Editor’s Note: In this post, Pastor Pete Wilson shares some of the unhealthy ministry habits he’s been trying to unlearn. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all struggle with unhealthy ministry habits. Do you have any ministry habits or tendencies you’d like to break?
Here are a few things I learned and accepted early in my ministry that I’ve worked to unlearn in recent years.
1. Problems Are Bad
I have actually learned that “real problems” are wonderful.
People without real problems go crazy and invent things like base-jumping. I think if it weren’t for problems, I probably would have burned out on ministry a long time ago.
Every problem I face reminds me I’m still needed and makes me a better pastor in the end. Finding solutions to problems is what gives me energy and makes me excited to jump out of bed in the morning.
2. Conflict Is Destructive
I used to hate conflict. I avoided it at all costs.
What that attitude created among the teams I led was artificial harmony. There were things that needed to be said that weren’t said. Issues that needed to be confronted that weren’t confronted.
A ministry without conflict is destined for mediocrity.
What I’ve learned is conflict isn’t bad. Conflict doesn’t destroy teams. Not knowing how to handle conflict is what destroys teams.
3. Never Quit
I’m not even sure when I bought into this philosophy or where I picked it up, but I distinctly remember thinking if I introduced a new idea, a new service time, a new ministry, etc., that we had to work it until it was successful. If you end something or quit something, it’s admitting failure.
What a ridiculous way of thinking! These days when I introduce a major new initiative, I almost always introduce it as an “experiment,” giving me an easy out to quit it if it’s not working.
We’ve got to find a way to normalize “quitting.” It’s OK to quit something. In fact, you probably need to quit something right now in order to get to where you want and need to be.
Anything you’re trying to unlearn these days?