This is the second in my series inspired by Andrew Root’s Relationships Unfiltered. If you are in youth ministry, or, really, any type of ministry, you should read this book.
As I posted last week, Root aims to help us move from influence-based ministry to truly relationship-based ministry. This week I bring you Root’s next point: that ministry should be (or become) place-sharing.
Place-sharing means just what it looks like; sharing the space, time, experience, joy, and hurt of the other. Root draws heavily from Bonhoeffer is this understanding. In ministry, we are to seek to build the kind of relationships with others in which they actually invite and welcome us deeper into the reality of their lives. Once here, we can, after the example of Christ’s incarnation, truly be with them in their suffering.
Most of us, especially men, know this fairly well. We are wired to try to fix things. Yet, in relationships we come to learn, eventually, that somethings are not fixable. We also learn that sometimes the best thing we can do for someone else is to be with them through a struggle.
I want to fix things as much as the next person. Not everything can be fixed. On the other hand, solutions are often found in the relationships we build in the face of challenges.