Friday, August 21, 2009

Christian organizations dealing with conflict.

You know, when I worked at a company in Chicago, it was sometimes like working on a reality tv show. Gossip, backstabbing, inter-company relationships or affairs, etc. It hit me too - I was demoted to receptionist for what I think was an unaddressed personality conflict. I was notified via a company-wide email from HR. It sucked.

I tend to be a passive person, and in most situations I throw my hands in the air and go with the flow. I sort of think that injustice is inevitable, that the flaws of humanity mean that I may as well just be resigned to things that are unfair. I know, I know, that's not the ideal reaction.

Because of my passivity, I walked away from a meeting at my office yesterday really in awe. Something similar to what happened to me in Chicago happened to someone at my Christian office here last month. I did the same thing - shook my head and decided that unfair work things are sort of inevitable as long as we're working with humans. I didn't expect what happened yesterday.

We had an organization-wide meeting. The guy that did the firing completely and totally owned it. He recognized that it was inappropriate, he very solemnly told us that he had been trying to work things out with her and everyone involved, and he quietly asked for the forgiveness of the whole organization.

After that, the President of the organization got up and basically said that because he is the leader of the organization, responsibility for things lies on his shoulders, and he too needs to apologize to the family.

There is more, but you know what, I was so... humbled and awed, at how Christians responded to their mistakes. Mistakes ARE inevitable because we are human. To see the work of God in the midst of our flaws really blew me away. He could have gotten away without apologizing - he's in leadership. Leadership can get away with a lot. The President didn't have to take responsibility - he could have easily just let the other guy own his mistakes. And through the whole thing there was a lack of gossip and a real willingness by all parties to talk through things even when people were upset, hurt, or mad...

I grew up in Christian ministry and so did my husband. I know it doesn't always happen like this. Yesterday, though, I left fighting tears to see the grace of God poured onto bad decisions and pain.


Jaimie said...

That's awesome. I work at a church (leaving in 21 days) and it hasn't been like that. I was the secretary that got them through the church split, and after two years never got a raise or much appreciation. When I asked for a raise, I didn't hear back from anyone about it for 2 months.

It might be because I'm young though. People brush off the young a lot.

Kaycee said...

Sounds like a great place to work. I've had really good bosses and really terrible bosses and yours seem like good people. I'm pretty passive too so it seems like I'm always the one who gets stepped on.

The place I work for now is down to two people: me and my boss. Fortunately we get along or it would be awkward.

thegypsymama said...

wow, that's something else. So encouraging. Thanks for passing along the hope.