This past Tuesday Mary Jane led our staff devotional time.  I look forward to this time of the week and especially this week since Mary Jane was leading (last time she had us draw pictures of one another, so that should explain my “eager anticipation”).  She informed us that she was going to do something “normal” and then proceeded to read to us an excerpt from Henri J.M. Nouwen In the Name of Jesus.

The following are some quotes from the text that she read:

“But when Jesus speaks about shepherding, he does not want us to think of the brave, lonely shepherd who takes care of a large flock of obedient sheep.  In many ways, he makes it clear that ministry is a communal and mutual experience.” (p. 40)

“Whenever we minister together it is easier for people to recognize that we do not come in our own name, but in the name of the Lord Jesus who sent us.” (p. 41)

“He wants Peter to feed his sheep and care for them, not as “professionals” who know their clients’ problems and take care of them, but as vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known, who care and are cared for, who forgive and are being forgiven, who love and are being loved.  Somehow we have come to believe that good leadership requires a safe distance from those we are called to lead . . . But how can anyone lay down his life for those with whom he is not even allowed to enter into a deep relationship?(p. 42-43)