The Secret Ingredient To Your Success…That You Have No Control Over
By Society President, Mark Lenz Many people hold many jobs over a lifetime. Gone are the days when one graduated from college and moved into a lifelong career with a great company. According to a January 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person changes jobs an average of 12 times during his or her career.
The same can be said of ministry positions in the church. It’s rare to see a Pastor’s whole ministry career lived out at one church. In fact, it’s quite common for church employees to move on from a church more than once. Whether a person moves on of their own volition or if they’re forced out, ministry job movement is a reality in our world.
Sometimes people move on based on poor performance. But more often it’s a chemistry thing. Getting along well with others is crucial in every work environment, including the church. So, the secret to maintaining a longer lasting career at a church or business is, you guessed it, chemistry.
Since on-the-job chemistry is so important, let’s dive a little deeper into this crucial, sometimes illusive relational component.
What is it?: A click
Chemistry is defined as the branch of science that deals with the identification of material substances and the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change.
Relational chemistry can be defined as the emotion that people get when they share a special connection. You’ve felt it. For whatever reason, you simply like a person. You click. Maybe it’s a coworker or a friend. Or maybe it’s a romantic interest. Oftentimes you can’t put your finger on why, it’s just there. Your relationship just works.
How to develop it: You can’t
Here’s the interesting part. You have very little (if any) control over relational chemistry. You can’t really develop it as you would develop a skill. Sure, you can try to be nice around people, but if there’s no click, it’s just not there. The relationship may remain cordial but will most likely never be close. It’s just the way it is.
I’ve had great relational chemistry with a wide variety of people. Folks who are very much like me, and folks who are quite different from me. And I’m not sure why that is. Chemistry seems to be very unpredictable.
How to maintain it: Trust
But if you have relational chemistry, there are ways to make it stronger. The more you put into something, the more you get out. The same is true with relationships.
Studies have shown one of the greatest ways to build and maintain great relationships is to build trust.
Author David Horsager says trust deepens with time and depth. So, as you trust people more, and that trust is rewarded with positive outcomes, the trust actually deepens, and the chemistry gets even stronger.
How to maximize it: Test it
If chemistry is present, and once trust is developed, the relationship can be maximized through putting that trust to the test. Someone said the only way to know if you can trust someone is to trust them. You’ll soon find out, one way or the other.
So, as you build trust, and that trust results in good outcomes, your relationship gets stronger and is ready for deeper levels of trust. It may take a while, but eventually you just know that person can be trusted with anything.
A final thought
As mentioned above, relational chemistry is mysterious and elusive. You will have little control over who you click with. But when chemistry is present, you’ll know it. And if it’s there, enjoy it. After all, we’re meant to enjoy relationships. And if it’s present in a church staff relationship, maximize it and use it to accomplish the mission of your church and to advance the purposes of God for the glory of God.