Our life is full of acronyms and I’m going to teach you a new one. We learned this from the recent CD that the Fanning the Flame team reviewed together. MBWA = Ministry By Walking Around. What does this mean? Well, leaders must be visible and accessible. You’ve heard of managers having an “open door policy”? This takes it a step further. Leaders must go out and mingle with their followers; they must hear what they have to say; they must know what’s going on in their lives; they must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. This develops relationships and trust. It helps the leader accurately access where his followers are now and how to guide them to the place he wants them to be.
Maybe that’s why Jesus is sometimes called our shepherd. A shepherd lives with the sheep: he knows them and they know him.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
Sheep trust their shepherd — they are willing to go where he leads because they have learned that he has their best interests at heart.
In our church, I notice my husband, the Pastor, doing some of this MBWA. Every Sunday he is in the sanctuary early to meet people as they come in. He takes time to ask them how things are going, and take prayer requests for the service. Even if he is not working at a particular congregational event, he tries to spend some time just being there. He often chats with people when they stop by the church during the week to do some chore or drop something off. I have also learned the value of just taking an interest in the hobbies or interests of others. It goes a long way toward building friendships.
Woody Allen once said, 80% of success is just showing up. There’s some truth in that. If you’re in a leadership position, do you show up? It’s a good question to ponder and pray about.