Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Failure and post-exit encounters

Each week I get an email from Rick Warren called the "ministry toolbox." It has several articles and things particular to pastors. This week there were two articles that, though quite simple, were fairly helpful to me.

One was by Rick and is called 'Three Ways NOT to Respond to Failure." This is something I have struggled with, and his three suggestions are: Don't clam up; don't blow up; and don't give up. Good advice.

The second article is by Kurt Bubna on 'How to Deal With Painful Post-Exit Encounters.' It is about dealing with people who have left your church or are not happy with you. It was another very simple but extremely helpful article, and is something every pastor needs to learn to deal with. He says, (1) Take the bites with grace, (2) Forgive like your joy depends on it, (3) Stay focused on the good rather than the bad and ugly, and (4) Resolve to grow through rejection.

One thing Kurt pointed out in his article was the difficulty in dealing with people you have invested in. As he says,
"Because I'm a pastor, I care for people. I pray for them more than they know. I remember dedicating their kids, and I know exactly where they sit in every church service. So when they depart, I feel it because I've invested a part of my life into their lives. That's why it hurts when they leave - a part of me is leaving too."

Yeah... that's tough stuff. Which then points back to the first article: I need to resist the temptation to clam up, blow up, and give up. It all sounds pretty simple. It is anything but. But it's what I do (or try to do).