How many “chances” should you give to someone in your congregation before you “confront” them about their conduct?Here is some thought-provoking advice from the world of business for addressing employee misconduct.
I need a rule because it’s often hard to know if something’s a big enough deal to address until it’s too late and then, well, it’s too late. It’s already gotten out of hand. On the other hand if I jump on every single issue the first time it comes up then, well, I’ll be out of hand.
The first time someone does something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I notice it. The second time, I acknowledge that the first time was not an isolated event or an accident but a potential pattern and I begin to observe more closely and plan my response. The third time? The third time I always speak to the person about it. I call it my rule of three.
Is this transferable wisdom for pastoral ministry? Obviously major sin requires immediate confrontation. But for the day-to-day humdrum annoying behavior of the sheep, I think this is wise counsel.And what about parenting?