As I mentioned previously, I was compelled to write a few posts on some areas that I have been rethinking in regards to my perspective as a church employee…and I’m hoping that it wasn’t just me who needed to do some rethinking. So I have chosen four areas of concern that I have seen quite continually from church employees.
I began talking about the need to rethink our Meetings, our Volunteer Expectations, and our Boundary Modeling.
Now, let me say something in regards to how PEOPLE AREN’T ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT CHURCH…OR YOUR MINISTRY.
This may come as a surprise too many of you, but I’m hoping not. You see, the problem begins this way. Often, especially if we are full-time, all of our time is spent in church doing ministry. We eat, sleep, breathe the ministry. This isn’t unusual to this profession alone. But here is the difference.
- Other professions often leave work, and if they go to church, they go to church. On the other hand, our work, is also our church. We are submersed in it.
- We sometimes/very often put a higher value on “spiritual things.” So if one works in the church, or volunteers, then they must be doing the highest of spiritual things…so we like to think.
What this does is set us up with the mentality that everything revolves around church. And more specifially, everything revolves around our church, and my/your ministry.
And I think we too often assume that everyone else is thinking the same thing. We think they go home and are thinking about how to make the upcoming weekend retreat better. Or they are thinking about more ways to volunteer. Or they are thinking about bringing friends. Or they are thinking about the new sermon series. Or they are thinking…wow, that ministry blog is sweet.
But in reality, that is not true. They may have those thoughts, but often they are thinking, “Man, that burger I had before small group tonight was tasty!” Or, “I thought the pastor said this was his final point of the sermon.” Or, “My wife and I aren’t getting along right now.” Or, “I can’t wait to get home to the football game on TV.” Or, “I’m struggling with my faith, but the pastor makes it seem like it’s so easy.”
I am painting with a broad brush of course. But what I want you to hear me say, is that often we can become so insular in our thinking as church employees, that we forget that those we serve, and that serve alongside us have other things on their mind. And those things are as important as the spiritual things that we often think should be on everyone’s mind.
So next time you are serving with someone, or speaking, or preaching to a group. Or maybe you are just in conversation. Take time to find out what is going on their lives…and put church and church stuff on hold for a while…even if they want to talk church. Find out about them.