Perhaps the most important step in developing your ability to straddle is to discover the audience you primarily find yourself in, and then take intentional - and sometimes bold - steps to engage more frequently with the other audience. My friend Tom Clegg wrote a book a few years ago titled Missing in America in which he encourages readers to identify something they love to do (e.g. a hobby) and then go and do that "something", whatever it is, with the audience they spend the least amount of time with.
For example, while living in southern California within a community of faith I found that I spent the majority of my time with brothers and sisters who were committed to following Jesus. Now as someone who loves to play basketball, I (along with some of my friends) determined not to join a church basketball league where we would be surrounded by even more Christians. Rather, we joined the city league where we could more deeply learn about and invest in the lives of those who did not participate in a community of faith.
By playing basketball in the city league, my friends and I were able to develop relationships of trust with a few young men, which created opportunities for us to respond to the promptings of the Spirit to share the love and grace of God with others. Had we not practiced the posture of straddling, we would have missed opportunities to grow in obedience to God’s leading.
Having spent a significant amount of time with others who do not yet know or follow Jesus, I'm now much more comfortable investing my time, resources, and energy in their lives. In fact, it may even be time to re-assess my practice of straddling and determine if I need to invest more time and energy in the lives of fellow followers of Jesus. We're never equally balanced as straddlers; rather our weight/momentum will constantly shift from one foot to the other. The important thing is to know when it's time to shift our weight so as not to get stagnant and neglect the other audience.
The practice of straddling raises two practical questions. First, what audience do you most often interact with? And second, what intentional steps can you take today to more deeply invest in the other audience? If you'd like some help as you develop this practice of straddling, let me know. I'd love to come alongside you and encourage you in your journey.
May you learn to see and respond to God as you participate more engage more regularly with the other audience.