Building positive relationships among my staff and volunteers is important to me – I function so much better when we are all getting along well. I am also a person who gets things done and a change agent when it comes to work. That combination is a place where the enemy can create havoc in my life. I have faced difficult situations with staff and volunteers over the years in ministry that hurt me deeply and left scars on my heart that are still there today. I almost left the ministry because of the pain I endured. I analyzed and prayed over those painful times for understanding. I wanted to see the blind spots in myself; where I was misunderstood and what I could have done differently to avoid those problems. Through much prayer, I came to realize that people volunteering their time are doing so because they believe in the mission. It’s not quite the same as a secular job; people are emotionally tied to the church or ministry where they work or volunteer. Therefore, any changes or decisions that are made are taken personally and if they do not understand or do not agree with those changes they feel hurt and threatened.
In John Chapter 17 Jesus prayed a beautiful prayer for unity and ‘oneness’ for his disciples and the body of Christ. He prayed, “… Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one” (vs.11b). Jesus was close to the end of His life on earth when he prayed that prayer. I believe He knew how challenging unity can be, and how important it is for us to bind together toward a common goal and try to understand each other’s point of view.