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Leading When There is Negativity


Some people have a bent toward being negative. They see the glass as half empty. Most children's ministries have at least one "negative person" in their midst. You're probably thinking of someone right now. They immediately think up a negative analysis when a new idea or plan is brought up. And if it's an outside event, the person is sure it will be raining. New idea presented at a meeting? He or she will explain why it won't work. A common thing you will hear the negative person say is, "We already tried that and it doesn't work." With statements like that, the energy in a room is drained. If you bring the negative person close to you in leadership, watch out. Their negative attitude can rub off on you and take away your motivation. What you want to do is bring positive people close to you. Don't spend much time with a negative person. Negativity can be crippling. Surround yourself with positive people. Realism vs. Negativity. Being positive doesn't mean you walk around all the time with your head in the clouds thinking happy thoughts. Realism is not the same as negativity. Realism lets you look at the situation and see the situation as it is without highlighting the negative. Born That Way? Some people say "yes," negative people are born that way and it is a blind spot. Others would say "no," Being negative is the result of the environment in which we are raised and we can change our negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Find out what is behind the pessimism. Where does it come from? What is causing it and why? If we know the “why”, we can begin to change the thinking pattern. A little negativity? Some negativity can be beneficial when you are planning and evaluating. It can add some caution and can be used to see both the good and bad of proposals and programs. It can be helpful when creating a plan B. Have a conversation with the negative person. Find out why they are negative. The cause could be from a hurt or offense that took place in the past. Use open questions. Reflect with them. Point them toward something that will help them diminish any problems they may be having by serving and helping others. Set the example. Be a positive leader. I once reported to a person that was always negative. Never a word of encouragement. Never a prayer. When we met, the person immediately defaulted to talking about negative parts of the ministry I lead. I tried to stay positive, but it wasn't easy. It was a learning experience for me. It reminded me that people respond to encouragement more than any thing else. Be a positive, encouraging leader and it can help negative people on your team see how to led well.

If you're looking for more leadership materials for leading children's ministry, then you need my newest book - Lead Well in Children's Ministry. It contains over 300 pages of ministry insight that will help you and your leadership go to the next level. You can purchase it at this link in both paperback or ebook.

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