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Ticked Off People!!!

People will sometimes get upset at church. Hard to believe, isn't it? Just kidding.  If you have been serving in guest services at a church, you are well aware that people can get ticked off...yes...even at church.


Oh, the stories I could tell. I’ve had to pull two people apart who were about to go to blows over a parking spot.  Another time I watched as two adults argued over their place in a line inside the church building.  We had to pull them apart.  Yes…I have heard F-bombs dropped at church several times by someone who was very ticked off.  It happens.  Most often the people in guest services are on the front line of this.


Act…don’t react.  The thing that matters the most when someone

 gets ticked off is how you respond.


Even when you feel like yelling back at them, you must keep in mind that Jesus values them and loves them.  He asked us to have the same attitude and let that attitude control us.


Jesus is our ultimate example of this. Think about all the times He showed love and compassion for trouble-makers and those who went outside the lines of proper behavior.


When everyone else saw Zaccheus as a selfish thief that they hated, Jesus saw him as a person He wanted to dine with and transform into an honest man who loved God.


When everyone else saw Peter as a hot-headed trouble-maker who denied Jesus three times, Jesus saw him as a disciple with great potential.

When everyone else saw a Samaritan woman who had failed at multiple marriage relationships, Jesus saw a lady who longed for a true relationship with God.

When everyone else saw a demon-possessed maniac living among the tombs, Jesus saw a man who could be forgiven and made whole.

When everyone else saw diseased-ridden lepers, Jesus saw people who could be healed and receive a fresh start.

When everyone else saw a dead man named Lazarus, Jesus saw resurrection and life.

When everyone else saw cruel, sadistic soldiers, Jesus saw people who did not understand what they were doing and needed God's forgiveness.     


When everyone else saw a sheep that had wandered from the flock and gotten lost in the wilderness...a trouble-making kind of sheep...Jesus saw a lost sheep that needed seeking and saving.  A sheep that was worth the shepherd giving his life for.  


How do you view people who get ticked off?  Do you see them as a troublemaker?  Do you see them as a bother?  Do you see them as a nuisance?  Do you see them as unreasonable? 


May God give us eyes to see people as He sees them…even when they are ticked off.  May He help us see them as a treasured person that He died for.  A treasured person that He loves dearly.  A treasured person who is showing you the symptoms of a much deeper problem when they act out.  May He help us see beyond the behavior issues, the rudeness, the anger…the disruption…and see people as the treasured person that they are in God’s eyes.


Here are some key steps you can take when you encounter a ticked off person.  Train your guest services team with these steps.

  • Remember that many times you are seeing the surface symptoms of deeper issues. If you're in a crowded place, move to a quieter, private place.

  • Lower the decibel level.  Talk softer than they are talking.  The Bible reminds us that a soft answer turns away wrath. 

  • Listen.  People want to be heard.  What you enable them to say is often more important than what you are going to say.

  • Use silent pauses.  As they vent, pause before you respond.  This has a calming effect.

  • Use the word "let's" rather than "you."  This helps bring collaboration rather than "us" vs. "you."

  • Rehearse back to them what they said.  This shows you value and understand what they have told you.

  • Ask questions that they can respond "yes" to.  This helps bring you together on the same team.  

  • Brainstorm options with them.  This helps you partner with them to resolve the issue.

  • Thank them for their concerns.  This shows you value their concerns and them as a person.

  • Apologize to them even if it's not your fault.  Pride looks for an apology. Humility gives a apology.  Pride seeks a victory.  Humility seeks a resolution.

This comes from my new book "Be Our Church Guest."  Get your copy today at this link.  It will be a game changer for your guest services area.


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