I’m a keen gardener. Whenever I’m outside, I’m looking at how to improve the state of my suburban paradise. Often that means chopping something back, so I pop inside to reach for my trusty secateurs.
Today I looked for them on the shelf just outside the back door. No luck. Then I looked on the other shelf, just inside the back door. No joy. Hmm, where was I when I last used them? I know, I’ll look on the shelf just inside the front door, where I keep my keys. Yes!!
I started thinking about secateurs – just like deacons, they have a liminal ministry, in theology-speak! This means a threshold ministry – neither fully outside nor fully in, but able to operate both in and out. As my secateurs are useful in the kitchen for arranging flowers, so I can be useful inside the church. And just as the bulk of my secateurs’ work is outside, making a real difference to my unruly and exuberant garden, so my diaconal minstry really flourishes outside the church, in the community, where people are blooming, where they are straggling, where there are things that need a bit of a prune!