For the past week, one of the deacons from our church has been working on our house. This is not all that unusual.

Mike has also hired some folks from the church. One of his employees is a person he has been mentoring.

At first, this did not strike me as all that unusual.

Then I started thinking.

Mike has taken the mentoring relationship to a new level. He is letting Jason in on his everyday life. This relationship is not just about meeting together once a week for “accountability.” Jason gets to observe Mike in the real world. When Mike gets grumpy or frustrated, Jason is there, watching and learning.

Mike has chosen to open up his life to Jason. He has chosen what could be described as a dangerous path. All of his strengths and weakness are there for Jason to see.

I suspect that the dangerous path is the only route to authenticity.

Last weekend, I was in Hollywood celebrating with our Dwellers. Four young women have spent the past year living and serving among the poor in Hollywood. As the evening came to a close, each of these women took some time to thank the various people who had been a part of their lives for the past year.

As I listen to stories of people who had invited these women into their everyday lives, something began to dawn on me.

Ministry is not a job and can never be reduced to a job description. Ministry is living our lives in front of others, talk about healthy pressure!

Some of us have the privilege of being paid to participate in full-time vocational ministry. Even then it is not some that can be reduced to a set of skills and related outcomes.

Working with people in authentic ways demands much. It means letting others into our everyday lives. It means sharing all of who we are. Both the good and the bad!

That is never easy.

But it is always worth it.