In a church context, and I guess in any group which depends on volunteers, it’s too easy sometimes to tread on somebody else’s toes and for them to take umbrage. And because I’ve been unwell, and last week away for several days grandchildren-sitting for one of my daughters, I have been a bit out of the loop for a while as far as church things go.

It was only a little thing. The Advent Wreath. We have it every year and light a candle each Sunday, running up to Christmas. It’s a lovely custom and helps to focus us on our spiritual preparation, at a time when it’s all too easy to get taken up with the other trappings of Christmas.


However, in the process of moving ourselves out of our freezing cold huge barn of a church, into the warm environs of the hall, a whole new way of organising ourselves needs to be adopted. Which means, that nobody knows what’s going on, or who is doing what, or why, or when, or where …

Earlier this year, because I have done the wreath since I came here, I wrote out all the instructions and laminated them, put this together with all the stuff that goes with the wreath in a bag, and asked one of the women if she would do it this year, so she would get used to it before I leave. She agreed.

Except she forgot. And I wasn’t here to remind her. And the stuff in the bag had got taken out and put in different places. And I hadn’t realised. And Community Minister had forgotten. And I couldn’t find anything, because … oh well, you get the picture.

So I emailed a whole lot of questions to CM, asking her where everything was, because the hall is really her domain … and trying to make it very clear that I wasn’t blaming her – it was just one of those things, that has fallen between the gaps.

But when I saw her descending on me this morning with my printed-out email in her hand, I wondered if she had taken it amiss, and we were in for a bit of a barney :-/

She asked to see me and I got all tense and thought ‘uh oh. Here we go.’ 😦

Not at all. We sat down quietly in another room, went through everything, :DD she explained it all, and now we are all sorted. Well, as sorted as we ever get in our chaotic church 😉

I am very grateful for a colleague where we have mutual respect and honesty, no bearing of grudges, no sulking, tantrums or ego. If there’s a problem we sort it out, pray together and move on.

It’s not often one is blessed with someone like that. And it’s a good maxim for life: to keep short accounts with each other. That way the ole ‘root of bitterness’ doesn’t get the chance to grow down into my life :## :no:
Gotcha! :>>



  1. I used to run a ladies group and formed a committee to help me. Nine times out of ten it was still me that did everything but I didn’t like to rock the boat and say anything as they were volunteers at the end of the day :):)


  2. I could ask for a recipe also. Many times we can encounter situations in which people could easily misunderstand themselves in church. we could better learn to understand each other, mostly putting ourselves in the place of others.


    1. We 3 ministers in this church are very much a ‘team’, Tayo – we pray together and talk together and plan together and we’ve learned to trust each other, and not to assume that the other person has bad motives.

      We are also quite similar in outlook, believing that prayer is paramount and that the work of the Gospel should be in deed as well as in word, and that we should be offering the love of God to those around us regardless of whether we get anything back or not! (usually not!)

      So all that helps us to overcome the small problems that come our way, as we are able to be honest with each other. We are all very practical and pragmatic, so that really helps as well. God has blessed us as a team.


      1. That is how things should actually be, but many times the situation is quite different, especially here in Africa, where people take the ministry as a sort of business venture, with vested interest. Many times its quite amazing, the strife, and competition which go on in endless cycles in some churches.


      2. Yes, and it is tragic, because it is the opposite of what the Lord wants for us: as Jesus prayed ‘may they be one, Father, even as You and I are one’.


  3. It would have been a contradiction of focus if there had been a stushi about a celebratory icon. It is good to hear that there are communicants who want broad communication and understanding.


    1. It certainly would have been such a contradiction – sadly, all too apparent, often, in a context where we should be committing to working things out together in a peaceable manner.


    1. I don’t blame you, Janet! We have built a strong team spirit and ethos and that does help us get over these humps and keep them in proportion. The worst thing for any church is to have a leadership who go in for spats over trifling matters!


    1. Thanks for that encouragement, Liz! We are blessed in being able to build a good team spirit together, and have prioritised that from the start. It helps that we have the same aims and objectives, feel the same things are important, are committed to prayer and to planning together, and tend to take a pragmatic view! And we have to keep working on the communication … 😉


  4. Phew … a tricky situation I’ve had one or two of those with the pantomime …. I’ve asked someone to do something and stood back only to find they haven’t done anything!!

    Very frustrating 😦


  5. For a moment there I thought we were heading for a John Baptist – like ‘Hell, Fire and Brimstone’….:roll: To Wit! All’s Well…..that Ends Well! :lalala: Hugs! 🙂


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