The other week I was in a book store and had to grab my phone to capture this:
I had no idea this book existed, but that is the photo I used when I’d talk with those new to the field about teammates. “This is probably what you expect.” Flash cute picture and people oohed and ahhed because most of us did expect this type of relationship with teammates and co-workers. “Let’s hope you don’t get this.” And I’d flash a photo of an alligator who’d chomped off an arm.
Ha-ha. All funny in orientation when you haven’t been burnt by teammates. Still, I’m a fan and believer in the idea of “unlikely friendships.” Today we’re looking at our expectations with co-workers and teammates in Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission ( by Robynn Bliss and Sue Eenigenburg).
The opening quotation strikes me every time I read it. “M women tend to be more tuned in and critical of how other M women spend their time.” It’s true. What I keep wondering is why? Why are we more drawn to this than other areas of comparison. What is it about how people use their time that bothers us so much? Part of it is probably the lie we believe about our value being tied to what we do. I also think money plays a role here too. I know I love my supporters and need them for so much more than their money, but I tend to feel guilty if I’m not “working hard enough.”
(And what is “enough?”)
What did you think of the idea that we often arrive better trained and able to work with locals than with each other? America has significantly different sub-cultures and I’ve seen some of the greatest stress coming from working with others from your “same” culture. Sometimes you’re not nearly as similar as local friends might think.
On the other hand, we’ve also heard stories of the power of love. How people think we’ve known each other for years by the way we treat and help each other. These are the good stories, eh? The best of us. When the fruit of the spirit is alive and well (be sure to read Thursday’s post by M’Lynn for an example of this). However, it’s not a given, is it? If you haven’t, register for the retreat — one of the speakers directly addresses this.
This is the area I have seen over the years where people are the most likely of all the areas we’ve looked at to swing to one extreme or the other. Either placing unrealistically high expectations that no team can bear or so low, there is no risk or investment.
I appreciated the authors’ call to self-reflection: What am I putting out there? Am letting people know when I need help? Am I letting people know when I want to figure something out myself? Do I expect my team leaders to be more than they can be? To have all the skills, giftings, and character development of Jesus?
And most importantly: What’s it like to team with me?
Maintaining balance is impossible if we don’t, with God, examine our expectations and embrace the tension and risk this area needs.
This video will bring a smile and watch for the message at the very end. If you’re reading this in an email, click here.
This is a deep and important subject. One where we’re all going to be influence by our experiences. So, do share! Book Club Buddies, what stood out or was stirred in you?
P.S. Next week we discussion the chapter on the culture.
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