During my last position on a church staff (2009-2014), I spelled out what people, staff, and members, could expect from me and my team. I thought it important that I put forth some standards by which I and we could be evaluated by those who were the recipients of our care and service. I came up with eight standards and I thought I would share them now in the hopes that others in ministry will see them and adopt the practice—although the standards should and will vary from individual to individual and team to team. Here is my first standard which are presented and ranked in their order of priority for me:
- APPROACHABLE —"Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-14).
The disciples tried to prevent the children from coming to Jesus. Jesus, however, said in so many words, “Hey, this is why I’m here. For people to touch me.” At times, working in an office, talking on the phone, or other day-to-day tasks become more urgent than the people Jesus sent us to serve. We need to be like Jesus and communicate, “I’m here for you” no matter how busy or tired we are.
Perhaps another word I could have used here is "accessible." I never wanted a secretary, usher, or "armor-bearer" to stand between me and the people I was sent to serve. Therefore, my door was always open, I shook a lot of hands when the church doors were open for services, and I had many one-on-one appointments with those who wanted to see me and "touch" a pastor. This value or ministry standard is also the reason I am on social media all day every day. There I can stay in "touch" with my flock, and I use the term loosely, all over the world. In the next post, we will look at the second standard which is "responsive," but ministry effectiveness starts for me by being available or accessible to the people.