Behaviors & attitudes that affect ministry. What can we do about it?

If you’ve worked in ministry for a while, you have come face-to-face with many questionable behaviors and attitudes. I’ve met Christians who have “walked with Christ” for more than 10 or 20 years. Even 50 years! Awesome, huh? But the problem is that you’d think they started to “walk” yesterday.

Allow me to explain……

Christians aren’t perfect, but we should work together, as one. We are one body of Christ, not twenty. Unfortunately,  a few people claim to “walk right”, but the”old man” follows them around.

For example, we ask for her advice on a ministry opportunity or event, and she has many excuses as to why it wouldn’t work. She is negative, refuses to help, but then complains of the outcome. If we don’t feel it is the right opportunity, pray about it. Perhaps, God wants us to take on that ministry opportunity or role. How do we know if we don’t pray about it?

Phillipians 2:14-15 says,

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Scripture is clear, do not murmur or dispute about ANYTHING!  Do NOT complain. Why? God is telling us, via His Word, that He doesn’t want us doing so. Let’s obey.

Let’s go deeper!

We should set the example (John 13:14-16). We are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:12-14). We should lead lives differently than those of this world (Romans 12:2). We shouldn’t give anyone a reason to criticize us (Phillipians 2:15). What will they think of Jesus? We are His ambassadors after all, aren’t we?

In my experience working in ministry, I’ve observed behavior and attitudes that should not form part of a Christian’s life.

Below are a few that I’ve witnessed. (I am sure there are more!!)

  1. Controlling: Some people cannot handle not being in control. If ministry doesn’t move forward their way, we hear about it. It’s not about the “self”, it’s about the body of Christ. We do what God tells us to do, it’s not what we want to do. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
  2.  Jealousy: She takes her eyes off of Jesus and looks at man (Hebrews 12:2). She looks at the accomplishments of others instead of focusing on her own. She is never content and covets what her neighbor has (Exodus 20:17). If we walk in the Spirit, we understand that all we do as the body of Christ is to build the church, not the self. (1 Corinthians 12)
  3. Self-Centeredness: If she isn’t the center of attention or isn’t called to take part in the service, she gets angry, jealous and complains. And when we ask her to help in other areas, she rebels. It’s not about what pleases you. It’s about what is pleasing to God. Are you pleasing God? (1 Corinthians 3:2-4) If one isn’t submitted to God, how do we expect to take part in service?
  4. Discontentment: Nothing is ever good enough. Everything we do in ministry is a problem or not right. She doesn’t contribute to the cause and she isn’t happy with the outcome either. Again, it’s God’s way, not ours. He will use whomever He wants to complete a mission. (Philippians 4:11-13)
  5. Laziness: She wants the ministry to progress, but she never volunteers to help. Someone asks her to do something and she never responds with a “yes or no”. Years go by and she still sits in the pew. She isn’t motivated to take on her ministry. How can you say that you love God and His ministry, but you don’t step out in faith?  (Hebrews 6:11-13)

I’m sure you’ve heard this expression, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, if you have nothing to add, sit quietly, pray for God’s ministry, and let others work. There is no reason to add drama when all we try to do is bring souls to Christ. There is no need to go into a long excuse about why you can’t do it, why the idea won’t work, etc. Let God work. Walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).

How do these attitudes and behaviors affect ministry?

  1. It slows down ministry as the focus is no longer on it.
  2. It discourages the body of Christ.
  3. It adds stress to the brethren.
  4. It tears town the body of Christ.
  5. It sets a bad example for newborn Christians.
  6. It ruins our testimony before others.
  7. The body of Christ and ministry suffers because talents are not being used to its full potential.
  8. We aren’t reaching “lost souls” fast enough because we focus on “putting out the fires”.

Ministry isn’t a straight line, it looks more like a zig zag and circles. God has the last say in the matter. We should aim to emulate Jesus, not man.

Let’s be real! Be honest with yourself.

Are we failing to live a life that is pleasing to God ? What kind of example are we setting as Christians? Are we a walking testimony? Are we full of drama? Is the “old man” attached to our hip?

My desire is to see the brethren move forward in their ministry, calling or personal endeavors. But no one can force a person to take on the cross. All I can do is pray that the Lord will deliver her and ignite passion in her soul and for His ministry.

While I realize that this post is harsh, we should speak truth. However, we cannot leave this post without a few tips that will encourage us in ministry.

What should Christians do?

Pray. Pray. Pray. Sometimes, it is easy to open our mouths and tell that person a little about herself. It’s tempting! But we shouldn’t do that.  Prayer changes everything.

Offer an encouraging word. Remind her that we aren’t perfect, that we are “in this” together, and if she needs help, you are there for her. Let’s build up the body of Christ, not tear it down.

Maybe, this is an opportunity to host weekly prayer or chat sessions.  She may need extra support and prayer during a difficult time. Let the Spirit lead you.

Set up biblically based workshops that will help her move forward in her ministry. Ones that will encourage her, help her develop a new skill and build her confidence.

Have you noticed any of these behaviors in your ministry? What have you done to help the brethren? Will you join me in prayer for all who are struggling right now?

Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

God bless you & yours,