This week, President Obama's approval rating has hit a historic low. It currently stands at 36% approval and 56% disapproval of how he is doing as President. This is particularly concerning for Democrats because it is about a year until the next presidential election and his potential Republican counterparts seem to be gaining ground against him.
So how does President Obama's approval rating happen to apply to ministry?
It brings up the question for all of us, ministers, what do you do when your approval rating drops? How do we respond when no matter what we seem to be doing, people are constantly unhappy with our performance. What do you do then? I believe you can go to 3 different groups of people that will help you reverse the ratings and get you going back on the right track as a ministry.
For starters, you have to seek the Lord. This seems like the obvious choice, but when I have encountered this in the past, it is amazing how many times I turn towards other people before I turn to God. By turning to God this is your opportunity to cry out to Him, seeking his comfort and peace in the midst of some negativity. It is also an opportunity for you to ask Him for the truth that lies within the criticism you face. Remember, even thought people may seem harsh and it feels like personal attacks, usually there is always a little bit of truth that we can learn from and apply to our experience.
Secondly, you need to talk with some trusted volunteers and ministry supporters. When you are finding out negative feedback about your performance, you need to go before some trusted members or your volunteer staff and some supporters and find out what they know and if it is true or not. These people will hopefully share with you honestly and help you process what the next steps are. I have found these times to be very valuable to me and have really helped to build up my leadership team. Why? Because I have gone to my fellow team members and not only asked them for their honesty, but I also enlisted their help to make our youth program better and me better as the Head Leader of the program.
Lastly, I would recommend going to some students you know and trust. Go to these students and share with them that you have heard things are not going well in the program, but that you desire to make it better and need their help. If you have heard specific things about your program, you can ask them to verify if the other students feel this way. Finally, you can ask what needs to be done and how can they help make the necessary changes to the program. Just like with your leaders, by enlisting them to help you make the necessary changes, you are getting theses students on board with your program. Hopefully others will follow and as they see changes being made, your approval rating could go up as well.
So now what? What's the point of going to these 3 groups of people? The ultimate point here is to grow from this experience. No one, whether you admit it or now, wants to have poor approval ratings and be viewed as doing a poor job at anything. That is why you not only have to take the feedback you have gotten now and do something with it. You have to make changes to what you are doing. It's going to be humbling in one way or another, but as 1 Peter 5:6 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
Remember, the reason why you are doing ministry in the first place is to bring people into a relationship with the Lord. So, although it may be humbling, you owe it to God to do whatever you can to do the best job possible. Lives are at stake so we need to be doing everything and anything we can to win people to Christ for HIS GLORY, not ours.
So when you receive the feedback, devise a plan (even include others in on it) and go after these students for Christ with a new passion and excitement, turning to Him at every turn so that people may come to know Him and He be glorified for it.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Experiences? TAKE A MINUTE and share so we can all learn and benefit.
Possibly Related Posts:
- Real Dinner + Conversations = Win
- the Monday Morning Debrief: Changes gone array
- Chowtime – 5/11
- Looking for a new Minister or Church, ask this group to help
- the Monday Morning Debrief: Eyeing New Leaders
Tom’s Twitter Updates
- Have you ever had a "real" Dinner at your #stumin group? Here was our experience http://t.co/q9qWuEkknd #thinkorange #youthmin #msmin15 hours ago
- Have you ever had a "real" Dinner at your #stumin group? Here was our experience http://t.co/VCooa9ZM1Q #thinkorange #youthmin #msmin1 day ago
- RT @SavedSister7: Can't even tell you how much I love this from @tapounder! Real Dinner + Conversations = Win http://t.co/Kc0t2P6gZh //thank1 day ago
- Matt Norman on the Monday Morning Debrief: Prepping for Orange ’13
- Introducing your Student Ministry Minor League Team | Ministry Blackboard on The benefits of volunteering in the schools
- Rachel Blom on Chowtime – 3/16
- tapounder on the Monday Morning Debrief: Closing Shop
- Todd Bryant on the Monday Morning Debrief: Closing Shop