If God is rejecting my worship on Sunday mornings because of my negative attitude, what does that mean for my work? Like many of you in ministry, I look at what I do as an offering to God. Part of the way I can worship God is to help churches better communicate His amazing message. If I’m being negative, or not following His word, is He rejecting my work as well?
For those of you working in a church, the issues and problems of the week can easily spill into the weekend. Graphics don’t look right, there are technical mistakes or you just can’t get over an argument you had with the worship leader. For others, like me, the line can be a little fuzzier. I work in a ministry separated from a particular church. Yet the work I do, alongside a team of truly thoughtful people, is worship. Beyond Church Juice, the broadcast programs produced by ReFrame Media are used by tens of thousands of people every week. There’s a responsibly there to make sure the content is well done and theologically sound. And over time, like any job, frustration over stuff not living up to your expectations can lead to burnout.
So I wonder, where is the line between being critical to assure quality and just having a negative attitude?
The Bible tells us we should act in love, which is a good place to start. But sometimes I think that can lead to being too passive if it turns into just liking everything. It affects quality in a major way. In the book Mad Church Disease, Anne Jackson interviewed Bill Hybels and asked what diseases were plaguing the church. He said:
I see twin towers of concern. One is burnout; the other is complacency. There are a lot of Christ-followers who haven’t taken the time to figure out what their holy discontent is, and so they’re doing a gradual slide into complacency – and that is unconscionable in a broken and lost world. I’m as concerned about Christ-followers’ apathy as I am about other believers who are borderline exhausted. I would hope we could find the kind of energy that comes from the Holy Spirit so that we can sustain productive, Christ-honoring ministry over the long haul.
So for me, I’m trying to check myself before being critical about something. Am I just letting myself get in the way? When I’m looking at something in a negative light is it because of my own pride and stubbornness? Or is it because I’m seeing something that’s really wrong? And when I see something wrong, am I addressing it in the most Christian, professional way or am I launching into a major rant right away (which can be typical for me)?
In the end, I’m trying to not let myself get in the way. I'm trying to take Pete Wilson's advise, “Get out of God's way."
These two posts about burnout, negativity and God rejecting my worship all stem from a staff devotion I lead a week ago. Since that time, like with any change in my life, I’ve struggled with keeping it positive. Some days I stop before I launch into a rant and other days I let it spew. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself an overall negative person, but it’s those times when God is testing me with adversity where I want to be better at doing the right thing.
How about you? How do handle all of this?