June 18, 2010

Warning: It's a Small World

With many folks moving, I thought I'd share this warning.

After one of our moves, early in our ministry, I found out something the next minister's spouse said about me. It seems that she told one of her new friends in her new congregation that I didn't leave the parsonage very clean. Needless to say, I had a baby and did everything by myself. Even so, I thought I had left it in very good shape and a lot better than I had found it.

But to her standards, perhaps it should have been better. That's not the point. The point is that her new friend at her new congregation was my old friend at my old congregation. What she said went straight from her to me with our friend barely holding the thought for a minute. The new spouse had no idea that she was talking to my friend. Of course, I also wonder just how good a friend I had anyway to tell me something so hurtful.

It's been my experience that I have to be careful what I say and to whom in a church. You never know if your talking to someone's friend, cousin, or even work colleague. It's just that small a world, and I can't tell you have many times I've had to learn that lesson.

On the other side, my spouse grew up in the city where we are now. We regularly run into people he went to school with or had as a teacher, couch--there have even been a couple of old girl friends. So we hear lots of stuff from lots of sources, not just at church.

You can always be sure that what you say will get back to the person you're talking about. So when you move and start afresh at a new church, just be careful. It took a long time before that other pastor's wife and I made up and for me to get over that innocent remark she made to our "friend."

Happy Moving, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. I run everything through a mental screen before I say it. I know that everything I say can and will be repeated.