibson labeled it with one word, “unbelief.”

    As we talked about how to avoid cynicism, we reminded ourselves of the need to come back to the foot of the cross, preach the Gospel to ourselves daily and remind ourselves that God’s Spirit is at work within us to fulfill His good purposes.

    “Swift trust” in our World Team culture is based on confidence in what God is doing in our own hearts and in the hearts of others. Our faith in God and His work allows us to trust Him at work in ourselves and at work in each other.

  3. I totally agree with Albert. We must trust our fellow brothers in Christ because of our faith in Him. We must forgive, and then we must be willing to throw out some trust – not blind 100% trust, but more like a down payment. We have to assume that the Spirit of God is working in our fellow believers hearts, and so they are worthy of that “swift trust”, but only because of God.

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