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Dysfunction Distraction

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. I have serious perfectionist leanings. I’m a problem solver by nature, and if it’s broken I want to fix it or hire the person that will. As I’ve aged and/or matured I’ve learned to lay off a little. Having kids disrupt my life was a good thing, and forced me to not always expect everything to be perfect. I’ve grown to appreciate the imperfections in life, but I’m still a work in progress.

Working in church and para-church environments for over 8 years now, I can honestly say that I’ve seen my fair share of dysfunction. Even in the most healthy of environments there is always some form of dysfunction. I’ve worked in some environments where the dysfunction was the norm, and was universally accepted as “the way it’s gonna be.” I’ve seen dysfunction creep in because of a lack of authority, heavy handed authority, and even because someone hired their offspring to do a job they weren’t qualified for. I think dysfunction will always exist where people exist, so the key is identifying it and fixing it when it’s found.
However, sometimes it’s not my job to fix it. I’m hired to do a job within my church, and currently that job is to keep our kids learning about Jesus! I could spout out my mission statement here, but I’ll save you from that. It’s not my job to fix dysfunctions in areas that don’t immediately concern my area of responsibility. However the little dysfunctions in other areas can seriously distract me. I want to fix them, I want to offer my two-cents, I want to make suggestions, and trust me I’m never short on opinions. However, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut in meetings, and try to share my suggestions when I feel it’s appropriate. (and it might never be appropriate…)

So here’s the call out: How do you deal with the dysfunction distractions all around you? Or are you in that perfect world?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Cash Clan Japan · September 25, 2008

    We share this disease. Sometimes it actually pains me to clamp my mouth shut when I really want to “help” a situation. :-) When I do manage to keep my mouth shut appropriately, I always feel pretty good about it afterwards, as opposed to how gross I feel when I’ve overhelped in a situation that’s none of my business. That’s all I’ve got. Sorry, man.