A person who I look up to recently implied that I was behaving like a Diva. This totally came out of the blue for me, and so I was completely thrown. It made me pause, and take a step back to scrutinise my approach to ministry.
We all need to do this at intervals in our faith walk because sometimes ‘error’ can creep into our lives, and this is why we must be accountable to someone who is not afraid to ‘tell it exactly how it is’. Never surround yourself with ‘yes people’. You need to have people who will challenge you when you falter.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV
You see, I started my walk very early in life as a young girl and have always had a worker’s mentality within the church environment. That is why when there is a need in an area that I’m competent in, then I will do my best to step in and assist. Even though it is all voluntary unpaid work, I still stretch myself within the role that I have chosen to take on. I would never do it half heartedly.
This means that at my current age, I have had a bit of experience in most things to do with Church culture and it’s people. If for any reason I can no longer continue in my role, like any other job, I would always give notice before I step away.
If for example, you sing in the choir; then you would be expected to not only follow church protocol but the protocol that is set within the choir as well. Anything outside of these boundaries would have been permitted by the head of that department. It would therefore be their responsibility to communicate that to the head of the church.
No ministry runs exactly the same as the other, so it is important to acknowledge and work within the specific boundaries that have been set in place. A mutual understanding and respect should be established in order for you to work in one accord. Where this is lacking, then there will always be potential for conflict.
Now, within the context of the discussion I was having with this person, it had been implied that I did not follow the above-mentioned protocol. I remember feeling hurt and very discouraged at the time. Why was I being admonished? How had I suddenly become the enemy? Yet, I said nothing to explain the misunderstanding because I felt that it would not be expressed in the best way, while emotions were running high.
This is why we cannot blame the many folks who prefer to bench warm at church. It’s less dehumanising and your dignity will at least remain intact. This is also why the few who do attempt to assist eventually give up, and decide to watch them struggle from the sidelines. I can always spot them in the congregation by the cynical expressions on their faces, as they wait to see how long you will last.
In hindsight, maybe I should have said something because I have now been left festering on the naughty step. Then again, all is not lost, since it has been a great opportunity for me to check myself, and note where I stand when it comes to serving God.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
The reality of service within ministry is that despite your best intentions, you will often be misunderstood, not always be thanked or encouraged but you must always remember who it is that you truly serve.