Featuring Darlene Zschech Posted on March 10, 2010

With the open door theory, I love to have people in my home, chatting to them while we are just doing life. Rather than having meetings and more meetings, invite someone to your home to chat while you potter at home, bring them over to be with you while you write a song, if you are driving the kids around, going to the air- port, make a point to grab one of the young ones who’s been asking to have time with you and just get them involved in the real world.

You see, without an open door policy, for those we influence we foster an imagi- nary notion of what life in ministry looks like. There have been so many times in my life when I have been buying groceries or dropping off the dry cleaning, picking up the kids from school, and people literally stop me to ask me if this is REALLY what I do when I am not on a platform. Scary stuff! But in this culture of celebrity, there is a world created in the minds of many people that is almost more real to them than their real world existence, and unfortunately, with so much of the world’s mentality seeping into the church unchallenged, a sub-culture within a church culture creates itself as the goal to pursue.

We do live within a culture that urges us to take control of our own lives, to be- come equipped to be masters of our own destinies, to do whatever we need to do to get to the top, and then somehow use the Bible to support our notions. But that is not the way the Word of God was given to infuse us. The Bible was not written as a handy script to adapt or modify, to fit into our particular situation.

Eugene Peterson said it like this, ‘The author of THE book is writing us into His book, we aren’t writing Him into ours. We find ourselves in the book as followers of Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow Him and obey or we do not.’

SO we raise, and train and love people TO the Lord, not our own version of what this is.

So leaders, I put the challenge out to you! IS your life a door open or door closed life? Do you put out a vibe that you welcome questions or are you a ‘don’t go there’ type of leader?

It’s that whole area of our UNSEEN lives - our Monday to Saturday - to use a phrase by Pastor Bill Hybels, it’s ‘who you are when no-one’s looking’.

Some of the super practical areas that we can easily address are things like teach- ing the team what healthy boundaries are in life and how to put them into place. Because everything we do is a seed sown, the importance of making healthy choices is supreme, and when there are just NO boundaries, lives quickly get out of balance. Do a teaching series on what BALANCE looks like day to day.

How do we achieve balance? Answer their questions through the Word of God. TEACH them. And whatever you are not sure of, learn it, then go teach it!

I recently had to write down a morning routine for someone in my world who just wasn’t coping with getting on with the day. Too basic you think? Doesn’t relate to how you lead? Think again lovely one, for when the basics in life are sloppy, so will other areas of your life follow suit. How to develop discipline for each day is an ex- tremely important principle to teach our children, natural or spiritual... reading the Word, developing your gift, in being a punctual responsible human being, becoming more generous, the list is endless.

Even more practically, (I know you men are now reeling) things like how to dress, what is acceptable and what is not. Many young women today are being raised by the fashion industry rather than mentors or family, and it only takes a little bit of time and a little bit of care to teach the young what is right. It’s not about style or flair, all of that stuff is fine and fun. No, it’s about Holiness, that’s our standard. Treating our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and teaching our kids to honour that.

And leaders, PLEASE don’t sit in judgement of young men or women that don’t dress or look like what you’d prefer. Spiritual transformation takes place on the inside and then over time works its way through the whole of our beings. I get very upset when young people are discounted because of how they look, or how things ‘appear’ to be. God views us from a whole different perspective. He formed us, cell by cell, wove within our framework a need for Him and a need to accomplish purpose.

John 4:35, ‘Do you not say, “Four months more and then the harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.’

We are told to OPEN our eyes, the harvest is there and ready. But you know, the harvest doesn’t look like it used to. It is covered in tattoos and needle-marks, and scars from slashed wrists and earrings in every possible place, but we love the harvest. And more importantly, God so loved us, every one of us, that He gave His finest to bring redemption for us.

Now that’s the finest example there is.

Tags: , , ,