Two of the images I like to hold in my mind for undertaking any ministry tasks are bridges and ladders. It doesn’t matter if you are a Sunday School Teacher, a Pastor or a Chaplain. It helps with all of them.
The first image is that of a bridge. Bridges help us to get from one place to another. It is usually over the top of something that is hard to go through. As a minister I try to imagine building bridges to help people cross from where they are to somewhere else. If I am in a school it might be a relationship bridge from a student to a teacher so they can better understand each other. If in the church it might be a teaching bridge that helps people understand one aspect of our faith. If I am talking to a person who does not know Jesus, it might be a salvation bridge so the person can understand how much Jesus loves them and wants to be in relationship with them.
The other image is that of a ladder. In the natural ladders help us to climb higher. In a career sense people use them to climb higher and often climb over people to get what they want. Years ago I decided not to climb the ladder, but to be a ladder builder. Rather than use the ladder to climb up the career ladder, I decided to build ladders so we can all rise up together. If it is in a school I want to build ladders so the students can grow and learn. If it is in church I want to be a ladder builder so people can grow in their faith, become closer to God and become true disciples of Christ. This is always at the forefront of my mind and helps me to keep focused on the task of Matthew 28:18-20 to go and make disciples.
Often when I am praying I am asking God to show me the bridge that will help a person to move on. Or I ask for help building the ladder that the person needs to climb higher in one area of their lives. It is two simple images, but they help me a lot.
How about you? Have you got any images that help you with you ministry tasks? Perhaps that is worth reflecting on today?