Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

22 Jun

The Problem with Petty

Posted in Uncategorized on 22.06.20 by Merlyn

One of the challenges to working and leading in the church is the intense amount of pettiness that can exist. Pettiness between church members, staff, church members towards staff and pettiness around small issues/desires/preferences. It is the figurative death by 1,000 (or in some cases 100,000) paper cuts.

Having served and worked with a variety of chruches, I have seen this to varying degrees. Its not always a commentary on the quality or character of the people, but it is always a commentary on the culture of the church. 

The pettiness does not always just happen while you are serving a church as a staff member. It can also happen after you have served a church, even with those whom you have a good relationship and with whom you have no conflicts. 

In some cases, I have remained in the community I served after leaving a church. That has been an interesting experience for sure. While I am always honest and transparent, I think it is critical to truly separate and not worry about or be involved in the church you have served in the past. Its good to give space and distance to the leadership. After leaving a church, I would find that bumping into people from the church would either be a great experience, or a deeply petty one.  There always seems to be a trend of either friendliness or rudeness. Its always the case where some people are just awkward, regardless of which of the two camps the experience fell into. 

I have found the latter camp (the rude one) to be very difficult. At first, I took it far too personal and allowed it to be a value statement when it should not have been. As I have grown however, I have transitioned to a place where it has become both baffling and sad.

Its unfortunate that in any transition of relationship that we would have to ever be anything but kind to one another. We all have our days. We all have our moments, but we too easily forget that we are all children of God.

Be good to one another. Be good to your leaders, even after they leave you.

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