I love genre fiction. I read a ton of mysteries for years, and now I read a lot of romance (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…) My husband likes sci-fi. We have a catchphrase: “It’s all in the execution.” All genre fiction has what are called “tropes,” tried and true formulas which are used over and over.
Some tropes can be annoying if not infuriating when badly executed. They are hard to get right. But in the right hands, they can be surprisingly entertaining.
Mystery: The amateur sleuth who always figures things out before the police.
Romance: The marriage of convenience set in the present day.
Science fiction: The aliens who invade earth, threatening humanity, who then all conveniently die of the common cold.
It’s the same with applying family systems thinking to ministry. The ideas are hard to put into practice effectively. Just like writing good fiction, it takes relentless effort. It requires a lot of self-knowledge and self-regulation to put systems thinking to work day after day in an environment like ours right now.
Here are a few of the potential traps:
...Take a stand about in-person vs. virtual worship in an anxious way which stirs up additional reactivity.
...Use “not overfunctioning” as an excuse for not stepping up to real responsibilities or avoiding a difficult conversation, especially when you have to have it by Zoom or six feet away.
...Carry the burden of a challenging relationship with a church member because you don’t want to “create triangles,” when others legitimately need to share the responsibility.
...Make a lighthearted comment about the pandemic you think is humorous and will defuse an anxious situation, but it comes out as sarcasm because you are too anxious.
Let’s be honest: at times like these being anxious is inevitable. It’s how you function in the face of your own and others’ anxiety that can make a difference.
Click here to get six ways to lead less anxiously and sustain yourself through these days.