Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Antagonists in the church...



Today began with my alarm ringing very early in the complete darkness of our hotel room. As usual the room was cold and the bed absolutely cozy and divine. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of it but I stumbled in to the wonderful warm shower and started making my tea, just like I do each day. Then I went downstairs to the lobby and ate breakfast with Gary and Rhonda.

We had a full day of church life co-horts, with Sis. Lee teaching this time (just love her) and Terry Yancey. Larry and I managed to quickly snag Sis. Lee to take her to lunch and talk to her.

Today the teachings were on conflict resolution styles in leadership, and antagonists in the church. Awesome stuff. Stuff I wish I knew YEARS ago. It would have changed my life. But thank God I’m learning it now! It was really fascinating to learn all this and quite truthfully in discovering it, it brings understanding to things I have gone through in the past. Now I realize just how hard some of the things really were to navigate and what a miracle it is that I’m still in one piece!

Some great quotes that I can share from today's co-hort (not confidential) 

First...from our fellow pastors in our group... 

"My wife made me read Breaking Intimidation by John Bevere." - George (anybody see the oxymoron of this quote? Get it? MADE me?) and...

"You can't be a goldfish when you're swimming with sharks." - Max

As for other quotes Sis. Lee used in her teaching that really stood out: 

"Antagonists are individuals who, on the basis of no substantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in leadership.” – Kenneth Haugk 

“Conflict is two or more objects aggressively trying to occupy the same space at the same time.” G. Douglass Lewis, Resolving Church Conflicts 

“Conflict arises when the actions of one party threatens the values, goals, or behaviors of another party.”
One thing Sis. Lee said that was sobering is that although God can do anything, and the supernatural can happen, and restoration is possible…she and Doc have never known even one person personally who was a church antagonist and such happened. It is with this that I realize…sometimes what you do or don’t do will never change that person. It’s your survival and thriving through it as a pastor that is what matters.

Great stuff.

We ended the CLR teaching time and then went to dinner with George and Irene. Great time of sharing and we didn’t want to leave, but had to. Were getting home at 11:30 tonight as is, and making it later just wasn’t appealing though talking to them was.

It’s so awesome to be with our co-hort coaching group, and I don’t even want to THINK about it ending. It’s going to end. The two years is going to come to a close. And I’m going to miss it so much. Even though we can sign up again, it will not be the same exact people. Maybe some of the people, but not all. And other new people would be in the group. I’m not exclusive, nor snobby. It’s just that a new group would mean establishing a whole new level of trust. We came in with no trust, most of us not knowing each other at all. At this point there is complete trust, and no problem with baring our souls about whatever is happening in our life and ministry. It’s two days of “no holds barred” conversation about where all of us are at, and everybody knows the contents of the meetings are airtight. With a new group that would have to be redeveloped all over again. Can it be done? Sure. I’m just not sure I want to risk it again. Although I would dreadfully miss not being in a co-hort or coaching...

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