Dealing with Difficult People

When asked what he considered the most valuable skill in employees, John D. Rockefeller once replied, "The ability to get along with people!"

One of the most important skills needed to succeed in ministry is knowing how to handle troublemakers. If you learn how to deal with difficult people early on, then you'll be able to pour more energy into ministry rather than needless conflicts.

Troublemakers come in all shapes:

- THE SHERMAN TANK - will run over you if you let him.
- THE MEGAPHONE - will talk your ear off.
- THE BUBBLE BUSTER - deflates everyone's enthusiasm.
- THE VOLCANO - has a temper like Mt. St. Helens.
- THE CRY BABY - is a chronic complainer holds a pity party.
- THE NIT PICKER - is the unpleasable perfectionist.
- THE SPACE CADET - is on a different wavelength.

What should you do with these types?

Jesus had to deal with a lot of difficult people. Here are FOUR methods he modeled through his life:

1. Realize you can't please everybody (John 5:30). Even God can't do that! One wants rain while the other sunshine.

2. Refuse to play their game (Matthew 22:18). Learn to say no to unrealistic expectations. Confront them by "telling the truth in love."

3. NEVER retaliate (Matthew 5:38-39). It only lowers you to their level.

4. Pray for them (Matthew 5:44). It will help both of you. Let God handle them.

Make this Bible verse your goal this week, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18, NIV)

This article is used by permission from From Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free weekly e-newsletter for those in ministry. www.pastors.com.