Here are a few things that 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 problem 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 that I’m still needed and has made 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 confronted that weren’t confronted. A ministry without conflict is destined for mediocrity. What I’ve learned is that 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 distinctively remember thinking that 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 okay 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?