“Your ministry (teaching, preaching, Bible studies, curriculum, small group, etc.) isn’t deep enough.”

It’s a critique I hear from time to time. Not usually from participants. But from onlooking ministry leaders.

I’ve wondered, what do they mean by “deep”? When I’ve probed, “deep” seems to mean dense information, lots of historical detail, many Bible verses, theological complexity, and a dose of Greek.

I often wonder how today’s depth-finders would have critiqued Jesus’ ministry. Would he have passed their tests?

I suspect the depth Jesus sought was less about information and more about personal transformation. What he really craved were deep personal relationships with him and the Father.

Personal relationships—including and especially relationships with Jesus—are just that—personal. They’re not mass-produced as in a factory. Or a lecture hall.

Jesus-style depth comes when a person experiences the very presence of God, reaches deeply within, reflects, makes a personal ah-ha, and grows.

Jesus went deep with his colorful stories, with his probing questions, and with his fully engaging experiences.

Do you want a ministry that goes deep?

• Tell a good story . . . without always revealing your own spiritual interpretation.
• Ask open-ended soul-searching questions, ones that each individual must plumb deeply within to individually address.
• Involve people in captivating experiences. Wash their feet. Engage all of their senses. Allow God some space to act.

Think like a scuba divemaster. You don’t help your divers go deep by standing on the surface and spraying them with a big hose. You help them go deep when you allow them to go beneath the surface to personally discover the wonders of God’s creation.