Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saying No

I have a job in my local judicatory. I'm not talking about my call, my pastorate. I'm talking about service to the larger body. I'm in the last year of a three-year term of service, and now I think I get it.

I get why people sometimes resign this job even before they get to the last year.

I get why people get grim-faced and tight-lipped at some point during this last year.

I get why people take a year (or two) off after they've finished their term of service.

I had a meeting this week, a meeting that had a bunch of people mad at me even before we were called to order. They were mad because I'm the one who gets to say "No." I don't decide "No," mind you. But I get to say it and explain it. And, boy do people get mad at me sometimes.

I cried after my meeting, in an office with two sympathetic and supportive colleagues. "I hate this job," I said.

"Why do you think God might have put you in this job right now?" one asked.

"Because I need to learn how to live with people being mad at me all the time," I blurted.

She smiled.

There's more to it than that. But this week, that's the part that's bugging me. I, who love to be loved (I know... that makes me human. OK.), am in a position that makes me the face of "No" for a year.

I know there's something valuable for me to learn here.

So far I hate it.


August said...

Ug - that sounds really awful! Hugs and sympathy!

jsd said...


Unknown said...


Jan said...

You continually amaze me with your quest to grow.

PamBG said...

One of my professors in seminary informed us that most ministers like to be liked.

Gather your support group around you for the times you "get" to say no.

I'm sure I'd hate the job too. I'm sure it will make you a much better leader.