Can this woman keep a job?!?!

I have recently come through yet another workplace heartache.  A job that I sincerely loved doing is no longer mine to do.  On the surface there were many reasons and rationales why I was let go… but honestly, the bottom line is that it was just going to take too much hard work to succeed.

My own heartache comes from the fact that I have never been afraid of hard work.  Never.

I knew from the Get-Go…

… that this job was going to require getting buy-in from the one-who-signs-the-checks.  Between us, there was great initial excitement and motivation to create new avenues of ministry and innovative programming.

But I also knew from the Get-Go that it wasn’t going to happen.

I saw all the warning signs…

Without going into detail, I could give you a play-by-play description of every red flag that was raised up and every penalty marker that was thrown down.  Each time, I just shook my head and quietly hummed to myself… “Really?!?!”

I saw all the warning signs… and I chose to ignore them.

I ignored them… not because of some self-defeating, self-destructive character flaw… but because I believed that the potential outcome was worth the struggle.  I intentionally ignored them.

This is why I continue in church ministry at all:  To help people encounter a worthy adventure as they journey to God.  It seems worth the price of my own personal struggle and sacrifice… as frustrating as it is sometimes.

The price of ignoring warning signs is heartache.

I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the one-who-signs-the-checks but I want to say this out loud because it really applies to all of us:

You might have believed you wanted growth and change… but really you didn’t.  It was going to cost too much time and energy.

The Lesson I Learned

Real innovation cannot come from within the institution.
Because there is too much status quo to disrupt…
… too much inertia to overcome…
… too much comfort zone to un-comfort.

[ Caveat:  there are no absolutes here.  Some institutions may be able to truly innovate from within but they are extremely rare. ]

Institutions by nature are entirely more suited to incremental change rather than adaptive change.  There is just too much on the line to risk disgruntling or alienating constituents who resist change… at least this is the perception of the one-who-signs-the-checks.

The Catch-22… at least in church work anyway… is that the warning signs are blasting your eardrums to bits right now and you’re ignoring them.

Take it from me.

The price of ignoring warning signs is heartache.

Be prepared… your own heartache is coming soon.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

4 responses »

  1. susan says:

    Brave pioneer woman never give up. Stay. Search. Journey.
    Your faith is inspiring!

  2. […] last go-round of ministry-job-loss was not nearly as painful as previous experiences… but nonetheless, I felt a very unpleasant […]

  3. […] am transported in thought… Real innovation cannot come from within the institution… but still we persevere for the sake of the […]

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