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The Other Side of the Fence

I’ve had the opportunity in the past two years to visit many other churches and see and hear how they are doing ministry in their local church family.  Along with those opportunities, I’ve had the privilege to sit and talk with many children and student leaders on a local church level about the things they are doing (attempting) in their churches.  In all of the conversations, I can’t help but filter all that I see and hear through the lens of what I am involved with here at my church home.  That has helped me be a better leader.

When processing, listening, observing, and critiquing what others are doing; I’m really setting myself up to view my own space in a new way.  I’m using new eyes to look at what have become old things.

Here are the things I’m learning through the process:

  • I’m so much more blessed to be where I am than I give myself credit for.  There ain’t nothin’ like eating some of that grass on the other side of the fence to know how good your own grass is!
  •  Everything is a season.  When I talk to people on either side of where I’m currently working, I can see the story being weaved where I am.  I’ve been where some people are, and I’m looking forward to being where other people are now!
  •  Things need to change.  There are times that I hear and see what others are doing, and  immediately  know that I need to get our team to play catch-up real, real, real quick.  You may call it inspiration, I call it conviction.
  • I need to champion my team more.  Spending time with other leaders (and no offense, please) makes me appreciate the team I work with.  I work with some real all-stars, and hearing from others always help me see that.  Then I need to bring that gratefulness home and share it!
  •  It feels good to share.  I love sharing what I’ve done and am doing, and I’m so grateful that others are willing to share with me where they are.  I always walk away from conversations with other leaders encouraged .

What in your area do you need to look at with some new eyes?  Are there things you read online that help you to see the old as if it were new again?  What is your conviction…or inspiration to change?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.