Frustration

Let’s face it, when it comes to frustration, ministry is no different than the rest of life. Things get under your skin, someone says the wrong thing, misunderstandings happen, circumstances become less than ideal…frustration is inevitable. The challenge is in how we handle those frustrations. There’s nothing wrong with being frustrated, but there is something wrong in lashing out in response. Over the years, I’ve experienced my fair share of ministry frustration and I haven’t always dealt with it well. But through those circumstances, I’ve been able to learn some things that make those frustrating moments a lot easier to endure.

Here are a few questions that I try and ask myself when I’m in the middle of ministry frustration:

1. Am I frustrated because our ministry is clearly heading in the wrong direction or because I’m not getting my way?

2. Am I responding to the frustration with grace or am I acting out of anger?

3. Am I frustrating those who are frustrating me (is this an endless circle that needs to be broken) ?

4. Am I approaching the situation with humility?

Dealing with frustration requires a bit of give and take. In the end, things may not turn out exactly how I would like and I need to be willing to accept that. On the flip side of that, I also need to be willing to clearly lay out my frustrations graciously, so that the issue can be dealt with by those involved.

There’s no way to permanently escape frustration. It’s going to happen. But it is possible to deal with it in a way that benefits everyone.

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3 Responses

  1. Jim, have you been reading my mind?

    Great post. Very timely for me.

  2. […] Dealing with frustration I came across a great post today by Jim Henry over at the Creative Leading blog.  You can read it here. […]

  3. Jim–

    This would be a great topic of discussion at the next worship retreat. File it away, please! ~~am

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