Do my words and my tone matter in ministry?
The pain and anger on his employees’ faces tore at him. He could feel the wall between them. His decisions earlier that week had affected everyone. He stood at the podium ready to take the blame as he said quietly, “Look no further, the ‘elephant in the room’ is before you.”
What if he had said sarcastically, “I feel sorry for you that you don’t understand what I just decided.” Or if he had responded angrily, “It is what it is – deal with it!”
Isn’t it amazing what tone and a few words can do in any situation?
I was one of the employees in the first scenario. The beauty of what came after was really good. I have also seen the other situations lived out and they did not resolve well.
As our world begins to open back up, many people have become contentious, stirring up trouble. What I see on social media feels heated, like I am sitting in that meeting again. As followers of Christ how can we be the peacemakers? For those of us who desire to minister “right where we live,” how can we encourage neighbors or colleagues to champion each other, and not square off against one another? Does our Lord care if we are a part of the solution?
“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7
As we navigate current mandates from our local leaders, we want to bring humble conversation into our worlds. Consider how we are doing at being peacemakers. How can we bring peace and prosperity to the cities we live in?
“The peace-makers quiet the winds of the world.” George MacDonald 1892
Pray. Start each morning submitting to the Lord and ask Him what you need to do or say today. Ask Him for favor in conversations with those in your sphere of influence. Ask Him to give you wisdom. Ask Him to fill you with gracious words to bring people together in unity.
“With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.” Eph. 6:18 Amplified
Be ready. What if the Lord put you in your neighborhood or job to be the voice for gospel peace? What if you stay silent? Being ready involves understanding your assignment from the Lord to be involved in relationships. Reading God’s Word enables you to share “fresh bread” that is needed for each situation.
“If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Rom. 12:18
Communicate humbly and calmly. Your tone and demeanor are vital. They go hand in hand with ministry. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Being gentle and caring are catalysts to being heard.
“A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up. When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive, but stupid people spout nonsense.” Prov. 15:1,2
We have an unparalleled opportunity to minister during these unsettling days. People are feeling their need for the Lord more and more. May we take the initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit to speak gospel peace over our “neighbors.”
NBS2GO has a page of resources to help you develop connection and community right where you live. Check it out here.