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youth ministry

Swinging at the right guy

Photo by Steve Hopkins via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In 7th grade I ended up in the principle’s office because I got into a fight. Technically, I was trying to break it up and got punched. But, apparently to a 7th grade science teacher, getting punched meant I was in a fight and deserved to be suspended.

Within 5 minutes the three of us were sitting in front of the assistant princple awaiting our judgement. Another 5 minutes and I’d be in class again. The student who started the fight just told it like it was, “I was meaning to hit Jeff but I hit Adam on accident, I hit the wrong guy. Sorry.

Case dismissed. Hasta luego.

A lot of people swing at the wrong guy

  • Failing in a class directs a student’s anger at the teacher instead of at his study habits.
  • An honest evaluation of your work makes you angry at the system judging you instead of your lack of results.
  • A spouse takes out the stress of their job on their loved one since they can’t stand up to their boss at work.
  • Your doctor tells you that you’re obese and need to change some habits, and you never go to that doctor again.

This same principle carries into the youth ministry

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to a church staff member lament for 30 minutes or an hour about how much their boss or their board or their executive pastor doesn’t “get them” and that if they would just see it from their perspective they’d see that you really are doing the right things. Or that the church is measuring the wrong things.

My response? You’re swinging at the wrong guy.
  • Maybe you’re measuring greatness with a different ruler than they are?
  • Maybe they get you better than you get yourself and see you underperforming?
  • Maybe your pastor isn’t your enemy, he’s your greatest ally?
Never shy away from an honest evaluation. I’d rather get an honest evaluation of my work than someone blowing smoke any day. You can always do better. And there will always be someone out there better than you to learn from.
Never believe you aren’t in a fight. We all struggle against something. It’s part of what makes us human. It keeps us motivated and moving forward and innovative. There’s nothing wrong with being in the fight of your life.

Just make sure you pick a fight with the right enemy.

You’ll get a lot further, faster than punching the wrong enemy.

  • Failing at school? Fight your study habits.
  • Failing at work? Fight your work habits.
  • Having a conflict with your boss? Stand up for yourself.
  • Need to lose 20-30-100 pounds? Get mad at the donuts, not your doctor.
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