A three letter word that seems to resonate in every single person’s vocabulary. It’s a simple question that has many substantive answers depending on the situation it is being used. When the word comes up to those of us that sacrificed much to work in ministry, it goes to the very core of who we are…
A ministry is a unique microcosm of passionate people that have been called into service from a variety of backgrounds all for a singular purpose…to be put into service for their faith. It’s a powerful moment when a person feels called to leave more lucrative opportunities in order to bring added strength into service for God. It’s an amazing opportunity for anyone to be a part of God’s team that when combined with the strength and skill of others can make miracles happen.
Another component to the answer to why? is the purpose for which you made the decision to go into service. Yes, passion is a key component, but its also important to not allow personal ego and agendas to cloud decisions in the best interest of the ministry. This issue becomes extremely relevant as the ministry evolves and sound management policies are determined to be necessary for the ministry to be solvent and successful for the long term. Change is quite difficult for established members of any organization that began as a loosely structured idea to help people and evolves into an elaborate organization trying to provide highly skilled service in the developing world. Operating in a less structured, and yes, less efficient manner causes significant stress when asked to bring the effort into a more strategic and accountable manner.
At this time, the concept of Grace becomes a huge part of the process for all involved. There is little doubt that process, accountability, and transparency are necessary components for the organization to initially survive, but also grow and prosper to help those you seek to serve. The implementation of these concepts is very difficult for long term and new personnel alike. The longer term people don’t want to change, and the newer team become quite frustrated with the lack of interest in moving the organization down the desired path. Grace must be extended by all as the details, discussion, and understanding of the changes are introduced into the organization.
The extension of Grace is not infinite, however, as the future of the ministry must always be the highest priority for all who work within the organization. This is difficult and many may not ever become comfortable with the change and the best decision for all is for those that cannot change to move on to their next season. They are usually good people that struggle with change, but have had the best of intentions in their dedication to the organization during their time in service. Sometimes, a change of scenery and process is not only good, but necessary to reignite the passion that called them into service in the first place. It’s Grace by all that helps to make this transition.
Unfortunately, many times feelings get swept up in this time of change and the move to a new season becomes personal to those that wanted to keep things the same. The anger that evolves becomes pointed at those that have been asked to implement change. Is it fair, probably not, but it also comes with the territory. Leaders know going into these types of situations that they are going to be the target of this frustration. It doesn’t make it any easier, and there comes a point where the anger crosses the line. The interesting thing is that the attacks have little effect on the leadership, but cause those that can’t move past the change to negatively impact their own lives. It’s sad and it is important that we keep them in our prayers during this difficult time. They will eventually realize that the time for change has come, regardless of whether they want it to, and its in everyone’s best interest to move forward.
The question of why can be quite complicated. It is important for anyone in any organization to take a step back and look at why things happen. It can give great insight, but will not supply all the answers behind the scenes. Really, when its all said and done, the full story will not be in the public view and usually the negativity of those that did not like the change is the only voice that will be heard. It’s really too bad, but the fact is that if they are no longer with the organization, there is probably a very good reason they needed to move on to a new venture. Their future is in their hands and the excitement of a new journey should be the focus of their passion, not the past.
As you can see, the answer to why? is not usually a simple answer. The important thing for us all to remember is that most people that have been involved in ministry are good people. The answer to many of the questions may never become fully visibile, but through Grace all can come out the challenges moving forward down the right path for them. It’s a quite a lot for a little three letter word.
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