Have you ever heard the saying, “Ministry would be easy if it didn’t involve people?” It’s so true, yet people are the best part of ministry. We couldn’t do ministry without them, but people can be so frustrating, especially when it comes to leadership.
Let me ask you a question, have you ever had to have a conversation with a leader about something that you thought should’ve been obvious? Let me give you an example.
I used to oversee every ministry leader in our church. I was the direct report for every leader in worship, children, and first impressions. I loved the job because honestly I’m a bit of a control freak, but eventually our church got too large for me to continue to do that.
During that time, social media was really starting to blow up. So I made it a priority to friend all of our leaders, volunteers, and anyone else who I knew came to our church. I still do it today.
What amazed me was the conversations I had to have with leaders based on what they posted on social media, things that seemed real obvious to me that you shouldn’t post if you’re leading a kid’s environment. That sort of thing. I’m sure you’ve had to do the same.
But I’m beginning to learn more and more throughout the years that I should never assume anything because assuming tends to make a you-know-what out of you and me.
So, these are four things I never assume anymore.
- People Know What I Know
Most of the time, this one is my fault because I haven’t done a good enough job communicating something. Sometimes this happens because I forget, but most of the time this happens because I just thought it was obvious that you shouldn’t play football in the sanctuary. My bad.
- People Think Like I Think
People don’t think the same as I do. They haven’t read the same books, they haven’t experienced the same teachings, and they didn’t grow up the same as me. So, if I want them to think like me, I need to expose them to what I’ve been exposed to. This is why reading books together is such a powerful leadership tool.
- People Work Like I Work
Hand me a shovel and I’m ready to quit immediately. Hand me a computer and I can work for days on end. People work at different paces and different rhythms. Just because someone doesn’t do something as fast as me doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lazy, they just have different strengths than I do.
- People Act Like I Act
I’m always early and never late. If I see something that needs to be done, I want to jump in and help. These things come naturally to me but not to everyone. Sometimes someone seeing you do it will inspire them to do it, but sometimes you need to take a leader aside and tell them what’s expected of them.
I’m learning in life and ministry, my assumptions often get me in trouble. So, instead of blaming someone else, I’m realizing that often the problem starts with me.
What’s your experience with assumptions in ministry? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.