Long ago in a land far away I was serving on a church staff and each of the pastors on staff had an evaluation by our personnel team. Sounds innocent enough and accountability is a good thing, right? Here's the problem....there was a person on the team with an agenda and a strong opinion on how each pastor should be doing his job. Please hear my heart...I think accountability is a good thing. Having clear goals and objectives are incredibly important in every line of work. However, in my job I would say they are beyond essential.
Back to the review. I was given a list of questions to answer and I did so and returned them to the team. I prepared a binder with information about events about the previous year as well as plans, goals and objectives for the upcoming year. I had strategies and I thought I was prepared. I. WAS. WRONG!! So wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for what I would face. Remember that person I mentioned who had an agenda? The agenda was to let me have it! It was mean spirited. It was unchristlike. It was hurtful. I left that evening completely questioning everything I knew about myself and the ministry God had entrusted to me. I felt defeated and belittled. All of that came at the hands of someone with a position of authority who abused that position for his own purpose.
Why share this in such a public venue? That's a good question. It has been years since this event but it has stayed with me. There are several things I believe God taught me through this experience.
1. The power of forgiveness! I had to forgive this person so that I could effectively lead worship and continue to grow in my relationship with Christ. This was hard because I really wanted to give him a piece of my mind.
2. My value and self-worth aren't found in the approval of man. This was huge. Once I accepted this truth it was a game changer. Seeking the approval of man is a futile quest at best. I've adopted the idea that you make some of the people happy some of the time and all of the people happy NONE of the time.
3. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned and the one I want to encourage you with today is this...how are using the platform, position or influence you have?
Here are some things for you to consider. Do you use your position to encourage and uplift those around you or those you may supervise? Do you find the best in a person and try to develop those traits? Are you seeking to share your experiences and knowledge with others to make them a better version of themselves? Have you ever used your position to mistreat someone and if so, have you made it right?
Everyone of us has opportunities to impact and influence others and as believers we should use our positions for good. In every aspect of our lives the following passage should ring true. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.