Questions for ministers to ask to help reveal bullying

Peter Adam

[These questions  affirm non-bullying behaviour, and hope for the answer yes!]
  1. Do I follow the example of Christ, and shape my life and ministry on ‘the one who serves’, who is ‘meek and lowly of heart’, who told us that ‘the meek will inherit the earth’[1]? [Examples please.]
  2. In all my relationships and interaction with others, do I ‘in humility value others above myself’ and ‘clothe myself in humility’ to others? [Examples please.]
  3. Does self-sacrificial love for God and self-sacrificial love for others shape my ministry?
  4. Do I serve and suffer in my ministry? [Examples please.]
  5. Am I willingly accountable to someone or some people for my ministry? [Who is it?]
  6. Do I welcome rebukes about my life and ministry, no matter who offers them, and do I ponder them, and, if necessary, act on them? [Give some recent examples.]
  7. Do I love, respect, and value everyone with whom I work, and everyone to whom I minister, and do I express and communicate that love, respect, and valuing?
  8. Do I ask for feedback on my plans for my life and my ministry, and do I make changes in the light of the feedback? [Examples please.]
  9. Do I work with others in forming the vision for the church or ministry in which I serve? [Examples please.]
  10. Do I honour other people in ministry, churches and ministries, and their leaders, or do I dismiss them, or despise them in private or in public?
  11. Do I know my natural sins and weaknesses in life and ministry, and am I resisting them, and overcoming them? [Examples please].
  12. Am I aware of the downsides and temptations which come with the gifts and strengths I have? [What are the gifts and strengths, and what are the downsides and temptations?]
  13. Am I giving enough time, attention, and energy to maintaining my own Christian life: trusting and loving God, reading and meditating on the Bible in regard to my own life, praying, engaging in fellowship, supporting others and being supported by them?
  14. Am I getting enough time to regularly reflect on my ministry, and assess it in the light of God’s will for me as a person, and the way I do ministry?
  15. Am I regularly confessing my sins of life and my sins of ministry? [What are they?]
  16. Do I act when I see someone being bullied, or someone acting as a bully, in my church or ministry context? Do I challenge, rebuke, expose or report the bullying?
[These questions are intended to bring any bullying to your attention]
  1. Do I insist that everyone does what I want, agrees with me and all my ideas, and do I insist that only people who do so are loyal to the church and to me?
  2. Do I fall into the sins of impatience, superiority, taking people for granted, using people to achieve my plans, ignoring, marginalising, demeaning or insulting people who disagree with me, taking revenge on people, manipulating them, or keeping them ignorant of what is happening?
  3. Do I use my personality, charm, energy, quick wit, intellect, theology, sexuality, organisational ability, superior knowledge or experience, bad language, or shouting, to make people do what I want them to do?
  4. Do I favour people who agree with me, my friends, surround myself with those people, and ignore others? [Whom do you favour? Whom do you ignore?]
  5. Do I try to control other people, ignore them or invade their privacy?
  6. Do I evaluate people primarily in terms of their loyalty and support of me, and marginalise, reject or isolate people who do not, taking disagreement as disloyalty?
  7. Do I believe that I have such special and unique gifts of Bible teaching, theology, gospel strategy, and church growth, that no one should question me or contradict me?
  8. Do I use ways in which I have been bullied to bully others?
  9. Do I usually blame others when things go wrong, and not reflect on my contribution? This will lead to bullying.
[These questions are useful general questions]
  1. How long is it since I changed the way I live or do ministry because of what I read in the Bible? [Days, months, years, or decades?]
  2. Who am I trying to please or impress in my ministry? Myself, other people, or God?
  3. Am I building my own kingdom, or serving God’s kingdom? [Be honest!]
  4. Would I be willing to go through an honest review of my ministry once a year with another person, and use these questions as part of that review?

    Luke 22:27, Matthew 11:29, Matthew 5:5.