Ministry DEPRESSION is real! Mission can suck the life out of you. There are well intentioned dragons in all of our lives. Maybe it’s not life that sucks!  Maybe it’s the people we allow into our lives that suck!

Who is breathing life into you?  Will you allow the Breath of Life to come to soothe your soul and fuel your passion or the Breath of Fire to douse your passion and render you useless?

If you have been a part of a church, then you have been hurt by the church. Churches are filled with hurting people and ‘hurt people…hurt people.’ As a veteran of over 35 years in full time ministry and mission and being on the frontlines of serving people, these are some of the people you might want to avoid.  Some might even call them ‘dragons’…I would hope to give them the benefit of doubt and call them ‘well intentioned dragons.’

Critical Katie

The Dragon:This person is crazy qualified and an expert in ‘all’ things.  If only you could be as smart as her.  She builds herself up by putting you down.

The Defense:  Focus on the 5% of content that is accurate and dismiss the mis-informed and inflammatory accusations that are simply not true.

Passive Aggressive Patty

The Dragon:This person has the ability to suck up and make you believe that she is super sweet.  Her words never hit the mark of saying what she is actually thinking.  She leads you to believe her best interest is YOU, when secretly she is pursuing her own agenda.

The Defense:Focus on the mission and ignore the superficial personality that never seems to hit the mark of authenticity and saying what she wants to say.  Believe she means well even though she is secretively and maybe even subconsciously controlling.

Victimized Victor

The Dragon:This person is a slayer.  He mis-understands and his harsh and often unfair scrutiny tells everyone that you are evil. He aggressively judges and puts you in a box that feels like prison.

The Defense:  Focus on capturing the deception of leadership, that everyone is out to get us.  That we are the victim.  Don’t allow yourself to be put ‘in the box.’   Seek to understand more than trying to be understood.  You are who God says you are, not what your accusers say.

Needy Nadine

The Dragon:  This person is actually a wonderful person.  She simply invades your space and she never disappears. She takes all your time.   She follows you around.  Some call her ‘EGR.’  (Extra Grace Required)

The Defense:  Focus on creating boundaries that keep you at a safe distance from her, she will gladly take up all your time and energy with little ROI.  Let her know that you are unable to spend more time than you have and that you hope to catch up with her later.

Negative Nancy

The Dragon:  This person saps the life right out of you.  The eternal pessimist.  She has been hurt and she is trying to be understood, but her persistent pain can be overwhelming as she ‘dumps’ her garbage on your fertile garden.  (Longevity in ministry and hardcore mission can take the most positive person and make them negative).

The Defense:  Focus on creating an imaginary bubble around your ears that will not listen to the constant negative noise that she creates.  RUN.  Do not hang with negativity.  Like breeds like.  Let NO unwholesome word come out of your mouth.  Choose to focus on that which is positive and pure.

Narcissistic Nathan

The Dragon:This person is oblivious to the environment he creates.  He is ‘it’ no matter what ‘it’ is.  He is most important, a glory hog, an attention getter and insatiably hungry for admiration.  Mostly charming and enjoyable until someone threatens his ‘stage.’

The Defense:  Focus on the good that he offers and avoid the bad. Flattery fattens the ego.  Seek to build up, this will go far as this person already needs affirmation.  Perhaps he is not as narcissistic as you think and he is simply a confident leaders who does not hear enough words of affirmation.

Controlling Curt

The Dragon:  This person thinks he knows everything.  His opinion must win.   He cares little about the success of the ‘best idea’ as he is constantly pushing to ram his own, sometimes inferior idea to the front of the line.  He runs from authentic relationships and opts for rules instead.  His need to dominate is excruciating and debilitating to every person and the entire organization.

The Defense:  Focus on the “why’ of the mission rather than his controlling personality.  Keep the main thing the main thing and the main thing is relationship.  Don’t sweat the small stuff…it is all small stuff.  Assess the complete picture and agree to disagree and move on.  Never burn a relational bridge.