Monday, April 21, 2014

Handling "Mean" People


I laughed as I came up with this title for this blog.  Actually, I stole it from a fellow sister in ministry who asked me how to handle mean people at church.  My off the cuff response was “chocolate.”  However, as I looked at her face and I do know her heart for Christ, I decided to take a few moments to evaluate my own response to church members who are mean-spirited, rude, or demanding of their own way.

As we all know and have probably experienced, there are those individuals who believe their purpose in the church is to keep things under “their” control and not God’s control.  You have seen these people at work.  They stand in the wings and watch.  The first time another person proposes an idea this individual rears their ugly head.  Or how about when the church staff (who have been called and anointed by God for His ministry) feels God is leading the church in a certain direction or to implement a new program.  This same individual rises up again and begins to stir up dissension among fellow members.  These people may say, “I only have the best interest of the church at heart,” however, they actually are destroying the unity of the body.

Over our years in the ministry, every church we have served in has these “well-meaning” people.  To be honest, I do get very upset with them.  I know just how much my husband and his staff pray for God’s guidance in leading the church in God’s direction.  So to answer this fellow sister’s question, I want to share what I try to do in handling difficult people.

I have been known to “vent” my feelings out loud in my kitchen while no one is home.  It is just God and me.  I believe He wants us share our true feelings.

Once I calm down I try to focus on the fact that God loves this individual just like He loves me. 

I pray for my attitude to change.

I pray for the other person.

I seek God’s word for encouragement and guidance.

Sometimes these techniques work.  However, I have to realize that Satan is still there planting “mean” thoughts in my head which makes me no better than the difficult person.   I have to truly focus on God at that point. 

I hope my tips help this hurting sister and maybe some of you are experiencing “mean” people in your ministry.  I would love to hear from you about how you handle these people.

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