Love is not Agreement

This should be obvious, but it’s good to keep in your head when people just want you to agree with them. Love does not mean agreement. You can love someone and disagree with them. You can disagree with them about very very significant things. You can even hate the thing they love, but you can still love them.

There’s a likelihood that they won’t feel loved. But… and here’s the important thing… the amount they feel loved is not the measure of your love.

But, if you don’t agree with them just because you don’t like them… that’s not love.

When choosing your battles becomes laziness

The conventional wisdom is to “choose your battles” and it makes lots of sense. It’s a good application of 1Peter 4:8 “love covers a multitude of sins”. 

But choosing your battles can easily become and excuse for never entering into battles. 

The Lord’s servant should not quarrel, but should correct, rebuke and encourage. These all involve battles of some sort. 

So, as we choose our battles, we should also be aware of our own temptation to avoid entering battles at all. We are, after all, soliders dressed in the Lord’s armour. 

Modern day gifts – The Accommodator (aka “the bean-bag”)

This is the person who is just what everyone needs them to be. They’re not pretending to be someone who they’re not, they just genuinely are able to be the life of the party – if the party is lacking life… and they can be the quiet serious one in the corner, if the party already has life, and needs a bit of solace. They can be your back-up, they can be your front-man, they can make something up and they can follow what’s set-out already.

Chances are they won’t like conflict, but the great strength of the Accommodator is their ability to make everyone feel like they are getting just what they need.

Never appoint two people to lead something, instead…

Always make one person the leader. Always make it clear that, in the case of a disagreement, one of them gets to make the call; one of them bears the responsibility.
If you don’t appoint a clear “leader” the two (or more) leaders will have to come to a consensus on every single issue… And that’s fine for most things, but sometimes you just need to make a call and run with it, rather than spend hours, days, months trying to make the other person happy.
So, appoint two leaders, but always then say, “if you can’t decide on something, I want Person A to make the call, ok?”

Ministry Exercise: Imagine doing another staff member’s job

Is very easy to get caught in your own silo as part of a staff team. You’re slogging away at one aspect of church, and you can easily start to feel like others aren’t pulling their weight, or they’re not doing it as well as they should.
One exercise to do is to get the team to imagine swapping rolls with each other. Even pass them out pieces of paper with a new area of responsibility written on it, and give them 5 mins to work out their plan.
What would you start doing? What would you stop doing? What would be your biggest fear? What would you be excited about doing? What would you kill?
This is great for two reasons. First it breaks the rut of only thinking about your own thing. You begin to realise that this new role is huge and that guy leading it at he moments doing a huge job. Second it actually provides great creative ideas… Being asked to plan a ministry you’ve only spent 5mins thinking about can actually raise some great ideas.