September 6

Written by Bill Grandi on September 6th, 2023

In any church, job, team, or group, there are (generally) two kinds of people: those who are productive and you want to be around, and those who are destructive and you should avoid being around.  Let’s take each group and give a scenario.

The church world. There are the productive-those who have bought into the mission and vision of the church and work toward helping it be fulfilled. They serve willingly, encourage frequently, and love always.  Those who are destructive undermine the mission and vision, harp constantly, gossip and spread harsh words indiscriminately.

The job world. Those who do their job, often going above and beyond. They encourage others and do their job with a solid desire to do their best in all things. The destructive counterpart sows discord, does only what is expected (and nothing more but often less), and refuses to help another.

The team world. There are those teammates whose sole goal is to boost the team, to see the team succeed, not caring who gets the credit or the points or the accolades. They might be a regular starter or the 6th man off the bench (Celtic player and Hall of Famer John Havlicek comes to mind).  There are, of course, those who are glory-hounds. They love and seek the applause, the approval, and the accolades. Oh yeah, the points also. They act as though they are a one-man team (no such animal).

The group world. There are those who encourage others, discussion, and hearing multiple viewpoints, keeping an open mind to the suggestions of others. There also those “group killers.” They want it quick, no discussion, often because their point of view is the only one worth considering.

There are more ways to “flesh out” the above four groups in this discussion. But I’ll let you do that.

My thoughts this morning were prompted by Paul’s words to Titus: “But avoid foolish controversies. genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (3:9-10) (ESV)  Sounds harsh but Paul knew what we know: “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”  Church. Job. Team. Group.

The questions comes down to this: which one are you? The one people enjoy having around or the one whom they wish would take their shtick somewhere else.



10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    We are dealing in our day care with some of those workers who have no real vision for the ministry, do as little as possible, and breed dissention with their words. It is a toxic situation that, coupled with rising costs and state regulations, has unfortunately precipated the closing of our day care at the end of the month. Our attitudes, our efforts, and our words can make or break a ministry. Satan doesn’t need any more team members.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is so sad to hear Pam. But you said it all in your last two sentences: “Our attitudes, our efforts, and our words can make or break a ministry. Satan doesn’t need any more team members.” It’s even sadder when those who are responsible don’t see what kind of damage they have done.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I think the key is constructive vs destructive and boils down to the heart of the individual. No doubt if you put two people in the room, you will have two different ideas about something. Failing to plan is planning to fail and understanding the mission and vision of anything, business, ministry, personal lives, are all part of planning. When someone does not buy into the mission/vision/direction, they need to be given permission to leave. If their presence continues to be destructive, then perhaps more force is required.

  3. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a team player in any venue. Encouragement must run in my blood! I am grateful for that, Bill.

  4. gail says:

    I always go back to something my late mom said, no matter where you go or who you go with, or what you are doing, make sure at the end of the day, you are the person they want to invite back. As I have grown in Christ, I now want to try and be the person that whoever I am with, whatever I am doing it, I want to do it as if I was working for Christ. I always want to be a kingdom worker, not perfect at it but it is always my goal.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I like and agree with your mom’s wisdom Gail. And like you, I want to be seen as working for the King.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Such a thought provoking question, Pastor Bill. Thank you for always making me think and examine my own heart.