In case you're wondering, ILAMFT is a modification of something that those of us who suffer from aviation-related illnesses (Gliding, Powered Flight, Microlights, etc.) engage in whilst sitting on a bar stool in the clubhouse and it takes it's name from a 'must read' column in 'Flying' Magazine.
The column's name is 'I Learned About Flying From That' - ILAFFT
and having, once again, made a basic error in my ministerial dealings and deliberations I thought that a, 'I Learned About Ministry From That' (ILAMFT) entry from time to time (like whenever I make such a mistake or hear of one that merits mention occurs - which means it's due to become a regular column!) would make sense.
Yesterday I met with someone who put forward a scenario and asked my opinion and, being me, of course I gave it - and explained the reasons for it. It then transpired that this issue had been raised before and the outcome with the other person had been different to that with me. The problem is that then you find yourself in a situation where you're perhaps damned if you do and worse off if you don't (for there is a clear pastoral imperative supporting doing the blessed thing).
I broke one of the golden rules of ministry - that which states that we should always ensure we have adequate time, proper focus and all (or as many as possible) facts before us.
I dropped the ball and whilst convinced that the outcome is proper and well-placed pastorally - the potential for division exists.
Guess that's where grace, prayer and understanding come in.
But would have been easier without it!
Always ensure that adequate time, proper focus and all (or as many as possible) facts are ours before we act - and ensure you dialogue whenever and wherever possible. It's rare that the situation can't wait!