Monday, June 07, 2010
I woke up this morning with a clear sense of what was on my plate for the day. I had two meetings scheduled for the morning and the agendas for both clearly organized in my head and on my iPhone (the note-taking app being one of my favorites). Long story short - both meetings were canceled due to conflicts from the other parties - I was rejected. So I did what any other affirmation-seeking, extroverted-thinking person would do - I contacted a few other people to set up a new meeting over lunch.
Healthy? ...Maybe. On the one hand, I recognized my need for input and feedback from others and I sought it out. My lunch meeting was incredibly valuable and I greatly appreciated my friends with administrative gifts helping me out in an area that I tend to avoid. (I like preaching and teaching and writing - I'm still in administrative training wheels that need to come off quickly). On the other hand, I fell back into the habit of taking rejection personally.
Every time someone visits the church and doesn't come back, I immediately assume it was because of me. The truth is, sometimes it is because of me. However, just as often it was some other circumstance or situation that led them away or elsewhere. But, nevertheless, I take it personally. I lose sleep and I begin thinking about what I can do to be more likable and popular and before I know it, I'm in all-out people-pleasing mode.
A friend asked me this weekend what my greatest personal challenge has been so far in planting a church. The answer - getting over myself and learning to deal with rejection. People rejected Jesus, why do I think everyone should accept me? And if I'm working for affirmation, I'm not working to please God and that's just not cool.
This is and will continue to be a growth curve for me. I like to be liked and I think I'm a pretty likable person. But, there will always be people who don't like me or don't agree with me or don't make time for me or don't want to be part of what I'm doing for whatever reason. I'm learning that's okay and even healthy. And, if I can continue to work to please God, hopefully my friends won't have to put it so much overtime building me back up.