What do you do when someone claims their bad behavior is Jesus' fault? Watch as Suzanne dissects their likely reasons and how you can nip that in the bud.
Let me know what you think! I love to read (and respond to) your emails.
Suzanne is Founder and Director of a maternity home in Tennessee. She also offers coaching and training to churches and ministries, encouraging others to understand poverty, trauma, and addiction so that you can "Do Good - Well". Check out her most recent ebook, The Accidental Social Worker, as your free gift.
Picture yourself with a roomful of 30 clients. Some of them are misbehaving in ways that derail your best efforts to help them.
Many teachers feel just like that. Every day.
Child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, in his article on compassion fatigue, describes the troubled students whom many teachers serve:
“These students sometimes come from very unfortunate circumstances (trauma, neglect, family dysfunction, etc.) and exhibit a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors: hyperactivity, poor impulse control, inattention, inflexibility, poor tolerance for frustration, poor problem solving, social skills deficits, irritability, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse…the types of things one would see in a mental health clinic.
“Of course, there’s the rub, since schools weren’t designed to be mental health clinics and teachers aren’t typically trained as mental health professionals."
Can you relate?
Like you, teachers want to provide a service...
These are some of my favorite books for helping people understand the challenges associated with helping people in crisis. Whether their issues result from their childhood trauma, their current state, or genetic alterations that have affected how their minds operate, these books can help you better understand the needs of the person or family standing in front of you - so you can help them more quickly and more effectively.
(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. No pressure, though!)
"Let’s face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what’s the solution? How do you talk to someone who’s out of control? What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells,...
Over the last decade or so, I have spent a lot of time talking with "crazy" people. I'm not referring to any mental illness diagnoses they may have - though that certainly might be a factor.
When I say "crazy", I mean irrational. People who, for a variety of possible reasons including diagnosable mental illness, are acting or speaking in a way that is completely irrational.
What do you do when an irrational person comes into your office, expecting you to drop everything and meet their need or solve their problem?
Meet Mark Goulston. His book, Talking to "Crazy", is going to change your life! As a psychotherapist and psychiatrist, as well as trainer for FBI and police hostage-negotiation teams, Mark has seen a wide variety of "crazy" - otherwise normal people who are acting so irrationally that they can end up causing harm to themselves and others around them.
I know you're going to be intrigued by this book and I can't wait to hear what you learned from it!
"Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the Lord, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms...I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me." Numbers 11:10-14 (emphasis mine)
If you've been in leadership for very long, this passage probably feels quite familiar to you.
Leadership looks like great fun - til you're the one trying to lead an obstinate people where they don't particularly want to go.
This passage of Scripture, where Moses pours out his frustration to the Lord, is preceded by the people grumbling because they haven't eaten meat in quite a while. They've grown tired of the manna God sends each day and now the people are complaining...
A couple of days ago, a very sweet young woman approached me after I'd been speaking about the ministry I founded and run (Foundation House Ministries).
She asked me a question that I've heard many times, and I thought you might benefit from the answer, too. You may be asking yourself this same question, but haven't reached out to me yet. (What's stopping you??)
Her question was this:
There is so much that needs to be done. So many people that need help. So many different types of people, all needing different types of help. Where do I start??
So, here's my answer, in three parts.
1. First of all, quit worrying about how to change the whole world. Even Jesus didn't make that His priority - and He COULD have! You, I promise, do not have the burden of rescuing the entire world.
The Lord is not foolish. He is not short-sighted. He is not going to ask one tiny human to save the entire world. You've not been enlisted to fight all the battles, just the one(s) you've...
He said to them, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14
Have you ever wondered why the disciples were shooing the kids away from Jesus in the first place? If you've ever volunteered in Children's Church, you know... You instantly understand.
Children are funny and sweet and adorable and precious and wise beyond their years. They are also loud and obnoxious (especially in packs) and willful and annoying and... You get the picture. I know you do. You've been there. The little wild things may even be your own kids! (Mine sure were at that age!)
"All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." Matthew 25:32
The groundwork we lay now, while they are young, can become some of the most fruitful seeds planted in their lives. This is easy to visualize when we look at our own kids or...
"Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
These verses in Matthew 16 (verses 13b-15, NIV) are some of the best-known in many Christian circles.
Most of us, who have been Christians for some time, know Peter's response by heart - "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God".
Often, the sermon that follows these verses focuses on Jesus' response, His agreement that He is the Messiah and that this is the "rock" on which He plans to build His church.
But, I want to go back and think a little more about Peter's response... and how his answer can strengthen your ministry and your influence in the community you serve.
I heard a pastor say recently, "You can walk the walk and you can talk the talk. But your walk talks louder than your talk talks."
Who do YOU say that Jesus is? Who are your people...
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