Erase Conflict

Over my life I have been guilty of making folks mad. Sometimes I didn’t realize it and others, sadly I knew exactly what I was doing.

As a minister now I find myself a little more grown up in how I think and act. However, in my job I find that it is not all that uncommon that something I said or did has upset someone. What makes things tough is most of the time I’m the last person that knows this and I’m told that “they” are mad at me from someone else.

I have a few way I handle these situations.

  1. I don’t discuss “they” with other people. I simply tell the folks who share that “they” are mad to let them know I have an open door and open phone policy.
  2. If I feel I have offended someone (Church or life) I go to them face to face and have a discussion. This always ends in clarity and a good nights sleep.
  3. When in discussion I never go in on the defense, odds are I have done something and I own my part. this is a quick defuser.
  4. Be willing to resolve the issue and move forward. Relationships don’t need to end over pride.
  5. If the person doesn’t want to talk I simply give space.

I have been blessed to have folks who have forgiven me for my immaturity. In fact one of them is one my best friends in the entire world.

I’m too old and life is too short to worry about things that a phone call or quick visit can handle.

 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Take Me to Your Leader!?!

One of the realities of my life is that on top of all that I have going on is that I’m also a seminary (Preacher School) student. What this mean is that every Thursday I get up a 4:30am to drive 2 hours and 20 minutes one way to school.

What I want to stress before I continue is that this is something I truly enjoy. I love the drive and I love sitting in a class with my peers and just talk.

Ok back to the topic at hand.

On my drives I normally don’t listen to music. I have a system that on the way up I listen to sermons and leadership podcasts. I may start adding audiobooks soon. On the way home I listen to some music, but mostly wrestling podcasts.

This week I was listening to the Carey Nieuwhoff (Newhoff) leadership podcast and his guest was Donald Miller. I am a huge fan of Miller as he is the author of Blue Like Jazz, Searching For God Knows What, and my personal favorite Through Painted Deserts. Miller has since turned his attentions to helping leaders and business become better through his Storybrand Marketing Brand.

In their conversation Donald mentioned to Carey something along the lines that business leaders would be more profitable if they lead like Pastors. This may not have been the full context as it was early, and I assure you I don’t think I’m a good businessman, but I am a Pastor so this peaked my interest.

So I listened and took the points to heart as how I can become better at my calling.

  1. Love your people. This is a given in that this is the one point that comes easy. When I walk into my churches I truly love each person I see and engage with. I also am like this with my friends and people I encounter. I believe that when people encountered Jesus, He made them feel like they were the most important person in the world. I have met others who do the same, so this has always been my goal. There is nothing more off-putting then someone who asks how you’re doing as they keep walking.
  2. Lead your people. This is something we sadly see too often due to laziness. Many of my “peers” call themselves leaders, yet they never lead. Pastoring is more than social media, coffee shops, and memes quoting dead theologians. It’s actually engagement with a lot of encouragement. People are hungry for direction and as Pastors and leaders we are held accountable to give it.
  3. Produce Content Often. This one is easy, but it’s also the hardest. There are 52 weeks in a year which means there are 52 Sundays that a sermon will be given. In my case there are 52 sermons and I add seasonal Bible Studies as well. So on average not counting vacations or small breaks I preach or teach over 100 times a year. A lot of time needs to go into all of this, so we have to be intentional in what we preach. What I mean is don’t allow personal agenda trickle in. Preach/Teach the truth or if you run a business only share what true, beneficial, and encouraging. You can do all of this through good time and bad.

Like I said the points are from the podcast, but these insights are what is currently swimming in my head. I was inclined to write this down as it may lead to something more, but then again it may not.