Tag Archives: situations

Bible Stuff: The Lord Will Allow More Than You Can Handle!


I saw a comic strip today on Facebook. A little boy is standing before his bedraggled mom and apparently has some bad news. The caption reads, “Before I tell you what happened, Mom, remember… the Lord will never give you more than you can handle.”


Har har. It’s rare I find stuff like this funny. And though it was drawn well, the joke definitely goes in the “Christian Cheese” category (which I’m sure I will write about at a later date). I mention it because the caption is an example of a concept that many Christians believe but is completely untrue. Many believe that God will not allow any circumstances to come along that we can’t handle. I’ve heard people quote it. I’ve heard Pastors reference it from the pulpit. Continue reading

Don’t Make Permanent Changes For Temporary Situations

set in stone

Over the last ten years I’ve been in full-time ministry, most of that in children’s ministry, I’ve found myself repeating a few phrases over and over. The title of this post is one of them: “Don’t make permanent changes for temporary situations”.

Though I’ve never had a paid ministry assistant, over the years I have had several volunteer folks who have helped to fill that role. Almost without exception, in the first few months, they would come to me with a situation and a solution… and I would find myself repeating that same phrase. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about, then I’ll explain why it’s not a good idea.

John was one of my newer volunteers but he was a natural and due to his willingness and availability had become someone I relied on quite a bit. After a few months I had placed him as coordinator over our Sunday evening program for elementary. He came to me one night with a situation… our attendance had dropped over the last two weeks. He proposed that we move the entire program to a different set of rooms that were smaller. What he didn’t know or realize was that every year around this time we had the same dip in attendance but always picked back up. He also didn’t know that if we gave up our rooms, other ministries would be glad to make use of them and we’d never get them back. He wanted to fix a temporary situation with a permanent solution.

Here are the hoops my situations have to jump through before I consider a permanent solution:

1. Is it consistent?

Before I make a new policy or a major change I want to make sure it’s not an isolated incident. I’m not going to make a new policy because one child was left late after a program… but if a month of Sunday’s goes by and I’ve got three or four families consistently abusing our workers by picking up super late… I’m going to write up a policy.

2. Is there history I’m not aware of?

For any situation you come across… someone in your church has seen it before and has dealt with it. Typically the Pastor or another staff member who has been there longer knows something you don’t. In my situation with John, he didn’t know how many years we had worked to outgrow the other set of rooms… I wasn’t about go backwards just because of an annual dip in attendance!

3. Am I Acting or Reacting?

Some situations seem bigger than they really are. We all get sick children in our ministries from time to time… but with swine flu running amok, we’re tempted to go nuts and treat every kid with a sniffle like they’ve got the plague. I always want to be sure that I’m not just reacting to the high-pressure of a temporary situation. In the heat of the moment, especially when dramatic people are involved, it can be tempting to start churning out changes and new policies until the storm passes. Making choices based on fear, feelings and self-protection is never a good idea. Sure, you solve the immediate issues, but later you have to deal with the consequences of choices made in haste. Does the situation warrant a huge change? Usually your common sense will serve you better than a policy. Urge your volunteers to look at the big picture. Keep existing policies and procedures in mind and use common sense.

We can easily get drama-happy… where we want to make big deals out of simple issues so that we can feel like we’re doing something important. Drama is not ministry. Ministry is what we do after the drama is quickly and graciously dealt with.