5 Ways to Effectively Deal With Problem People in Ministry


One of my very first lessons in ministry, was that people can and will be the biggest obstacles, barriers and problems any ministry leader will face.

Let's be honest, "Christians" don't always act like they are...Christians.

Let me be honest. I don't like to deal with "church" or religious people, but neither did Jesus. They can be some of the most spiritually unhealthy and unrealistic people. 

As much as you pray and want for them to get better, most do not.

No matter the ministry, if you want to effectively influence change and lead others, there will be times when you will have to till stony ground as you're planting and watering.


Today, Christians have become more critical and can be more problematic than ever beforeThey can be difficult, insensitive, irrational, selfish, manipulative, and arrogant. 

But hey, people are human and so, they will do what humans do. Right?

With this in mind, it is our job as leaders, to learn how to deal with this issue and remain a positive model of leadership, no matter how problematic or toxic the person is or becomes.

Here are five ways to effectively deal with those problem people in ministry.
  1. Prayer.

    Trust me, it will go a long way to effectively deal with those problem people. It will help put you in the right frame of mind, (Philippians 2:5) and the right attitude.

    Attempting to deal with a problem person without prayer is insane.

  2. Consider your approach.

    For every action, there is always a reaction. This is another reason prayer is important. It will help with considering and choosing the best way to approach the person, and deal with the problem.

  3. Seek advice.

    Getting advice from trusted individuals with experience is always a great idea. Trust me, you're not the first to have to deal with problem people. "We are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses", that are here to give advice and wisdom on how to best deal with the matter.

  4. Seek support.

    Communicate the issue with your key influencers,  your leadership team or staff. If this person is a real problem, your team or staff already know it.

    Communicating the issue with them allows for solicitation of their prayers, advice, but more importantly buy-in on the solution to the problem.

  5. Deal with the issue.

    It's one thing to see the problem, it's another to deal with it.

    The first step in dealing with this issue or any issue, is that you have to believe that the issue matters. Don't be one of those leaders who goes through the motions, but fails to deal with the issue.

    One of the biggest blunders you can make is your unwillingness or inability to deal with problem people, and people issues in general.

    Be upfront. Set boundaries. Be willing and able to say no.

    Not dealing with the issue means the issue stays around, and like a disease, they become toxic, and will infect others in the ministry or organization.
Be mindful, that when dealing or not dealing with any issue or problem, can have unintended consequences that can impact how those you lead see you as a leader.


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