In our last newsletter I mentioned that I’d be sharing with you a series of tips for serving in ministry. These are
things that I have learned over the course of my ministry - sometimes from experience, sometimes from another pastor
or leader, and often from both. We’ve already covered tips #1 and #2 (read them now
) and now here are
tips #3 and #4:
TIP #3: SOME PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS A SIN ISSUE
You may notice, especially if you end up in a position of church leadership, that there will be people who seem to
be unable to question your decisions without also questioning your character. For instance, there may come a time
where you decide to not host VBS during the summer, and then someone might say that it’s because you don’t care
Ha ha, yep. It’s a weird thing that happens in church. I assume that if
Publix closes down the sushi section, no one thinks that the manager has some sort of ethical problem. But, for some
reason, people have a hard time keeping these two issues separate when it comes to church. Not everything that you
disagree with is actually a sin issue. Some people don’t realize that. And you’ll have to be patient with them. It’s
part of serving God.
TIP #4: WHAT IS REWARDED IS REPEATED
What a fantastically helpful principle! I first heard Andy Stanley say this back when I was in my twenties, and
I’ve maybe quoted it a hundred times since then. It’s a powerful concept and it works two ways:
- If there is a behavior that you want repeated, then reward it. For instance, if you see someone do a good
job, praise them for their work. This makes it more likely they will keep doing it.
- If there is a behavior that you don’t want repeated, then by all means, don’t reward it. Because rewarding it
might cause you to end up getting more of that behavior.
Now you might think, “Who would reward
behavior that they don’t want repeated? No one does that, right?” Wrong. We do it accidentally all the time. One of
the easiest places to see it is in the context of parenting: A child pitches a fit and the parent gives them
whatever they were demanding. This will inevitably cause more fit-pitching in the future.
principle applies to adults, too. When people in ministry “hop to it” and try to fix every little complaint that
people pass along, they may end up with a church full of whiners. You tend to get more of whatever you reward. This
principle applies outside of ministry, too.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. If so, feel free to
drop me a line at email@example.com
. If this series is helping a
lot of people, I’d be happy to continue doing it.