Discussion Board Forum #8 Leadership 510 Spring 2015 @ Liberty.edu

Every leader struggles to balance “being” and “doing”. Describe a conflict/crisis that has occurred in your life and provide 1–2 “lessons” that God has used to develop you as a leader/person. You may previously have only seen these conflicts and crises as problems in your life, but with time you now realize how essential they are in shaping and molding you as a leader. Note the biblical pattern in II Corinthians 1:3–4 and II Timothy 3:10–11.

When the Egg Angels Ministry first started, five individuals were involved with the ministry.  This writer was relatively new to Facebook and did not realize that people hide behind their personas.  It took approximately one week to set up and procure the administrators for the page.  xxxx was an amazing source of support and information for setting up the page.  She had years of experience as an administrator of a Facebook group.  The vision for the ministry was mine; the leadership team came to consensus on the mission. We even had an individual on the team who called himself Reverend Walters [a pseudonym]. Within a week, the page membership went from just the administrators to five thousand people. The group grew exponentially.

Knowledge:  All of the individuals who worked on the ministry team were taught how to establish relationships with each person to whom they were assigned.  Everything was going well.  Daily devotionals were posted on the team’s blog to teach and encourage each team member.  Workshops on how to work with people and be a source of encouragement to them were provided on a weekly basis.  Counseling in how to demonstrate faith and beliefs sing technology and or e-mail communications were also taught to team members. This team leader’s knowledge base as an administrator in the non-Christian context facilitated the ministry and team building.  Her knowledge of the Bible and how David structured his administration was mirrored on the team.

 One day a member of the page asked a question that was answered. Then integrity, The Word of God, persona, and conflict created an amazing perfect integrity, work, and obedience check storm.  The member was told that they did not have to be a Christian to be a member of the page [this was a great opportunity for the team to evangelize].  However, administrators and persons serving on the ministry team had to be Christians.

The first person to contact me was xxxx.  She said that could not be said on the page. Shocked was not the word to describe this team leader’s reaction. When asked why?  She said everyone whom she invited to be an administrator was not a Christian. The response was, “This is a Christian ministry.  Our about page clearly designated it as such.  The Mission and Vision of the ministry were clear.”  The INFJ part of my personality kicked into gear. I am a person of integrity I do manipulate and or lie to people.[1] I trusted Ronda.  Everything on her page indicated that she was a Christian.  She used the right terminology etc., so, did the people whom she referred to the team. I did not have to do much about it.  She announced her declaration in an e-mail to me and all of the administrators. Mr. “Rev” went ballistic when I explained to the non-Christians that they could not hold administrative positions in the ministry because they were not Christians.  The curse words that he typed into the IM were unmentionable. At that point, I told everyone that I was deleting the conversation and would resume it when they were calm and demonstrating professionalism.  I had a conversation with Ronda that resulted in her leaving the ministry. The public name calling and ridicule posted on Facebook by the persons who left the ministry was intense.  I had a choice to make capitulate or stand up for what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chronicles 25:2 NIV). 

Lesson #1 Learned:  When one participates in a web-based ministry they must investigate people more intensely before being including them in leadership roles on a ministry team. Yes, the criteria for leadership positions that Paul used was deployed to identify Ronda.  However, she was skilled in pretense.  I have been able to use this experience in a non-Christian context with reference to my vocation. When teaching about internet safety I had a life experience that powered my teaching lessons.  Students learned how to be aware of personalities on the web.

Lesson # 2 Learned: “Leaders serve as role models, and everything counts.”[2] The fact that I did not respond in kind to the interesting words used in the e-mail endeared me to four people on the leadership team who immediately stated that they would remain with the ministry and help the rest of the leadership team to regroup. 

This incident occurred in 2009.  So, when I had to face off with the xxxxx in 2010 it was not difficult to do.  God stood with me during this turbulent time in my life and the ministry outgrew the Facebook group.  As the group migrated to a page format most of the members stayed where they were and did not migrate with the group, but they continue to keep in touch.  They visit the ministry’s blog and submit prayer requests.  The ministry has grown in the number of people visiting to blog from 2 countries to 135 countries. God did indeed give the increase (I Cor 3:6 NIV).


[1] Aubrey Malphurs, Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 51, Kindle.

 

[2] Ibid., 50.

NB: I know that this exceeds the word count, but it is an experience that significantly changed how I do ministry online.

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