Ministry Frustrations

frustrated

Tonight I am having “ministry frustrations”. Do you ever just find yourself in a situation at your job where you are just like, ‘why is this happening’? I’m having one of those moments tonight. Without going into nasty details, basically it’s someone making a mountain out of a molehill (in my opinion – so of course it’s right). It’s just that I think, our jobs are already so complicated and overwhelming, when we add interpersonal conflict, it doesn’t just multiply the stress, it squares it. And when you are in full time, or even part time ministry, stress is something we all need less of. I just don’t get it. But apparently God has a purpose for this in my life, probably to teach me again to eat crow, humble pie, stay teachable, not get proud, not hold on to my area of oversight too tightly, to listen better, to be slow to anger, to be patient, to be loving, to stick to my convictions, to uphold the vision of the church, to not settle for mediocrity, to not allow gossip to get a foothold, to not allow dissension to enter the ranks, to be more like Christ. Not fun, but worth it.One thing I’ve learned is that almost 99% of the time, staff conflict arises because people assign motives to comments, emails, decision, emotions, looks, rumors, plans, etc. Assigning motive, it means you think you know why someone said something, did something, typed something, or was rumored to do any of those. Assigning motive does not allow the other person a fair chance to share their heart. Assigning motive causes you to immediately have a bad attitude towards someone. Assigning motive is not fair because only God knows a persons heart. Assigning motive is dangerous because it tends to create “sides”.

I’ve tried my best to catch myself when I begin to assign motive. I try and tell myself to believe the best – especially about my staff. We are all on the same team, with the same goal, the same vision, the same love, the same God. I try and tell myself, there must be a good reason why they “___________” whatever they did. This helps me stay positive and keeps bitterness out of my life.

Don’t let ministry taint your view of people. God loves everyone, how about you?

7 thoughts on “Ministry Frustrations

  1. klampert

    yeah thats that hardest part in ministry. Remember there are people involved. we can get focused on opinions, situations, busyness, etc, but what really matters is people.

    by the way the new lay0out is fantastic

  2. Worship City

    Yeah I used to do EVERYTHING via email just b/c it was easier. I do youth so I have a slew of volunteers to communicate and coordinate with on that side, worship with a team of musicians, small group with a group of about 5 or 6 couples, not including staff and other varied people to ‘work with.’ I found the more I ‘talked’ through email the more they did and what a snowball effect of ‘assigning motives’ comes out of email! WOW! Now, I simply coordinate schedules and make announcements via email and go back to the phone as much as possible. Way more time consuming on the front end but way less stress on the back!!

  3. Fred McKinnon

    Alex,

    My rule is “keep short accounts”. If the tension is there, just do your best to communicate it and discuss it with the parties involved. And email .. gotta be the worst communication method on the planet for that stuff.

    Fred

  4. James McLean

    Yeah, this is always gonna be happening. I heard this quote from Francios Fenelon the 17th century saint:

    “It should be remembered that even the best of people leave much to be desired and we must not expect too much. Do not allow yourself to turn away from people because of their imperfections, I have found that God leaves even in the most spiritual people certain weaknesses which seem to be entirely out of place.”

    That has helped me keep it in perspective, but its still hard. I think this may be one of the symptoms of Mad Church Disease! Ha ha!

  5. Chris Stout

    Just remember to keep your head up and life is supposed to be a challenge. I agree with everyone here so far. E-mail, and even blogs to a point can leave everything open to interpretation. That’s one huge communication factor that exists in person that is amplified exponentially by e-mail and written word. At least that’s what they told me in leadership school. Ha ha…

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