Friday, April 17, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

"What are they thinking" was a common sentence I used... well, thousands of times throughout my first 5 years of ministry.  As a youth pastor I was usually the low person on the totem pole (is that still politically correct?) and my opinion never seemed to effect or influence the decisions that were made.  I found myself thinking that if only they did it my way (thanks Frank) the results would have been far better and the world would be a nicer place to live.  Not once, when disagreeing with another leader, did I consider the fact that they might have put a great deal of effort, thought and time into the ministry they were working on and that they had good reason for doing it the way they thought best.

I didn't consider many things; usually in part because I had a brotherhood of youth pastors to spend time with and gain support for our crazy idea that other ministries in our churches would be better if they all ran like the youth ministry.  I forgot that the people leading ministries where there because God had blessed and opened doors for them to be there.  I forgot that their desire was Kingdom growth through leading others to Jesus.  I forgot that nobody was perfect.  I forgot that encouragement; support and lending a hand did more for Kingdom growth than focusing on my selfish wants and nature.  I simply forgot!

I continued this way of thinking until a friend and youth pastor of more than 25 years pulled me aside and confronted me about my attitude and the way I looked at other ministries.  That was more than ten years ago, but I will never forget the feeling of pain and sorrow it brought to my heart.  I repented and confessed to some of the leaders at my church asking for their forgiveness as well as God's.   

I would like to tell you that I have never fallen back into that way of thinking, but that would be a lie.  I constantly look for the good in ministries so that I don't open the door of judgment.  I also find that when I look for the good in ministries it allows me to see how blessed I am to be part of something so much bigger and better than I am.

Looking back all I can say is "WHAT WAS I THINKING?"


Jerrell Jobe said...

It seems that during these times of "What are/were they thinking..." We are prone to a number of thoughts that we'd probably be better off asking, "What Am I Thinking?!?"

Isn't it amazing how often we begin to "sense" God's leading somewhere else during these times of perceived rejection (aka: not being listened to, heard, inquired of, or simply just have one too many of our flaws exposed)?

During these times, it seems, many have a tendency to begin entertaining thoughts of moving, leaving, relocating, etc...

Thanks Todd for the thought provoking insights....

Tony Myles said...

Well put, my friend. The first time this hit me I felt like a 2x4 smacked my sorry head. Hopefully hindsight helps our foresight, as well as others.

kyleseeks said...

Dude, this is exactly what I've been seeing in myself lately...A hardness toward people because "they're wrong!" Your thoughts confirm some things in my heart that need to continue to change. Thanks