I had a discussion Saturday night with some friends on the launch team about why it has always been (in our experience) a much worse working environment in “Christian” organizations than in “secular” corporations. How is it that co-workers can work together better at hospitals and construction sites than Churches and Christian Schools? Shouldn’t the opposite be true?
I believe the culprit is “niceness”. We’ve somehow traded “speaking the truth in love” for being “nice”. “Nice” Sucks! “Nice” talks about someone, instead of talking to someone. (We call them “prayer requests” in religious joints) “Nice” is more worried about “stepping on toes” than actually advancing the kingdom. “Nice” is more worried about “offending” someone than affecting someone positively. “Nice leaders” (oxymoron?) are more interested in avoiding conflict than actually leading. “Nice leaders” actually cause conflict because they tell everyone what they want to hear, until everyone ends up feeling disappointed and lied to.
As we discussed Saturday night, there’s no place for “nice” in the actionchurch organization. We have room for messed up people, wounded people, and imperfect people in general. We have lots of room for forgiveness, mercy, love, and kindness. We even have room for honest disagreement and debate. What we don’t have room for is “nice”. Our mission is too important.
15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Eph. 4:15-16 esv