I recently stumbled upon a great exercise for ministers, elders, and anyone who wants to grow in their ability to love others well.
It’s a simple exercise:
“On a sheet of paper make two columns. Label the left column, ENOUGH LOVE, and the right, SHORTAGE OF LOVE. Go through your membership list and place people in one category or the other as honestly as you can based on whether or not you think they receive enough love in their lives. You now have people categorized in the only manner that is ever helpful. Keep this list before you and make the right hand column a matter of prayer” – William C. Martin, The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Meditations, pg. 27
Some Reflection Questions:
1. How is this different from the typical ways we “categorize” people in our churches (i.e. – giver vs. non-giver; active member vs. inactive member; mature vs. immature; conservative vs. progressive; leader vs. follower; etc.)
2. How might this exercise change the way you do ministry in your church?
3. Why is this a helpful way of categorizing people – what is this exercise getting at?