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Ungrieving Grievances

Complaints to the board need not ruin its effectiveness.

The day before I was to leave on a much-needed vacation (the first full break in several years), I had lunch with one of our elders. I could tell something was bothering him. It wasn't long before he told me: he had heard some grievances and thought I should be aware of them. Someone had complained my salary was too high. Someone else felt I was taking too much vacation time. Another person expressed dismay that we had promised our Bible conference speaker a set honorarium instead of whatever came in the offering. Someone else was bothered that the screen we used for overhead projection seemed to be in the way of the choir.

My response to most complaints is to be a little aggravated and a lot tickled; I've learned they're just part of the job. But my fellow board members were far from amused. In fact, some had suggested a private meeting be held while I was on vacation. Though the more seasoned members realized this was unwise and blocked the idea, I saw there was more at stake here than ...

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