It is probably true for ministry work that some level of discomfort is good. If we are pushing on buttons that people care about and pulling on levers to strategically apply pressure to systems and habits, discomfort is inevitable (including for the ones pushing the buttons and pulling the levers), and we should not be surprised when it gets expressed toward us.
It’s only a problem if people don’t understand what’s happening. I’m coming to understand the risk of making technical maneuvers without investing an equal amount of time and energy on relational steps. Getting the decisions right is only half the work. We also have to share our thinking and our imagining with the people affected by them and who care deeply about what happens.
Here, email newsletters and website explanations are critical but insufficient. The work is only begun with those tools. It needs to continue with face-to-face invitations to ask questions and express ideas in real time and in public.
The discomfort that comes with change is tolerable, even beneficial, as long as we give everyone a chance to see it clearly.
One thought on “Discomfort Is Good”
Yes, this is good — especially in the part about e-mail being insufficient. A lot of people don’t enjoy e-mail or just plain don’t use it. I just got asked for my user name at a site, gave my e-mail address, opened my e-mail, found the user name, and went back to the site. I plugged in the user name I’d just been given and — ta da! — I was told that I can’t change the password, because this username has no address associated with it.
I don’t put up with such ridiculousness easily, and then only for essentials. If some other medium, or no medium at all (such as face-to-face news) is available, I’ll take it!