As a youth pastor I have one rule that I follow when it comes to staff or adults in our church. My youth will never hear me say something bad about them. Period. This also has to do with just the people in the church as well. It is my mission to never say anything negative about the staff in our church and I make it a point to never say anything negative about anyone else in the church either.
That isn’t to say that I don’t say things to the other staff in private when I have a problem. But I believe very strongly that my job is to support my pastor and the other staff members even when I feel they are making wrong decisions. Of course this isn’t to say that I would support them if I thought they were doing things that were harmful, but when their choices and mine differ I make sure that I support them publicly 100%.
This is important with my youth because I want them to learn to respect the people that God has placed in authority over them, people such as their parents, their teachers, and even their pastors. If I don’t show respect to the people I work with then how can I expect my students to.
Over the course of time working in churches this comes up from time to time. I have damaged relationships because I was defending an idea that the I didn’t even agree with, but that the pastor championed. I have often wanted to just say, "Look, I don’t agree with this either," but that is the first step to causing dissention and division in the church. So I make sure to voice my concerns privately.
I often wonder if I am the only staff member who feels this strongly about this. I guess I do because I have seen pastors stand up for me and take a whole lot of flack for me. I am able to do a whole bunch of wild things because Godly men have taken the heat for me. So I believe it is my job to stand up and do the same for the people who I work with.
Of course I have no such prohibition of sharing these things with my wife so she has heard me rant and rave on more than one occasions. Normally after I am finished "talking" to her about it I feel better and can go on about my life. Meredith has learned to just sort of nod along and let me finish venting. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but her presence in my life is such a comfort and she has saved many of my relationships by keeping me from flying off the handle at someone.
I know they say that behind every good man there is a good woman. I don’t know if I am good or not, but I do know that whatever man I am I owe a great deal of credit for it to my wife. She is an unsung hero and doesn’t get the credit she deserves.