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"One of the most frustrating things about the ministry," a fellow pastor was telling me not long ago, "has been a certain kind of woman who seems to show up in every church I've served. In this church, it's Alice.

"She's an incredible worker. Whether serving on committees or pulling weeds, she practically lives at church. Though she's always active, she's not really personally close to anyone. But everyone sees her as a model of Christian service."

I thought to myself, We should all have such "problems"! But he answered my objection before I could speak.

"The problem arises when she begins thinking her efforts give her the right to make unilateral decisions in church business or in other people's areas of responsibility. She ends up creating more upset than she's worth."

The toughest part of dealing with Alice, he said, is that "everyone feels guilty for not agreeing with Alice's opinions. One woman told me she was upset with Alice over something, but when I suggested she tell her directly, ...

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