Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


It’s inevitable that in life, and especially in ministry, things will get funky between you and someone else.  It will happen in your family, your marriage, your work, your team… pretty much your everything.  Where there are relationships, there will be funk. I promise.


Expect it.  Anticipate it.

And please…. for the love of all things holy… go directly to the funk and get through it.

Don’t go around your boss.  Don’t go down the chain of command.  Don’t go to friends.  Just go to the person you’re in a funk with and deal with it.

Matthew 18:15-17 reads as follows: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

So if we just follow the textual prompts with this teaching of Jesus, then we will follow a very specific order of events when we confront people when there’s a funk or sin or whatever it gets labeled:

  1. Go directly to the one you have a conflict with, and try to work it out personally
  2. Bring in two or three people who you respect and who are in godly leadership roles to help mediate
  3. Bring it to a larger group of Christ-followers to work it out.  Maybe the elder board or something. 
  4. Then the ugly gets dealt with kinda ugly and people get removed all together to eradicate the funk. 

While I pray that you never have to get to step 3 or 4, my experience is that we would avoid about 90% of all of it if we just always started with step 1.

Don’t go to the person’s friends to get clarification first. Don’t text your small group or ask 12 people for advice.  If you’re in youth ministry, don’t ask another teen what they think.   Just go directly to that person and ask a good question.

Look for clarity.  Strive to understand. Apologize if necessary.  Undo misunderstandings.  Assume the best.  You know… just be sane and stop the gossip train.

If you do that, you might actually be on the road toward God-honoring restoration, too.  You definitely will be on an less traveled road to a God-honoring response for sure.  And the peace you’ll have that you acted according to the voice of the Holy Spirit will be from God.


  1. It is obvious, that the average individual is incapable of living a solitary existence. We have been programmed to think that we truly cannot live without the company of others. That is false. We were born alone, and we will die alone. That is the process of life.
    If you have found another in this existence that shares enough similarity to, or acceptance of your way of living, then you are truly a blessed individual. It is very efficient to share the loads in life. You will always find those whose assistance to you, and assistance they gain from you, changes both of your existences.
    Communication is the key. How well do you communicate your needs to others? How well do you respond to others’ demands of you? Remember it is always business, never personal. Economics run by the law of supply and demand.
    Who is asking for what? Where is the most efficient source for that demand? Where is the most lucrative market to exploit the supply of that demand? If the products in question are Love and Friendship, the law still applies.
    You are now offering several personal hours of your life, as well as many potentially traumatic emotional experiences, to some individual or groups of beings. What do you believe you are worth? If you were to put a price on your time, what should it cost others to utilize your time and talents?
    Never sell yourself short. Each of us has a set of abilities that no one else has. You must know your own abilities. Find that which makes you different from all others. Value your uniqueness. It is this resource that you control in each marketable conversation. Communication is the key.
    • You cannot communicate your needs if you have no idea of who you truly are.
    • You cannot have efficient and marketable trade, if you don’t know the value of your product.
    • You must sell yourself in all situations.

    How much are you worth? If you bring nothing, you must be looking for charity. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.
    Build upon the image of your most successful vision. Make it happen. The only one who can stop you from living your dreams is you.
    No one else can see your dream, or share in the dreaming. You must find the needed material in your spiritual identity to fashion the reality of your dream. You were born with all the needed equipment to renovate your individual reasoning.
    Unlock the codes in your nature to release your greatest potential. It is when you shine with your own light that causes people to take notice. It is the radiance of independence that attracts others to your way of being. Live to love yourself, so you can love to live as yourself.

  2. thanks for the thoughts… but I think we’re operating from a radically different premise. You claim life is about self preservation and individualism, neither of which are central themes in the Scripture for a fulfilling life.

    I’m made complete through a relationship with God. God leaves me here so I can live in community with God and people. These are central to the life of a Christ-follower- which is the basic premise from which I’m coming. So while I appreciate your desire to live a fulfilling life, I disagree that we are born alone, should live alone, and will die alone.

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