In all my years of ministry life, I’ve gained the most learning from the
tougher experiences that invite me to discover new insights about myself
and others. As one of my previous supervisors said to me, “If this
person/situation weren’t in your life today, how would you be growing?”
The greatest growth occurs when I’m willing to be held accountable for my
efforts and attitudes in a safe environment of accountable evaluation. The
more open I remain, the more I learn…it’s really that simple. The same
is true for me as a leader: holding others accountable and offering
helpful assessment is always an opportunity for growth.
But, what I’ve also discovered throughout my working years is that most
people don’t generally invite, welcome or appreciate accountability or
assessment. It somehow has this aura of being “threatening” as if one was
going to be inappropriately exposed, evaluated, and/or exhorted for things
done or left undone. The encouraging part of accountability and assessment
has been overshadowed by what feels harsh or burdensome.
However, it certainly doesn’t need to be threatening or treated
defensively. Instead, when held in proper perspective and treated with
healthy balance, both accountability and assessment can indeed become one
of the worker’s best friends. After all, when done in a spirit of generous
love and sincere gratefulness, these can be some of the greatest gifts of
In recent weeks there have been reports of a certain Christian celebrity
who’s been incredibly threatened by what he calls the sin of gossip, but
what his past and current employees are calling outright abuse of power –
on his part. Ranting to his staff about how gossip is being shared
recklessly on social media in a recent meeting, even using one of his gun
collection as an illustration of gossip’s power to destroy reputation, has
created a culture of fear. There is no longer any sense of security or
appreciation in that work setting…it will be interesting to watch what
transpires in the coming months as this unravels. And, far be it from me
to gossip about who this might be!
What is your attitude toward both accountability and assessment? Do you
personally see it as important to your maturity as well as the growth of
those around you? If so, then I invite you to consider offering and
receiving both. With a spirit of openness and a listening ear to learn and
grow as a Christian and as a worker, you will inevitably please and honor
God in all of your daily endeavors.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance
from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col.