I’ve just finished my first year of volunteering at the Salvation Army teaching a class in anger management. It’s been a really valuable experience for me. There’s nothing quite like teaching something to get the content of what’s being taught really ingrained in your own life. As I’ve been thinking through the material, it occurred to me that it’s just as valuable for pastors, planters and other ministry leaders as it is for residents of the Salvation Army. We’re not so very different as we’d sometimes like to think.
If we’re going to live on mission together and work together in teams, we need to be able to deal with our emotions and the emotions of others. When we serve together, whether it’s a service project or a community living life together, conflict naturally emerges. Things irritate us and make us angry. How do we deal with that? We need these basic life skills for ourselves and also so we are able to coach other people through it.
Anger is natural– it’s the emotion that arises whenever we encounter something we perceive to be wrong. Anger can sometimes do good when it is directed at legitimate injustices. However, it can also do damage when it arises from sin and self-centeredness. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger, do not sin.” The choices we make in our anger determine whether we are using this emotion for good or for harm.
“Anyone can become angry—that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way—that is not easy.” — Aristotle
What follows in the next several blog entries are some of the highlights from the class I teach at the Salvation Army– adapted for ministry leaders. The class is adapted from The Anger Management Workbook. If you are reading this series after it has come out on this blog, you can pull up all of the entries at once by doing a search for anger management in the search box within the blog.
Don’t Let Anger Take Control! Most people stereotype anger by assuming that it always results in shouting, slamming fists, or throwing things. However, anger is not that one-dimensional. In fact, all of the statements below represent feelings of anger: When I am displeased with someone I shut down any communication and withdraw. I get very […]