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