Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Haven't Been Rubbed Raw

I recently read a collection of rants from various children's ministry leaders here. As I read the passionate testimonies of frustration I was reminded how blessed I am to be here at Morning Star. I've also been following a thread on the Kidology Network where people share situations in which they were "hung out to dry" by the leadership of their church. Either I'm very forgetful (which I don't think is the case) or once again, I'm blessed.

I've seen enough difficult situations through my mom's experiences as a Children's Director to know that sometimes there's just nothing you can do to avoid trials and tribulations in ministry. And because of those trying times, I can recognize that my work situation is unique. But I've also learned that there are things I must do in order to receive the respect I hope for.

As a woman in ministry, I need to remember that the people I serve under are men, and therefore, their minds and feelings work differently than mine. Just as I need to show my husband grace when he doesn't react to a new purchase (like a purse or shoes) the way a girlfriend would, I need to show my boss grace when he approaches situations logically and without extreme excitement.

I also need to show the men I work for a level of respect that goes beyond politeness. A Bible study I've done recently called Love & Respect taught me alot about giving my husband the respect he desperately needs. While my boss is certainly not in the same category as my husband, the principles can translate quite simply. I show respect for his position by presenting ideas for his input and value his ideas rather than coming with an agenda for him to approve. I respect the wide expanse of his job by recognizing that there may be bigger issues he's dealing with than my crisis of curriculum (which, in reality, could easily be solved at a later date). And I respect his time by coming to meetings well prepared and researched, and able to keep it short if need be by prioritizing my points.

And finally, if I want my voice to be heard by our staff and leadership, I need to have a voice people will want to listen to. If every situation is a high-drama case, I'll just become the girl who cried wolf (or lack of volunteers, or lack of facility space, or lack of recognition, or... you get the picture). I guard my complaints and stress level so when I do say, "I have a problem" or "I'm stressed," the attention I desire will be given. I also need to sound educated and researched, so that when I present an idea, a level of credibility will accompany it.

Granted, I know I'm not the perfect employee, and while it's easy to make a list of qualities and practices to make my job a lot more pleasant, I recognize that I'm not the only party involved. The pastors I serve under are very supportive and are clear about showing their appreciation and support for what I do. I never want to become so accustomed to this that I forget to appreciate it.

1 comment:

Tiffany Ottis said...

Jill, I just recently went to the Morning Star Website and discovered your blog. I am greatful for July 22 about love and respect. I went on to Amazon and ordered the book. I am struggling with a few things in those areas and your comments were helpful. Tiffany Ottis

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