No one will argue: dealing with people can be frustrating. Even though the ministry is all about people, few ministers were trained in people skills. In fact, very few business people were taught any people skills.
Ministers were taught that if we just preached the truth everything else would work out. So that’s what we did. We preached the truth and things didn’t work out. Our problems didn’t arise, however, from behind the pulpit. The preaching part of this thing went fine. The problems arose in the office, in the board meetings, and in the managing, leading, and developing of people!
Ministry is all about multiplication! We are to make disciples, equip them, and launch them into ministry (Matthew 28:19-20). We are actually commissioned with one of the most daunting challenges involving people. We are to equip, mobilize, and manage volunteers! (Ephesians 4:11-12). It’s hard enough to accomplish this with our paid staff, but how much more complex does it become when dealing with volunteers? Immensely more.
Unrealistic expectations are the source of many of our frustrations with people. We expect people to want the same things we want. We expect them to have the same values and priorities we have. Possibly the worst of all, we expect them to know how to do what they have never been trained to do!
Church members do not have the same priorities or values as church leaders. To expect that is to succumb to destructive idealism. We are called to this. It is our entire life’s purpose. Theirs is to raise a family, pay bills, and have a life. Our task is not to convince them to give up their goals. Our task is to show them how to fulfill those goals by walking with God! Being a part of a church should not replace their life. Instead it should support their life.
Every member should grow to a place of wholeness where they become active in serving. Then through the process of serving, they will experience aspects of personal growth that can be obtained no other way. Serving in church, which does not replace serving in personal life, is a part of becoming a disciple.
Read Part 2 of this letter HERE.