- I need a relationship with a Person From Whom I Cannot Hide.
- I need a Person At Whom I can [holler at] but Who Gives Me No Cause To and Won’t Be Offended if I Do.
- I need a relationship with a Person Who Will Always Tell Me the Truth.
- Problems in an organizational structure: To lessen organizational conflict, each church ministry needs job descriptions and clear guidelines for people who want to become involved. If the church and its ministries do not provide guidelines, people may create opportunities that are not orientated to the church’s vision and goals.
- Pastoral Issues: Two extremes exist concerning pastoral issues: If a pastor has served well for many years in a congregation and is replaced, displaced, or retires, it is like a father has been taken away. During these times of transition, people often cannot distinguish what is happening in the organization from what is happening in their lives.
- Different Seasons in a Church: Pastors need to understand that certain times of the year and different events are more prone to conflict than others. Christmas and Easter are often times of conflict.
- Environmental Stressors: A church is not isolated from the problems or stressful situations in the community. If the community is in a period of economic downturn or community disaster, the congregation will also be affected.
- Numerical Decline or Growth: Numerical growth is as stressful to a congregation as numerical decline. Numerical growth should cause celebration, but significant numerical growth causes some people to lose their influence. New people bring new and different ideas, and old members find themselves smothered by them.
Pastors need to find the real source and deal with it. The real source can be found by using our God-given senses. What do I see? What do I hear? What are my senses telling me? These allow us to tune in to the dynamics of the congregation even though we have no hard data. A church that is in trouble has a feeling about it. The Holy Spirit can also reveal things to us that provide insight into conflict. The Holy Spirit will use our five senses. He also provides the gifts of the Spirit, including the discerning of the Spirit.Do you have a plan to manage conflict? Do you have a Biblical theology for conflict? When was the last time you taught and modeled conflict management at your church? Post your best remedy for conflict resolution here… it may save the ministry and health of another pastor and church.
by: Dave Ragsdale, Vice President of Counseling and Team Training
People often ask me why leaders are so vulnerable to burn out and do not practice self care.
It is no surprise that throughout the world Christian leaders are suffering from symptoms that are a result of self care neglect. They are overworked and overextended. They are over exposed to stress and underdeveloped as leaders. While ministry organizations are often culpable in reinforcing these patterns, it is often the leaders “over-functioning” and heroic tendencies that drive them into their own symptoms of burnout. Stretched to the breaking point and lacking a theology of self care, many end up with a complete loss of resiliency.
It becomes a really bad witness.
Along with burning out many are acting out with addictive behavior, sometimes destroying themselves, their relationships and their ministry. An addiction is a failure to care well for self. An affair is a failure to care for yourself in marriage… a failure to guard your heart. For men, it is a failure to form close trusting relationships with other men. Burning out at work is a failure to protect you and set boundaries, then work just becomes the Mistress.
Being a leader means you are “at risk”to some of these patterns.
Leadership is an at risk occupation! But when leaders wise up and learn to guard themselves /care for themselves they will minister with joy out of a full heart, they will go the distance, not burn out, they will set a life giving tone in their organizations they serve.
And so, how can leaders start to practice self care? How do you practice it? Send us some of your best suggestions for good self care to [email protected]
Watch for some of my suggestions on self care in the next blog post.