Stopping Division on Your Team
About two years ago we hired Johnny (not his real name). Johnny came on the team as our middle school director. Until he came on I was running both middle school and high school, but I was burnt out, doing seminary, trying to get ordained, getting ready to go to Africa; I was tired and just relieved to “hand it off.”
After a couple months I noticed a huge problem: We did not get along! I was supposed to be his boss, but I wasn’t leading him at all. This was his first full-time paid position and my first time overseeing someone in this capacity. I saw his ministry growing, and instead of praising him I began to find jealousy in my heart. I subconsciously, and somewhat maliciously, put him down. I didn’t have his back or go to bat for him (this is hard to admit).
After some hard lessons Johnny and I sat down and began to work through this situation. We both confessed areas that we messed up and repented of our sins. It saddens me to say that it took about nine months for this to happen, and it took about another nine months of constant communication to heal the hurt that we both had done to the other. Here are some lessons that I’ve learned from this situation, and some things that he and I did to help foster unity between us and the ministries we lead:
1. Communicate: Don’t push it off! Keep short accounts with the people you work with. It’s so much easier to talk about people than to talk with people.
2. Reveal: Don’t hide your frustrations. Be open and honest with each other. Its funny how during this time God shows you how immature you are being about the situation.
3. Pray: Pray hard for this person. Pray for God to help you love them and watch what happens.
4. Encourage: Talk the other person up. This may take time, but let the person find out you are speaking well about them behind their back now!
I can say now that I love Johnny; I’m excited about the ministry that God is using him to do, and I’m embarrassed in the way I acted. If you’re in this situation, I encourage you to do these things and do them quick! Watch how God works on your heart and gives you a love for this person that you never thought could be possible.
This article “Stopping Division on Your Team” by Neal Benson was excerpted from: www.simplycommunity.com website. June 2009. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”