out in the field
One of my best friends in ministry had a saying that I've latched onto over the years. He says, "If you don't know what to do, go to where the people are." He was a part of a campus ministry, so to him that meant go to the campus and be with students. For me, this meant making time to meet with people in times and places that worked for them.
I could, I suppose, wait around for people to come to me at the church...but I'd rather be proactive. So I often call people, meet for coffee, go for lunch or visit people in their homes. I go to where they are. Just this week, for example, I'll share meals with two people from the church, visit a family in their home and spend the weekend with over a dozen leaders from our church on a retreat as we plan for the future of Six Points. One of my professors calls this a "ministry of presence."
Jesus uses the idea of a sheep and shepherd often to describe his role to us. He is the good shepherd. The title Pastor comes from this same idea. I am supposed to know my sheep and they are supposed to know me. I work, along with a team of leaders, to care for and guide people into being fully developed disciples of Jesus. That's the job. Sometimes this happens through a sermon (and the prep work to get the sermon ready) but often it happens over a cup of coffee and conversation.
A good shepherd has to get out of the office and out into the field...because that's where the people are.
P.S.: If you want to meet up for a cup of coffee (or lunch, or a walk on the Monon while we chat), just reach out. I'm always up to meet, talk and listen.
Leave a Reply.