Someone came up to me while I was talking to the crew in the sound booth. This person said that they said that they would like to come up to the booth during a worship service and observe how things work. Their belief was that watching the crew doing what they do would help him/her be more understanding when microphones didn’t get turned on in a timely fashion during worship (my paraphrase).
To someone who had no experience running sound, the sound board looks VERY daunting. I really appreciated this persons honesty. I immediately asked this person if I could post what they said. I thought it was very timely, and probably would resonate with a lot of people.
It is so easy to be quick to judge when things go wrong in a ministry with which we are not affiliated. Since the church does not have a parking lot ministry, I’ll use that as an example. If a church’s parking ministry is understaffed, one might assume the scheduling was mishandled, when the problem could be illness or travel or any number of other factors.
When problems arise, blame is often assigned without adequate knowledge of the situation. I have found that personal investment allows me to be more understanding of missteps. If I know the people and situations involved, then problematic episodes are less of a big deal. When I do not have intimate knowledge of a ministry’s ins and outs, I tend to be more critical.
On the other hand, those of us in specialized ministries need to be understanding and gracious when faced with criticism. If we understand that the areas in which we serve have a skill set not readily available to outsiders, we can better deal with complaints and backlash from those on the outside looking in.
There are some complicated, multi-faceted jobs in most churches. While those exercising their “spiritual gift of rebuke” are not in the right, their concern can be attributed in part to frustration about a set of circumstances they do not understand.
It is so vital to be patient and understanding within our church families. When problems arise, we all need to exercise grace. We are all called to serve and minister to each other within the Church, so we should look for opportunities to show the love of Christ in our interactions, even when such interactions are laced with frustration.
Have you ever felt criticism of your particular ministry was because the person doing the criticising just didn’t understand how the ministry operated? How did you handle it?