What do you notice about your reaction to people in your ministry?
When I was a pastor, I noticed my annoyance level varied. Sometimes the people in my church, or specific individuals, drove me nuts. At other times, I thought, “Aren’t they charming?” “Aren’t they sweet?” Or, “I love my people so much.”
Over the years I noticed that come the end of the program year in late spring, I tended to have the first reaction more often. I finally learned that I was just tired–or my anxiety level was up. The issue wasn’t so much that they were annoying, but I was annoyed, or frustrated or angry. Over time, I realized that if I just waited, the feeling would pass. I learned not to take my feelings and thoughts about others or about the congregation as a whole quite so seriously.
It’s a long process, and I still get caught. But I can see my thoughts more clearly and hold them more lightly than I used to.
Is someone getting on your nerves in your ministry? What is one different choice you might make as you relate to them?
8 replies on “Are people at church getting on your nerves ?“
I absolutely love going to church, singing praises, and hearing God’s Word. Yet, inevitably there is something that tends to happen that sometimes has me leaving sadder than when I came there in God’s house. People are just people! We are all trying to be better. I agree with the other person who commented. It is sometimes good to take a break, worship elsewhere, or just give yourself some space from the annoyances. If you are part of a weekly ministry in a small congregation, that is sometimes not easy. Yet, it is a great help!
I notice it more so when I am tired, so I schedule a Sunday off, to get some “reterat” and distance. I want to try to anticipate these times a bit better.
That kind of awareness can be very useful, Sandra —
Paying attention is where it’s at!
I was thinking about when I begin to get annoyed by people. I have been noticing it lately and it is the end of the church year (Sept.-June) and I am tired. It is something I am beginning to pay attention to and it gives me clues that I need rest and some balance.
Great distinction there, between “they are annoying” and “I am annoyed”. Thanks, Margaret — that’s helpful to me.
It’s always hard to remember this! Glad it was useful, Dinah.