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?