STEVE RATLIFFPastor / Faith EFC in Manhattan, Kan.One idea I’ve implemented is “Take Your Pastor to Work Day.” I asked people in our church to invite me to their workplace to observe what they do for a day or half a day. Around 15 people took me up on the offer.I was blown away by the good works that our people do passionately and competently day in and day out. I observed the workplaces of a daycare worker caring for an autistic child, veterinarian, crane operator, handyman, hog farmer, medical technician and several university faculty.When I go to people’s workplace, it’s their time to shine. At church they’re coming into my world, where I tend to shine. But it’s amazing to go into their workplace and see how competent they are, how much influence they have and their web of relationships.One man in our church owns a crane. He may never teach a Bible study in the church, but when I watched him put a modular building in place, I was rather amazed at his mechanical and practical intelligence which I don’t have and at the way he interacted with other guys at the work site. He never gets to show this competence at church; it was a real privilege for me to see him in his element, where he knows he’s good.I think that people are honored when I take an interest in their work. Take Your Pastor to Work has given me a greater appreciation for the challenges that people face, as well as the opportunities their work provides. It has also given me a genuine curiosity about the lives of those at Faith. I find myself encouraging them to engage more deeply in their work and in their relationships there.As a pastor, I need to understand the world in which our people live so that my conversations with them aren’t superficial and so that the sermons I preach aren’t biblically accurate but practically irrelevant.
via 9 to 5 • EFCA Today.