Admit it; you make mistakes in ministry. I know I have. In fact, sometimes I feel like I’ve made more mistakes than I’ve made a difference, but I’m thankful for the grace of God and for the forgiveness of the people I’ve offended.
Being a leader in multisite ministry increases the opportunity for mistakes. There are often more meetings, more distance to travel, more emails to communicate vision and direction, and more logistics that require proper planning. The opportunities for failure are all around, but there is one mistake that is easy to avoid. Ready for it?
Here you go: Don’t make a STANCE at first GLANCE!
You know you’ve been there. Maybe you were making your way from one classroom to another as part of your teardown process on Sunday afternoon, and you spot one of your staff members just standing there goofing around with one of your key volunteers. “Why aren’t they helping,” you think to yourself. You walk by moments later, and they’re still standing there appearing to be doing nothing. Now you’re frustrated, and you shout out, “It’s okay, we got it!” Have you been there? Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve been there more than I’d like to admit.
Perhaps you can’t identify with my teardown story, but I wonder if you’ve experienced this “stance at first glance” mistake from a different perspective. You saw something, created a judgment about what you experienced, and reached a conclusion that later proved itself to be all wrong. Okay, maybe not you but what about someone else from your team? I think we can all admit that we’ve experienced something like this before. So how can we easily avoid this mistake?
Here’s what I’ve learned: ASSUME less and ASK more!
You know what happens when you assume, right? I won’t go into detail here, but assumption has the potential to destroy any relationship, at any time. When we take the time to ask questions about what we or others have observed or experienced, we can understand more clearly what’s going on.
That staff member that was not tearing down on Sunday afternoon and was just standing around tells you that the key volunteer he was talking to was just let go from his job on Friday without notice. What you saw as a prolonged discussion, possibly around Saturday’s game, turned into something much more intense and life changing.
What you or others experience in a moment is rarely all there is, assume less about the situation and ask more questions.
Have you been here before? How have you learned to avoid the mistake of assumption? Comment below.