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3 Ways to Stop Being an Emotional Gas Station

3. Be clear about your willingness to help, but beware of solving.

Most leaders who have been in church ministry for any length of time know that people expect that leaders can fix things, but most of us have learned that this is rarely true. 

The more we try to give pat answers to every question, the more trouble we cause.

One very prominent and somewhat controversial pastor actually has photocopied sheets in his office on hundreds of subjects. People NEVER leave his office without receiving one.

Do they fix people’s issues? Doubtful!

That’s not to suggest we should be neutral on all topics. Far from it, we have a responsibility to have an opinion based on sound Christian principles. 

When all is said and done, though, our job is to usher people toward godly resolutions—not handcuff them to our narrow perspective. It is both dangerous and arrogant to be the last and only stop on other people’s journeys. 

You are IN service, you’re not a service station! There is a huge difference between caring and fixing. Go for the former, the latter is a dead end! Stop being fuel-ish!



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Doug Lawrence is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, who helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences. In 2007 he founded and continues to serve as CEO of Speaking as a Performing Art, a firm which coaches leading executives and their teams and includes pastors from across the country. Doug co-authored GPS for Success, published in 2011, with Stephen Covey and others. You may reach him at dlawrenceconsult@mac.com.