Up to faith

Life lessons

Some of these have specifically to do with ministry. Some don’t.

If only I could remember to put these things into practice...

Assume the best of others. When dealing with others, I never have all the information. I have to make lots of assumptions to fill in the gaps. I should always strive to assume the best rather than the worst.

Be conservative about output; be liberal about input. I must be careful about what I say and be accepting of what is said to me. I must assume the best of others.

Don’t take it personally. Very seldom is someone really out to hurt me. If someone’s words or actions hurt me, most likely they either don’t realize it or felt it was important enough to risk that I might feel hurt. I must assume the best of others.

Temper criticism with affirmation. This may be my worst failing. I’m very good at criticism, but horrible at affirmation.

Respond to criticism with acknowedgement, not excuses. I must assume the best of others. I should assume someone offering criticism already knows or has assumed valid excuses. I must accept their criticism thankfully. I should suppress my natural tendency to offer excuses.

Be part of the solution. Identifying problems is important, but I must always be willing to do my part to solve the problems I identify.

Do not try to turn someone’s identification of a problem into a demand for their action. I would rather know about problems than to silence people for fear that I will turn their advice against them. I must remember that identifying problems is as valuable as trying to solve them, because problems cannot be solved unless they are identified. I must assume the best of others. I should assume that they are already doing all they can to address the issue themselves.

Ask for help. I must not assume that I must solve every problem by myself. I must not assume that no one will help. I must not expect that someone will.

Make requests for help as specific as possible. I am more comfortable & respond more readily to specific requests, so my requests of others should be as specific as possible.

Avoid “uphill both ways in the snow”. I should focus on how I can help others have a better experience than I had.

Strive for perfection, but don’t regret falling short. If I’ve done the best I can do, I shouldn’t dwell on how far from perfect my best was. I must try to learn from the experience. I should strive to do better next time. I must not, however, regret having done my best.

Never take a staff position at your own church.

Don't feed the trolls.