Almost 5 years ago when I began doing youth ministry, I was getting ready to pioneer a great new ministry concept at my inner city church. I wanted to launch a graffiti ministry being that there were so many taggers in our area and I figured that this was a great way to reach taggers. The first thing that we were going to need was money and a plan so I decided to attend a huge city meeting being that I was also our church’s community liason.
At this meeting, were many dignataries such as the mayor, the police chief, the city architect, and so on. On the agenda of the meeting was the issue of graffiti in the city and I knew that this was going to be my opportunity to pitch my brilliant, (so I thought) idea to the city. When it came time to review this topic I heard arguments from the police department, the city manager, and the mayor and I thought to myself,”these guys don’t even have a clue!” When it came time to open the discussion to the floor I proceeded to stand up and state my case.
Man, I got up there and shared what I thought that they were doing wrong and how I had the answer to all of their problems. I zealously declared my perspective and my vision and I pretty much stomped on their way of doing things. After sharing my idea I sat down and one of the Police officials got up and said “That will never work”. When I heard those words I felt shattered into a million pieces. I mean, what happened? Why wasn’t I heard? Were these people even listening to me?
I was never able to answer those questions up until a few days ago. This was what I concluded about that day and why I wasn’t heard: I got up there and arrogantly proclaimed that their way of doing things was wrong. I had not been diplomatic at all. I was so zealous for what I thought was best that I completely wrote of any of their previous efforts. I was wrong in my approach and because of that they chose not to listen to me. If my approach would have been more humble and diplomatic, then maybe I could have been heard.
Many young ministers complain as to why we’re not being heard by the older generation and I completely understand that argument but I ask this question “Are we being diplomatic about our approach”? If we’re ever going to be heard then we’re going to have to do some things:
1. We’re going to have to respect the older generation and their ways of doing things
2. We’re going to have to earn the right to be heard
3. We’re going to have to be diplomatic in our approach
4.We’re going to have to have some knowledge behind all of that zeal
5. We’re going to have to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit
I think that there is room for us at the table, but the question is, Will anyone want to sit next to you? The way that we conduct ourselves in speech and approach will determine whether or not we will be heard.
Proverbs 19:2 (NIV)-It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way
keep it burning…