Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I work with four other men on staff at Memorial. They are known as "The Boys" because that's what I call them. I interviewed for this job at 29 years of age. Now I am old enough to be the staff's father. Oddly, I am even older than all of our elders.

Jason and Shane were in my office this morning going over a fun and imaginative part of ministry. I like the creativity around our place.

Later in the talk I drew their attention to something very important about ministry. We just concluded the workshop a few days back. In the middle of last week (week of workshop recovery) Shane encountered some very discouraging comments. I was present for part of it and I knew the pain was quite deep; the wound was severe. So, I talked to them about the value of slaps in the face.

Shane had done a superb job at the workshop. Because he has escalated in talent at rapid pace it was important for him to be hurt. God uses these times (insult and ridicule) to keep us from concluding we are independent of His leadership and provision. I encouraged both of these good men that next year they will be directing the workshop and it will go very well.....and they will encounter terrible pain and insult. They will most likely be driven to tears.

Such negative attraction is imperative for the good leader. Paul said he had to have this happen to him to keep from exalting himself. All men suffer similar temptation to exalt self. Critics---very valuable critics---keep us in tears as well as need of God.

I'm very proud of the boys. They are good men; great men. They do tremendous work. Because of that truth they will find themselves devastated over critical comments. Slaps in the face are a must for God's leaders. Any who run away to avoid them will not become leaders. They will become immature complainers.

I know the sting of insult. But in these cases the hurts help; they groom us to become His kind of leader....II Cor. 12:5-10.


Franklin Wood said...

I'll never understand how people who have once been in ministry can turn into extreme complainers, but I have seen it happen. You would think they'd have learned...
Shane indeed does a great job!
I caught something in my Bible reading last night that really got me thinking about big events like Tulsa Workshop...
After Jesus fed the 5,000, He went up on the mountainside to pray.
I don't know about you, but most of my prayers come BEFORE the event and I TOTALLY forget to pray AFTER the event!
I wonder if that's why I get discouraged after an event when I hear negative feedback?!

Terry Rush said...


I had never noticed that point. Very good insight, indeed.

I'll remember it.

Shane Coffman said...

Wow. How good of an observation is that, Franklin. Thank you.

Stoogelover said...

Those men are blessed to have you as a mentor. Anyone in ministry for any length of time knows the pain of that slap. I would consider the source and try to move on, ignoring the person. My wife would see the slap as a sign of pain on the part of the one slapping me and she would minister to them. I learned a lot from her maturity!

Lynn Wiltshire said...

We should all listen to constructive criticism. That is a healthy way of receiving input into what we are doing. But, when people are just complaining for their way or their comfort level, give it to God and do what you know is right. I thought the workshop went well. Take care, Lynn W. P.S I like the point Mr. Wood made - never saw that before. Thanks for sharing

patti said...

Two things:

Pray Jesus' prayer ALOT:

1. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!"

But, if they do know what they are doing, consider yourself BLESSED!

2. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and
falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..."

Brenda said...

I too, cannot understand personally, why some people feel such great satisfaction from a harsh slap in the face.

It's one thing if the critical comments have merit and are useful in ministry. It's the ones that take a personal punch at you, your character, and your heart. Those not only feel like slaps, but sometimes break the skin.

I agree that Shane does an amazing job. Period! It's quite a job to pull off what he has to do for the workshop and until someone is standing beside him watching just how much he has to endure, they will never know. Sitting and lurking in the shadows waiting for the opportunity to give their 2 cents is not what we were called to do.
Franklin-Wow! I needed to see that perspective.