The notion of confronting someone used to leave me tongue-tied. But during my eight years in corporate management, I found that most people, when confronted in the right way, accepted correction and were grateful for help in approaching people or tasks in a more productive way.
While filling in as children's pastor, I placed Joanne (names throughout have been changed) in charge of a particular program. Soon, though, her enthusiasm turned to frustration and she became increasingly short with people. So I met with her.
"Joanne, your passion for children's ministry shows in the way you're tackling this job," I said. "How do you feel about what you're doing?"
"It seems people avoid me when I head their way," she said with a bemused smile. That was the opening I needed.
"Joanne," I said, "I think some are trying to avoid you. I've heard from a few that they felt you ordered them to help in your area. I know you asked, but I think what they're hearing is 'You have to help.'"
With guilt and shame ...1