How to Avoid Getting Stuck
View the half hour session this Thursday, anytime between 11 am-1 pm Central time
go to http://www.grace-institute.com/lunchlearn
* People sign up to be present for an event but don't show.
* People don't sign up but show up anyway.
* People say they will be responsible for a ministry but decide to do
something different at the last minute.
Sounds just like church life, doesn't it? These are the kinds of things that drive church leaders and pastors crazy. And it is becoming more common in all volunteer organizations. We are growing up in an impulse culture.
Because Christians want to be nice and don't want to offend, it is not uncommon that we just let these things go, swallow hard, and hope for the best the next time. Of course, it doesn't mean that resentment doesn't build and discouragement set in. But there is a flaw in that reaction. We assume that doing nothing is just that...doing nothing. Whether we intend to or not, we are teaching...all the time. Doing nothing sends the message that it is OK and almost guarantees that the behavior will be repeated. It teaches people that living without commitment is an appropriate choice.
The decision to do or say nothing is not just a decision to make church go more smoothly. It impacts the kind of Christ-like character we are wanting to foster among our congregants. Being dependable, keeping your word, and "letting your 'yes' mean 'yes' and your 'no' mean 'no'" are part of that character of discipleship. Always trying to be "nice" and avoid holding people accountable doesn't help...in parenting or in the church.
If our goal is to lead people into Christ-like living, it means that we have to build in some consequences so people begin to put things together in their thinking. We shouldnt try to protect them from these consequences. If people don't register for an event as requested, they shouldn't be invited to bend the rules and enter late. If people don't show up for an event that they registered for, they need to receive feedback to let them know that it was noticed and it created some difficulty. When people agree to do a ministry but fail to follow through, they need to be talked to and told that the ministry suffered, people were inconvenienced, and if they want to stay in the ministry, they need to follow through.
While this often sounds heartless, it is a part of discipleship training. Remember, "for the moment, all discipline seems painful." (Hebrews 12:11) But trying to protect others from feeling that pain actually creates more pain in their life and hinders their growth into the people God desires.