Are you approachable?
While asking the LORD why the kids in Middle School would sit in my class and tell me that they WANTED to get put in my husband’s class that was for kids who messed up so bad that they were going to be expelled, but instead were Court ordered into it… AND THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN MINE, the LORD spoke those words to me…
“Are you approachable?”
( He can say so much with a word or two. I suddenly saw myself stiff and stoic, trying to make the kids KNOW that I was in authority! )
Sometimes as church leaders, we don’t understand why people do not want to come to us and share their heart. Truly it is because they do not feel safe to do so, or they may feel that if they share their heart, that they will either get a backlash, or they do not want you to think that they are that far behind you.
Some might think that if they truly talk to you. that they would reveal who they really are or who their family is in the community.
We sometimes just get so stuck in our protective mode that we do not notice that others need to see that. By that, I mean we want to be sure and keep up our cover of who we want them to think that we are or we might be found out.
People need real people
When they eliminated my husband’s job position out at the High School after ten years of being the security there, he had to leave school for a while and do something else.
I remember that day when it happened. He came home and he was crying because the kids were coming to him crying and saying “Who will we tell our stories to, and who will listen to us now?” Many of them thought of him like a Dad.
We were in ministry, pastoring then and He always said that the school was where God placed him. You see, if we would think of our workplace like that, it would never be hard to go to work, it would change the way we think in the morning when we get up.
But so many times we are looking for a ministry and it is right in front of our face! Some of us have become so ministry minded that we forget that there are real people, who live in real places, with real problems that need real people to talk to.
Now, my husband has been at the Middles School for another fifteen years or so and there are kids in there who will tell you that He has saved their lives. They walk up to us many times, grown, with kids of their own and tell him how much he changed their lives.
Grown men will come up and hug him right in front of everyone in a store and thank him for listening to them back in the day.
Anyway, the day that God said those two words completely changed my thinking about becoming approachable. Sometimes, we just need to listen and not act like all we are there for is to be the authority figure.
In other words, come out of teacher mode! Those whom people follow most, are those whom they can relate to and who have been through the things that they have, those with a listening ear and a kind heart, who will tell them, “I know you can make it because I did!”
Jesus came to understand our feelings
Jesus came here, not to be in authority although He is, but to be able to relate to our suffering. He was touched by the feeling of our infirmities so that He could be our faithful High Priest and so that he could ever intercede for us so that we could come boldly to the throne and approach our Father.
Are you making it easy for others to approach the Father, or are you unapproachable, religious, and stoic?
Are you trying to put on such a show of being super spiritual that no one can see the Jesus in you or relate to you?
Let’s stop misrepresenting Him. Let’s, like my husband, without even speaking a religious word, represent who God wants to be to them…. A wise, loving, helpful, full of love Dad!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:14-16.
~ by Jo Ellen Stevens
Jo Ellen Stevens of TCIC Ministries is a Prophetic speaker, author, worshiper and intercessor. She has ministered with her husband for 23 years and was a worship leader at the Assembly of God for many years. She is an ordained minister (Restoration Ministries) and works with Restoration Ministries in their Ministry Rooms doing prophetic worship with her husband. She has taught many bible studies and have led many intercessory prayer groups.