When I was asked to write this blog, we had just come off the heels of a church wide training weekend led by our small groups team. This story may seem like an insignificant problem in the whole grand scheme of things, but it is a perfect example of a little thing making relationships go sideways with your co-workers.
Our building is pretty small for the people who signed up for the church wide equipping event on Saturday. Understanding and adaptability was needed as we navigated preparing for the large event while continuing the weekday activities. I’m not going to lie; I got a bit disagreeable as the week progressed. We had restoration groups Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I was launching a new marriage ministry with 20 couples, navigating over 60 people in recovery, listening to the challenges of our veterans ministry, hosting a community infant CPR class, helping a single mom with rent, food, and car repair,….the list goes on. I felt unseen and insignificant as the small groups team blew through the building setting up for their event 4 days early. Did you catch my sarcasm and emotionally unhealthy language? They did not blow through the building, intentionally disrupting my events. It was not their event it was “our” event. They did not look at the ministries I lead as insignificant. They were just planning and preparing for an event with 200 people and their focus was on that.
Our team at RLMT (Real Life Ministries Texas) is a beautiful mosaic of dreamers and analysts, thinkers and feelers, leaders, and cooperators. Some think out loud and others keep their thoughts to themselves. Let’s take a second and look at the disciples: Andrew had discretion and insight and was quieter than his brother and business partner Simon Peter who was the talker and much more dramatic. James and John were known as sons of thunder. Phillip was curious and matter a fact. Thomas was a logical and even skeptical. So, when I look at our team at Real Life Ministries Texas that God has brought together, I see a group of individuals who are very different in the way they look at things and the way they go about getting things done.
I’m a challenger and controller, I don’t like chaos, and one of my high values is providing an environment that makes people feel welcome, comfortable, seen, and loved. That value was bumping up against the small group teams need to prepare for an upcoming event.
I had to stop and consider how I was viewing the situation. I had to give up my need to control the situation and let go of personality differences in the way we solve the challenge. As I prayed over the 5 small group staff, I was reminded of the beautiful, gifted, unique people that I loved and respected. I also was reminded that they loved and respected me. Just 2 months earlier we were all at the beach for three days and we shared our hearts for ministry and the struggles we were going through on a personal level. Last week we were celebrating a birthday and filled an office with balloons, we also collectively wept over a staff members struggle with a messy and long adoption. We are more than co-workers.
Being in a church where relational discipleship is not a quote on the wall, but a way of life gives us tools for navigating small and even large disagreements, conflict, and disappointments. We are in relationship, we fight for relationship, and we give grace and understanding to each other because that is what Jesus modeled to his very unique, and diverse disciples
by Judy Cintron – Director of Restoration
Real Life Ministries Texas