We all guard against it. We hope it never happens. But sometime there is going to be a season when something earth-shattering happens in the life of a church body.
The examples are endless: The church treasurer is caught embezzling $40,000 from the mission fund. The worship pastor admits to having an affair with the pianist. Someone stands up in the middle of your sermon and starts shouting out obsenities... ouch!
What do you do when this sort of thing happens? How do you maintain composure in your leadership? The answer may surprise you. It's not about planning your reaction the moment something like this happens. It's about cultivating your heart ahead of time, over time.
Think of it this way: Hold a glass of water, arm stretched out straight. Now, shake your arm vigorously. What spills out? Water - exactly. Why? Because water was IN the glass, when shaken, water came OUT of the glass.
Here are couple ideas to fill your life with the right "water":
~ Stay in the Word for yourself. The key here is "for yourself". Don't always be in the Word for "work". Keep focused on how the scripture is impacting YOUR life. Scripture reminds us of the solid nature of God's character in a shifting, fallible world.
~ Rest. When you're busy and productive, it's counter-intuitive to stop and pause. But if you were trying to cut a tree with a dull blade, you'd be working harder than necessary. Stop and pause to sharpen your saw. Rest provides perspective and capacity.
~ Appreciate what's working. For time and for eternity, it will be the small number of negative people who eclipse the majority of positive people. Don't let your mind be controlled by the minority. Keep a diary of praise reports. Review it first thing each morning when you wake and last thing each evening.
Your turn: Has "it" every hit the fan for you? How did you keep your composure?
Scott Couchenour is a certified life coach and founder of Serving Strong, a resourcing and coaching service to ministry leaders. Serving Strong exists to eliminate burnout from the ministry equation. He is also VP of Operations for Cogun, Inc., a company that helps churches expand their ministry facilities through consulting, design coordination, and construction. Scott flies around in an empty nest in Ohio with his wife of over 26 years. He has two grown children. Scott believes in the local church and pursues a God-given passion to enable pastors to serve strong. You can visit Scott's website at www.servingstrong.com and follow him on Twitter.