5 Ways to Effectively Deal With That Problem Person in Your Ministry


I was a high school Sunday school teacher in 1998, when I first started in ministry. I loved sharing my experiences, and what God was sharing with me with those teens. Over time, my wife and I had developed close Godly relationships with many of them.


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.

Over the years, I discovered this even more so as a youth minister and pastor. Sounds harsh, but it's true. 

Let me be honest. I don't like to deal with "church" or religious people, but neither did Jesus. 

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. However, people are human and so, they will do what humans do.

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 the person is or becomes.

Here are five ways to effectively deal with that problem person in your ministry.
  1. Prayer. Trust me, it will go a long way to effectively deal with that problem person. 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 issue, and deal with the problem.

  3. Seek advice about the issue from trusted individuals with experience. Trust me, you're not the first to have to deal with this issue. "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 by communicating the issue with your key influencers, 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 issue, 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 as it relates to leadership and your ministry, is your unwillingness or inability to deal with problem people, and people issues in general.

    Not dealing with the issue means the issue stays around, and like a disease, becomes toxic, and will infect others in your 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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