Hey everyone, it’s been quiet awhile since I put my thoughts in writing. This post, may consist of ranting and venting, but I promise it’s something that has been heavy on my heart.
We hear of body shaming, whether it be body shaming others or just ourselves. Believe me I have been body shamed by a complete stranger & I unfortunately have done it to myself. There is other ways of “shaming”. I write I thought it would be wise to google “shaming” so at least I wouldn’t just be using the “Toni Dictionary”.
gerund or present participle: shaming
1 (of a person, action, or situation) make (someone) feel ashamed.”I tried to shame him into giving some away”
3 humiliate, mortify, chagrin, embarrass, abash, chasten, humble, take down a peg or two, cut down to size; Moreinformalshow up, make someone eat crow
“he was shamed in public”
◦ bring shame to.”the entire debacle has shamed our community”
◦ disgrace, dishonor, discredit, degrade, debase; Morestigmatize, taint, sully, tarnish, besmirch, blacken, drag through the mud
“you shamed your family’s name”◦ ◦ antonyms:
◦ cause (someone) to feel ashamed or inadequate by outdoing or surpassing them.”she shames me with her eighty-year-old energy”
This “shaming” shouldn’t be done in any form or fashion. Just reading the definition makes my heart hurt, to know that anyone has dealt with this. It’s an ugly thing to do to anyone or anything, unfortunately I have seen another source of “shaming” and I call it Ministry Shaming.
I guess I have been in ministry of some sort since I was a toddler. My dad was a preacher & now I’m a Pastor’s Wife. So unfortunately I have seen Ministry Shaming as long as I can remember, but yesterday I got sucked into reading a Facebook post that did just that. It wasn’t the actual post itself but it was the comments. Not sure why I do this to myself, but I continued to read and read and read. I would usually say it was a 10 minute waste of my time, but not really because it stirred something in me. The unfortunate part of this post that it wasn’t just someone asking a poll, but it took place on a ministry page. A page I thought was suppose to be for resources for your ministries. I don’t believe this person meant to start anything in a ill way, but unfortunately people take “Freedom of Speech” like it’s ok to share my opinion whether it’s hurts someone or not. So this person ask “Does your church do a egg hunt or not? We opted out this year!” That should be a “Yes” or “No” answer, but no……. I know people have different opinions on Easter Egg Hunts. That’s ok, but what’s not ok is telling someone their opinion in a non loving way. Telling people they are doing ministry all wrong one way or another. This one FB comment said this (paraphrase) “Yes we do, because I have kids that hear gun shots throughout the night & church is their only release. So I have an egg hunt for them to so they can just have fun. I love seeing their faces light up with joy. We teach them about Jesus, but we also give them something they don’t get.” Not word for word, but you get the picture. Such a heartfelt show of love this ministry leader had. Then someone just had to do it, another FB person replied to this like this: “the kids don’t need an egg hunt, you need to show them Jesus. If you feel you have to do an egg hunt to reach them then do it on another day than Easter.” That gutted me, my heart broke for the first comment because this FB person was pouring her heart out on to why she chose it. She never put others down for not having one, but the reply she got was the perfect example of “Ministry Shaming”. It’s not right! As leaders in ministry, we are suppose to be Christ like, if I’m not mistaking Jesus’ Ministry was one of love. We all have our own convictions, but because mine is different from yours doesn’t give us the right to tell each other how to do things. In ministry not everything is the same, everyone has a different audience, a different cultural setting, etc. What our church does may not be the right fit for another. That’s the great thing about having a “Church on every corner” there’s something for everyone. The only thing that should be universal is doing ministry in love & putting Him in the center!
If we as leaders don’t base whatever ministry we have on love, then why are we doing it!
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:3 MSG
If we don’t have love then our ministries are empty!
As leaders we need to lift each other up & be encouraging, not judgmental. Love isn’t a feeling it’s a choice!
Ministry Shaming isn’t a part of “free speech”, think before you speak or type. In ministry I want to see my peers thrive in their calling. We are here for one thing, HIS kingdom! So let’s go out and work HIS kingdom in love. You do ministry however God called you to, & I’ll do it the way He called me to. Let’s cheer everyone on!
God forgive me if I have ever lowered myself to Ministry Shaming.
Just trying to catch my breath, in love!