Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10 Things-The Individaul

Very early on in ministry I learned an unusually difficult lesson. I had a very serious issue with a volunteer that had to be addressed immediately. I was somewhat new in ministry so I went to my Pastor to find out how he wanted to the situation handled. I will never forget the words he spoke to me that day. This was a key volunteer in my ministry, and I knew without a doubt that he needed to be dismissed, I just wasn't sure how to go about it. My pastor said, "No matter what Scott, you must always remember that the individual is more important than the ministry." It took me a few minutes to understand exactly what he was saying. I grew up playing sports and always knowing the exact opposite to be true. The team is more important than the individual, and no one player is above the team. This seemed to be the exact opposite of everything that I knew, so I asked the Pastor to explain what he meant. He took the time that day to teach me that the ministry that a volunteer is a part of, though valuable, is not the most important thing. What they do for me is no where near the most valuable part of them.
I think we lose track of that when we get caught up in our flow charts and our job descriptions. Don't get me wrong. I am a huge proponent of knowing what you need people to do, and where you need them to do it (In fact, I just examined every area of Adventure Kidz to see where we could use more staff, turns out pretty much everywhere has availability). The problem comes though when we lose sight of the individual and all we see is another spot on our chart filled.
My pastor taught me that day that every person has value and deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. He taught me that just because I had to ask that volunteer to step down, didn't mean that I needed to cut him off from the church and banish him entirely.
No matter how large our ministries grow, they will always be made up of individuals. People deserve to be treated as individuals and not just another spot on our flow chart that we have filled.

2 comments:

MK @ Teach Sunday School said...

That is such an important lesson to learn—that the person is more important than the ministry. What a wonderful piece of advice! I agree with you—I think that a lot of the time, we can forget that we're dealing with individuals—human beings. We get way too concerned with performance and how to make it better. Thank you for reminding me of this important piece of wisdom.

Patricia Venkatesh said...

robert@mail.postmanllc.net