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Disillusioned by the Church

When organizational culture makes you wonder if you belong
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Organizations have distinct personalities that are an amalgamation of both the people within them and the culture around them. In my experience, personality “fit” between a leader and the organization can be one of the greatest sources of conflict and frustration, yet it is rarely considered during the ministry placement process.

Pay attention to your gut, but don’t rely solely on your own perception.

Something is causing you to feel uneasy, alarmed, angry, frustrated, or discouraged. Do your best to analyze what exactly you are feeling, and what specifically is triggering those emotions. Be aware of possibly projecting past negative experiences onto your current situation and relationships. Enlist the perspective of wise outsiders who know you and can ask clarifying questions about you and the situation. Compare what you are observing within your church to your understanding of biblical principles. If needed, take a break and get away from the church and the issues for a bit, allowing time to gain emotional distance and additional perspective.

After this analysis, you may still be the only person who sees the issue as you do―which can feel especially disconcerting as you question both your perspective (“Maybe it’s just me?”) and everyone else’s (“Why doesn’t anybody else see this?”). Resist any urge to spread negativity to others in an attempt to bolster your position. Remain grounded in prayer, asking God to reveal any blind spots in your own perception and in the perception of others.

Weigh what you can live with, and what are deal-breakers.

Ask yourself, how big of an issue is this to me? Is it something that must be addressed immediately, or can it wait? Can you fulfill your ministry effectively even with these concerns present? The answers to these questions will be different for every leader depending on her personality, highest values, place within the organization structure, and even season of life. You may decide, for example, it is more beneficial to overlook certain issues for a season so as not to disrupt the personal or professional lives of your family members.

August14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

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