Anger often sabotages the joy and the energy of ministers and staff. That’s why we're wrestling with this today, so that you can continue to serve in greater measures of peace and joy.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold... Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” - Excerpts from Ephesians 4 :25-32
The problem is anger.
“Anger in particular seems close to a professional vice in the contemporary ministry. Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church for not coming and angry at those who do come to church for coming without enthusiasm. They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, and anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyses a generous heart. If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger, in the servants of Christ.” - Nouwen, The Way of the Heart
Why do we get angry?
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” - James 4:1-2
What are the signs?
Victim (triangulation) - lack of cooperation, lack of excellence, lack of joy, focused heavily on feelings.
Violence- slander, control, passive aggressive
Responsibility (soothe & solve)
Reflection (examen and grow)
Words to Think About
"The congregation is the pastor's place for developing vocational holiness. It goes without saying that it is the place of ministry: we preach the word and administer the sacraments, we give pastoral care and administer the community life, we teach and we give spiritual direction. But it is also the place in which we develop virtue, learn to love, advance in hope - become what we preach." - Eugene Peterson
“What else is anger than the impulsive response to the experience of being deprived? When my sense of self depends on what others say of me, anger is a quite natural reaction to a critical word.” - Henry Nouwen, “The Way of the Heart”
“Congregation is a company of people who are defined by their creation in the image of God, living souls, whether they know it or not. They are not problems to be fixed, but mysteries to be honored and revered.” - Eugene Peterson
Thanks for letting me fast and join you for breakfast guys. May God’s peace reign in your hearts daily as you give and serve the Body of Christ.
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