Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tensions in Ministry

Was having an interesting discussion today about working with people, and came up with these 2 tensions of ministry.

Catering for people but not pandering to them.

Challenging people but not shattering them.

Was just something interesting for me to think about anyway.

14 comments:

rockpaperdynamite said...

"Challenging people but not shattering them."
Show them what they could/should be but keep the focus on the next step.

Kyla said...

Hey Digs!
This is also something I really struggle with. How do I, as a leader, help open my girls' eyes to the issues in this world and the need for social justice, challenge them to think outside themselves and live for the kingdom, yet still love them and show grace, and help them know and appreciate who they are as individuals..

It's a very difficult thing to do, and I think it needs to be done really gently and slowly. You can't be expected to know everything and be everything you're supposed to be straight away. Unfortunately, I don't believe you can ever really figure out how to do this entirely, because the amount of challenge and nurture needed is so different in different people, but I think that as long as we approach people with love and respect, keeping God's kingdom in mind, we'll be doing ok..

(Sorry, this comment is about a million times longer than the actual blog.)

Kyla (aka buttons)

Middo said...

Good post!

These are 2 very strong tensions most of us face fairly often. Whenever I am preparing sermons I always feel the tension of saying what I feel needs to be said...but then sometimes not being willing to because I know the reaction it will provoke.

I guess some of the difficulty comes in what response your after. I specifically remember saying something really hard once, something many people agreed with me needed to be said. However after saying it I felt so bad that I wrapped up with something really peachy.

Afterwards everybody came up to me and commented how much they loved the peachy point...which was basically stating where people were at! Most people left feeling content just to stick with the peachy part...and I felt sad.

It is definately hard to find the balance!

Janet Woodlock said...

My old minister used to use the following pithy saying, which has a lot of truth to it:

"Jesus comforted the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable".

The difficulty with "preaching" is within a group you may have some who are comfortable and need a bomb placed under them to embrace sacrificial discipleship... and some sensitive souls who are easily over-burdened with guilt over anything and everything.

On balance however, I think this tends to be a society of the "comfortable"... we probably need more challenge than comfort!

Anonymous said...

not to mention the sexual tension!

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