I found an interesting note in my notebook tonight. It was a simple phrase that I wrote after a trip our family took to Pennsylvania in the spring. The note was in reference to a picture of my daughter feeding a horse through the fence. The fence was electric and it was on. We had to carefully stick the carrot in between the wires and convince the horse to come close to the fence to get the food.
The whole scene reminded me of ministry and the different ways people approach it. What I wrote was: “Sometimes we are lazy and feed people through the fence, but we need to take a risk and go inside the gate.” I know that so many times people distance themselves from the pastor or ministry leader because they are just unsure. It is even worse when the pastor is the one distancing themselves from the people! But it sure makes a difference when the pastor or ministry leader does not sit on the outside of the gate, but rather enters in and relates to them as people.
We must never get so busy with the day-to-day tasks of ministry that we forget the importance of spending time in proximity with people. I know that it makes a much greater impact on lives when we love the people we serve more than the task of serving them.
If you lead a ministry, how do you make sure you don’t just go through the motions of ministry? In other words, how do you ensure that you are entering into the fence and relating versus just sticking your hand through the fence?
It is time to get inside the fence!