Originally published Tuesday, 02 September 2014.
Hurt feelings. Misunderstood words. Angry reactions. It happens daily to all of us, so why should we expect that the church is immune to such situations? We have this expectation of the church staff or pastoral team to handle every situation perfectly. Sadly, many have used a difficult encounter with church personnel as an inefficient excuse to fall away from church, quit serving on a ministry team, or gossip incessantly about a sister or brother in Christ. Truth is, we’re all human. We all make mistakes. The pastor does. Your womens’ ministry leader does. The Sunday school teacher isn’t perfect.
Can we all just recognize that Satan’s master plan is to kill, steal, and destroy? This includes stealing our joy in ministry, killing our desire to serve others, and destroying Christian community. Can we lay down our pride and expectation that we be handled with kid gloves and get busy about our Father’s business? I am convinced that there is no better place for Satan’s ploys of destruction to run rampant than in the church. Why wouldn’t he target us there? If he can divide and conquer, we are less effective. If we are busy licking wounds because a sister in Christ mistakenly, unintentionally spoke to us a bit harsh, how can we counsel with the single mom in the corner who truly needs it?
Too often, I have spent time sulking because I didn’t like what “they” said or how they said it. I was preoccupied with the misspoken word or how I was handled and far less occupied with how much hurting is around me. Ministry leaders, body of Christ, can we just extend the same grace Christ afforded us to others in ministry and keep on keeping on?
Jennifer Maggio is the award-winning author of several books. She is founder of the global nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine. She has been featured in countless media venues and has a passion to see hurting people live a life of total freedom in Christ. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.