5 things you CAN control

Right before I went into full-time youth ministry one of my mentors shared this truth with me over coffee.

Sometimes people are going to come to you and complain about the stupidest stuff you can imagine. Understand that when that happens, it isn’t you, it’s them. They likely have an area of their life that is completely out of control. And because they have no control over such an important area of their life they are going to try to take complete control of something they think they can control. It’s classic transference. Stop and pray with them. If they stomp off, pray for them.

That advice helped me a ton. (And for you, maybe the light just went off!)

In truth, a life of a leader also often spins out of control. Agendas are in play way above their understanding. Parent demands don’t make any sense. The level of leadership they need in their church is often outside of their experience level.

They are just grasping for anything they CAN control in a life of ministry full of things they can’t control.

As I interact with people sometimes their anger level reveals a great amount of hurt. The more they hurt they more angry they become with me about nothing. Seriously, I’ve had people yell at me because they can’t figure out how to reset a password. Or because their credit card was declined. (Because they put in the wrong address.)

All that to say– a life in ministry is full of things you can’t control.

But here are 5 things you CAN control.

  1. Attitude – You might not be able to chose the agenda, but you can always chose your attitude.
  2. Behavior – Ever heard that actions speak louder than words? It’s true.
  3. Tone – Not just what you say, how you say it.
  4. Mind – What you put into your mind to learn, and what you allow to dwell in your mind, that’s up to you.
  5. Schedule – How you structure your day and how you manage your time, that’s largely up to you.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

4 comments

  1. Thanks for this. I have needed this little talk since school was let out last Wednesday afternoon. The disruption in my life has made me a Nasty Nilly.

    These are the things I can control, the rest of it, I can’t…

    Ahhhhh!

  2. Great great info and advice we really need it specially me lol im a youth pastor wife and believe me is not easy 🙁 but i will put all of this in practice thank you.
    Blessings

  3. Great stuff and so true. There have been numerous times that I have heard complaints from parents that just didn’t make sense. But if you get them on your side they can become a great team for you. Thanks for the reminder.

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