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That Pushes My Buttons: Handling Difficult Behavior, Complaint, and Criticism in Ministry

Friday, October 25, 2013

8:30 AM

Lifelong Learning

Date: October 25
Registration Fee: $75
Registration Deadline October 15

Register by Mail

Ministers can hope ministry will involve extending benevolence and care for people, to which they will respond with joy and gratitude. Often that happens. But other times people’s bile can be an unwelcome surprise. What then?

Difficult behavior occurs. It contributes to unhappy congregations and to ministers losing their jobs.  This workshop aims to support ministers in handling difficult behavior, complaint,  and criticism in ways that enhance the health of the minister and of the congregation.

The workshop will include:

  • A definition of difficult behavior
  • Structural and developmental sources of difficult behavior
  • Why ministers can be targets of difficult behavior
  • How congregations can become a fertile ground for difficult behavior
  • The use of congregational norms and standards to support humane behavior
  • Doing the unexpected in the face of difficult behavior
  • What makes complaint and criticism difficult
  • Common (although unsuccessful) defenses people use when criticized
  • Useful personal assumptions to employ when criticized
  • Useful ways to handle complaint and criticism
8:30  Registration and snacks
9:00-9:15  Welcome
9:15-12:15  Session 1: Systems Theory, The Origins of Difficult Behavior, Congregational Responses to Difficult Behavior
12:15-1:00  Lunch
1:00-4:00 Session 2: Personal responses to Difficult Behavior, Handling Complaint and Criticism
4:00 Closing

Snacks and lunch included.

Workshop Leader:

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Reeves is a graduate of the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and has served congregations in Ohio and Delaware. He has also earned a Masters in Pastoral Counseling and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. He is currently a clinical psychologist with a therapy practice, a consulting psychologist with the Center for Career Development and Ministry, and has been an adjunct professor at Andover Newton Theological School.

Participants in the workshop are eligible to receive six Sabbath Hours. To apply for Sabbath Hours complete the Reflection Form that will be available to the workshop.


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