I found myself with a major migraine last night. I found myself completely physically and mentally worn out. What I didn’t find though – what was beautiful – I wasn’t spiritually worn out. I’m actually spiritually – on fire!
The theme of the Catalyst Conference was “Together” – Unity. Many of the speakers incorporated the theme within their speeches. Dave Ramsey did an AMAZING job in explaining the key problems of unity.
There are 5 Main Enemies of Unity:
Lack of Shared Purpose
The right hand should know what the left hand is doing – that’s effective communication. Gossip is degrading and will destroy an organization. In fact he says sometimes the biggest gossips do it in the name of Jesus by Pray Chain! I had to laugh! I guess there is a fine line between truly seeking prayer and just wanting to be the one to tell everyone someone else’s struggle. A successful leader develops and maintains a culture in which negatives are handed up and positives are handed down. If you tell someone who cannot help you then you’ve gossiped. Wow! (Certainly nailed me!) So if they can’t fix it – keep your mouth shut!
Unresolved disagreements happen when a leader doesn’t know they exist or when a leader avoids confrontation. A little confrontation cleanses the wound and allows the parties to go forward with a spirit of unity. When you are aware there are hurt feelings you must act quickly and decisively.
Lack of shared purpose is caused when a leader doesn’t restate the goal, the vision, and mission early and often. It has been said that sanctioned incompetence demoralizes. Team members will eventually become demotivated when someone else on the team can’t or wont do their job and a leader will not take action.
For the sake of unity in the entire group – the leader must go to battle early and often with any of these enemies of unity. Keep these enemies from your mission’s gates.
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So imagine my surprise when having just learned about what Unity is and how it’s destroyed – that God would want me to use those skills starting today – Monday. Mondays are crazy in Haiti but especially when you’ve been gone for the last week. I had so much work to do today and yet I was unable to accomplish any of it because I was completely overwhelmed with drama.
There were many of our employees no longer speaking to each other. There were even Americans on the trip not talking to each other. God certainly gave me the wisdom (much of what I learned last week) to help diffuse some of the drama even though that’s not my gift. I bolded above the statement about unresolved disagreements because that was the battle that was before me today.
The thing that amazes me in Haiti although I’m sure it’s true even in the states – is that the littlest things – problems only kids have – they just blow up so huge over here. Satan takes your weakness and tries to make it shine. I’m watching as workers who’ve been friends for years are no longer speaking because one of them ignored the other one when they were on the street one day. Let’s call one Sue and the other Barb. So Sue walked by Barb and didn’t greet her and so Barb felt she was shamed. Then Barb decided that Sue must be a hypocrite because she says she Christian but a Christian wouldn’t shame someone like that infront of everyone. So Barb tells everyone that Sue is no good. Then Sue decides that Barb is being mean and she’s never going to talk to her again. EXCEPT Sue and Barb work together and the only way they can do their job is to be UNITED. How they were able to go this long and get anything accomplished is beyond me.
I have seen for the last few weeks they haven’t been talking. One of them comes to greet me and I ask her how she is doing? The next thing I know she’s crying and I have to pull in her co-worker and discuss the issue. They leave and another group of women come in and they’re mad at their department head. It was one thing after another and none of it was any more mature than something that a little middle schooler would have.
Yet regardless of the depths of the problem -the reality was still the same – people were hurt and shame on me for taking so long to realize it. I have noticed for months that my own personal staff – the nannies who work in my house – have not been getting along. I watch as they no longer sit together for meals. I watch as they say Hello and nothing more. I’ve seen it for months and yet why have I let it go on so long? Having learned what I now know – it feels like a sin to see it and not do something about it.
So I called in my nannies for what I thought would have been a half hour discussion that went on for 2 hours and I had to call in Magdala and Elveus to help me. While the problems were shallow the wounds were deep. I opened a can of worms I wasn’t ready to address and I found myself struggling how to bring them back together. They were crying as they shared their hurt and I saw that there wasn’t forgiveness in their hearts. Perhaps because I’ve let this go on for so long – I’ve never allowed them to be freed from their hurt – it just kept piling on.
Magdala and I found ourselves on our knees praying right in the middle of this argument and the tears flowed. I told the ladies it wasn’t too long ago – almost a year to the date – that I was on this same floor with my knees to the ground – praying for God to work in my heart and relieve me of bitterness and offer forgiveness. I know the power of not CEASING in prayers. I refused to get off my knees until I felt a change. I stayed on the floor in my office for hours that night. There is nothing we can do on our own to receive peace or change BUT the power of constant prayers to our Heavenly Father can change us as soon as we realize who we are (children loved by God), what we’ve done (and how God has forgiven us), and the least we can do for Him (pass the forgiveness on).
I sent them all home and told them to go to their knees when they arrive and not to come back until they felt even the slightest change. I have no problem with us being a disfunctional family – I have a problem if we don’t ever try to get better – to seek out Christ and His ways. I know how hard that is – believe me – I know how hard that is.
I wasn’t sure what to expect today when they returned…..but I always expected them to return. That’s not really the case and there are a few holes in my home right now. The only hope I have is that they’re still on their knees – praying for God to change their heart.
I don’t know where you are – what bitterness you hold – how deep your wounds are – but I can tell you that you will NEVER get through it on your own. I encourage you to get on your knees and don’t cease praying until you feel the Holy Spirit radiating inside of you. Perhaps we won’t see you for several days – and that’s okay – because when you come off your knees – it can be life changing. I’ve lived most of this last year actually present in my own life. Before I came up from my knees – I was absent in my own life. God created our souls for pleasure but you can’t experience that until you’re present in your own life. God is begging you to come to Him – won’t you listen?
Categories: Mission Stories
That conference sounds amazing … now that we work less independently and more “in community” we are learning a lot and wanting to effectively work together and build the body up … it is not easy though, is it!?!?!?
We follow several of your (NWHCM Staff) blogs and are hoping to one day meet ALL of you.
tara & troy in PAP
Hey – glad you all are back safe and sound, and that it was another great conference! Someday i will get there! 🙂 Jani