The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

My Church is Out to Get Me

February 08, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 24
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
My Church is Out to Get Me
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt like you're marching through a minefield instead of walking in faith with your church community? That's the very battlefield I, Todd Rhoades, explore in our latest episode. I invite you into a space where we acknowledge the tough reality many church staff face—persecution from within their sacred walls. By sharing insights from those who've endured congregational conflicts and my own experiences, we'll equip you with tools for discerning the line between perception and reality and the vital role self-reflection plays in these situations.

Navigating through feelings of isolation and miscommunication in a church setting is no easy feat, and it demands a strategy laced with grace and wisdom. This episode is not just about recounting the struggle; it's about charting a course towards resolution. I'll guide you through the steps of setting time frames to process emotions, initiating the hard conversations, and honestly evaluating your contributions to the dynamics at play. Whether you're contemplating a departure or seeking reconciliation, this conversation is a lighthouse guiding you to a place where you can truly live out Romans 12:18 and find peace within your church family.

Have questions or comments? Send to podcast@chemistrystaffing.com

Be sure to subscribe to The Healthy Church Staff Podcast wherever you regularly listen to podcasts.

- - - - -

Is Your Church Hiring?
If your church is searching for a new staff member, reach out to Todd for a conversation on how he might be able to help.

Are You Looking for a New Ministry Role?
If you are open to a new church role in the next few months, add your free resume and profile at ChemistryStaffing.com.

Todd Rhoades:

Help. My church is out to get me Listening to the Healthy Church staff podcast. My name is Todd Rhodes. I'm one of the co-founders over at chemistrystaffingcom. Thanks so much for joining us. We're here every weekday, monday through Friday, for a 5. I started saying 5 minutes, but I talk a long time sometimes, so sometimes it's 6 or 7 minutes, but it's a great way to hopefully get your day started. Maybe listen on your way to work, or you listen when you get to the office. Maybe you listen in the evening. Regardless, subscribe and I'm so glad you're here Today we're going to talk about.

Todd Rhoades:

The title is my Church is out to get me and in my other life, other than being the host here at the Healthy Church staff podcast, I am one of the co-founders at chemistrystaffing and I spend a lot of my day talking to candidates, talking to church staff, people just like you that are in the midst of transition, that are looking for a new role, a new pastoral position, a new staff position, and one of the things I hear a lot of times more often than I'd like to hear is that people feel like their churches are abusive, and they might not say this out loud, although sometimes they do. They'll say really, in essence, my church is out to get me and it's a real. It's a common challenge for many church staff. Sometimes being on church staff really feels like a battlefield. It seems like people have taken up arms against you and are fighting a fight against you. You didn't even know you were in a fight and you don't even know what you're a war about. But sometimes it happens and there are all different types of things that contribute to this inside the church, or at least the feeling that you have sometimes that just people are out to get you, the church is out to get you, and sometimes it's just because you're tired or you feel beat down and everything. Have you ever been here? I have. Everything seems like a battle, even things that aren't a battle. Every person just gets on your last nerve, even if they don't mean to, and sometimes it's just because you're tired or you're beat down and you just need a little respite from the day to day pressures.

Todd Rhoades:

Sometimes it's a lack of communication, and a lack of communication can contribute to all different kinds of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, not only for other people what they think about you, but what you think about other people. A lot of times it's just, it's a lack of communication, jumping to extremes or maybe just going with a gut but not really having any real solid communication to back that up. And sometimes, honestly, can you relate? Can I get an amen? Sometimes you feel like a stranger in your own church or you have the feeling that there are people that just want you gone, and you know what. Sometimes that's true and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's just our perception.

Todd Rhoades:

So how do you size up this problem? First of all, I think if I were you, this is what I would do. I would really try and get to the bottom of it. Is this problem? Is the feeling that people are out to get me, my church is out to get me? Is this something real or is it just perceived? Maybe, like I said, maybe you're tired, maybe you haven't communicated. Is this a real problem or is it perceived? And to really dig into that, ask yourself how am I even aware? Why do I feel this way? Why am I aware, or at least thinking about this problem? Is it just my gut? Is it my intuition? Is it gossip that I overheard? Is there maybe some animosity or something that happened in a group setting, in a meeting? Our bottom line. Are people really out to get me? Is this church just really out to get me? Or am I just overstating all the potential issues in my head? Have I tried to communicate with those that I feel are against me? And a lot of times the answer to that question is no, just because it's uncomfortable, all right.

Todd Rhoades:

So if you're in this state and, like I said, we're all there at some point in our ministry here are some next steps and hopefully this will be helpful for you today. I'd love to hear your feedback. Maybe you're in the midst of this, maybe you just got out of this kind of frame of mind or this kind of situation and you'd love to share with me. You can always send me an email. As a matter of fact, I would love to hear from you today. Just send me an email at podcast at chemistrystaffingcom. Podcast at chemistrystaffingcom. So here are some next steps to help you deal with this.

Todd Rhoades:

Okay, first question I would ask myself is how long am I willing and choosing to live with these feelings? You can live here for a while, but you can't live here for a long time. So how long are you going to choose to live with those feelings? Have I set a time that I need to have a discussion. Is there somebody, maybe somebody that I feel is out to get me that I just need to sit down and have a conversation with? And I've been putting it off. I know I need to do it, but I've been putting it off. Today's the day, my friend, if you've got a conversation you need to have, let's go ahead and set that up. Have a lunch appointment, go, take them out for coffee. Just start with some clear communication. That will help, and if the conversation doesn't go well, at least you'll have clarity. At least you won't be wondering hey, is this in my head? You'll know it's a real problem, right? So set up that conversation and think about this too.

Todd Rhoades:

If things are bad and if you determine at some point that you need to leave, do you have a clear path? Always be thinking about that as well. But before you get there, are you open? Are you open to anything that you might have done to cause any of this? Are you open to reconciliation? Are you open to make things better or are you just done? Sometimes you just get to the point where I've been there, where you don't even know what started it. You don't even know how you got there, but you're just done. You have to come to that conclusion. Are you open to working things out or are you just ready? And but before you make any decision, I would encourage you Are you in a good, healthy place to make the decision? If you're tired, if you're burned out, if you're beat down, if you're stressed, try not to make too many huge decisions when you're like that. You need to make sure you're in a healthy place. And then, finally, what can I learn from this? How do we get here? Retrace your steps back. And how do you make sure that you don't get back there again?

Todd Rhoades:

The status quo, if you're in this kind of funk of people are out to get me, the church is out to get me. This kind of status quo it's not a long-term option. It will eat you up, it will affect your ministry, it'll affect your relationships, it'll affect your family and your marriage, your relationship with your kids. So status quo is not a long-term option. So what's your next step? I can't tell you what that is.

Todd Rhoades:

I've given you some potential next steps here about maybe having a hard discussion, maybe making sure that that you just don't live here forever and you choose to deal with this one way or the other, functions can go on long term. I've known people that have lived in this my church is out to get me a reality for years and it's not. It's a dreadful existence. So I don't know much, but I do know this God calls us in Romans 12, 18. It says, if it is possible and it's always, sometimes it's not right, but if it's possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men. So if people are out to get you, try and live peacefully, love your enemies and communicate with your enemies. I think that's a big thing.

Todd Rhoades:

If, listening to this today, that you need to have a conversation schedule that, send me an email at podcasticemistrystaffingcom. Let me know. I'd be happy to hold you accountable. I'd love to hear how the conversation goes and what you learned, and hopefully this will be the first step, the first day that will help you get back on the track and help the ministry and not feel like your church is out to get you. Okay, that's today's podcast. Join us tomorrow. We have one more episode this week and it's gonna be a good one. The title is I bet you have somebody who'd pay for that you won't want to miss it. Tomorrow on the Healthy Church Staff Podcast.

Dealing With Feeling Persecuted at Church
Addressing Conflict and Seeking Resolution