I’m afraid I chafed some readers’ tender spots with my recent suggestion that you “get out and spend some time with real people.”

One church staff member replied, “I AM a real person. My life is as real as anyone else.”

Of course. You’re the same flesh-and-blood as everyone else in your community. You work hard, you care, you love, you hope, you laugh, you cry, you get frustrated, you appreciate a sincere word of appreciation. And those of us in the pew do appreciate you. Even though we don’t say it often enough.

Actually, we love you. We care about you. We admire your passion to serve the Lord you love. And, we’d appreciate knowing you as more than just that professional we see in church. We’d be proud to call you friend. And we’d be proud to be called your friend.

Befriending—being in authentic relationship—requires people to know and be known. And that’s the spirit of my “get out” rant. We come to your place every week. And it’d be cool if you’d come to our place too.

It’s different out here. This is our real world.

We don’t want to see you as some distant academic in an ivory tower. We want to see you more like Jesus, who wasn’t just the Word, but Word who became flesh. Who went where the people were. In the fields. In the boats. Among the lepers. In their real world.

So, if you wish to credibly describe how to live a Christlike life in our real world, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our homes, you’ll need to physically enter our world. Frequently. Just as Jesus did.