Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chewing and Spitting

I hope that I am making this observation too early and that I am wrong. I have heard it said that a church will take every pound of flesh that they can from a minister without blinking. I didn't really believe it, but I am starting to see that it is true. If I'm not careful these people will take me, chew me and spit me out at the end. And it is not unkindness - it is simply an unawareness. Of the fact that the minister is human. That he or she has other needs and interests. That he or she has gifts or skills in certain areas but not in others.
I've never wanted to be someone that insists rigidly on my time off. My experience of ministers like that is that they tend to overuse the excuse. And maybe I was also chewing and spitting - we'll see. But the way things are going I may have to be strict and refuse to ever go the extra mile - although I would prefer to be generous with my time. And then I know, people become disgruntled.
But I think I am too early in this observation. I think I will deal with it. It's part of getting into the rhythm of a new life.

1 comment:

Steven Jones said...

I'm beginning to find that the hardest - but probably the most important - word in a minister's vocabulary needs to be the word "no".

On Sunday night at around 10:30 pm I received an SMS requesting that I attend a particular meeting on Monday. My first instinct was to say "yes", after all it was only in the evening. But then I realised that by doing so, I would miss cell for the second week running, so I politely declined. I'll however be able to see this particular person on Thursday, and actually end up achieving more in a one-on-one session than I would have in a meeting.

Granted, there ARE situations of crisis where one has to drop everything and go, but most situations do not fall into this category.

There is a definite need for "no go" times for meetings. We would never dream of scheduling a meeting during service times on a Sunday, for instance - why shouldn't we designate other times (such as the minister's day off) accordingly?