Monday, December 04, 2006

strong personality

Some people have strong personalities. Am I one of them - I think in some cases I am, but most people would tell you I am not.

Well, I had an interaction with someone on Sunday before Sunday School. It started as a quick conversation when this person returned a key that was borrowed. I asked a simple question about someone and commented that I had not met this person. Which was followed by a "he's been coming for 4 weeks" connected with a "you should have already met him and no one in the congregation has noticed he's been here either" look. To which my response was "I haven't even been in the service for a month with me being in kids worship each week and being out of town for one week." I haven't even been able to see all the youth that are in service, but not SS. To which I don't like - had way too much of this at my old church.

This person went on to say things like "this church is way too inward focused" "the youth need to go to _____________ (insert various parachurch events) and then they'll be on fire for God and will start to make a difference in their world." "No one ever talks to the youth about _____________ (insert various topic) at this church, but at this event we do and the youth just soak it up." These along with other statements about how this church doesn't do "enough" or do it the "right way"

I felt a little frustrated because this person doesn't know everything about what goes on at church. Some of the things brought up have been talked about since I've gotten here. But they aren't topics that work well from the pulpit, so not everyone hears. This person has also never volunteered to help with the youth and/or make suggestions about the ministry. The concern seems to be to just tell me what's wrong and not offering any help. I did ask this person to help with the kids worship that we started last month and the answer I got was "no", not now. Which is fine, but it just frustrates me.

I want to end with this: I am not mad at this person. I respect their desire for the best for people and ministry. I am more frustrated with the manner in which people present their opinions and thoughts.


  1. I understand your frustration about these things.

    Don't you just love it when a person who does not actually support or know your ministry wants to tell you what you're doing wrong?

    When someone does this to me, I usually respond with, "Wow--you have a lot of ideas! Our next ______ committee/council/group meeting is ________. I think you should come so you can help us!"

    That brings about one of two responses:

    1) They decide they don't really have that many ideas and leave me alone or

    2) They show up, we all have to deal with them, but at least they realize that there's more to this gig than they think.

  2. I didn't think of inviting this person to the next youth coach meeting, but I should have. I have talked with this person prior about what goes on. This person also knows of the strong personality and has been known to start conversations with "I know a lot of people don't like me..." or "I know this might come across strong, but I don't know any other way to say it..." (or something along those lines)

    A heart for ministry, but lacking a sensitive or tactful spirit.

    I usually jump at finding someone with a heart for ministry, cuz you can't teach that. But when it comes to "teaching" someone to change their overwhelming personality, that can be true challenge.