Human relationships take time to develop. Today is my 29th wedding anniversary. My husband, Karl, and I were married in 1980. We are both amazed that it’s been so many years, over half our lives. And happy about it, which feels wonderful. Getting to know another human being more and more deeply is very satisfying. And, I have to say, the more I can accept him as he is without trying to change him, the better it goes!
A big part of ministry is relationships, of course. These connections also take time to develop. When things get bumpy in a congregation it can be tempting to look around for other options. But I’m convinced that long-term ministry has more potential for lasting results. And while we may have dreams and goals for our congregation, a fundamental acceptance of others helps the relationship grow. That’s a paradox of relationship — the more we can let go of trying to control others, the more potential there is for new possibilities to emerge.
What have been your experiences in developing long-term connections in ministry?