Episode 165: Relationships are Messy AND Needed

A Conversation with Joe Geary

February 16, 2021

Maybe you have heard someone utter the phrase, “the church is great, except for…”

Now, before you fill in the blank…

You already did, didn’t you? 😉

Here’s the phrase that finishes that statement has been uttered in frustration, sarcasm, or a simple statement of current reality: “the church is great, except for the people.” And while you may nod in agreement or scratch your head wondering what kind of church the person who said it is a part of, relationships are messy. 

And relationships in the church can be really messy.

So while people are complicated, relationships are at the center of the church. Our relationship with Jesus, our relationships with one another, and our relationships with the surrounding community is the fabric of the church. 

Episode 165 with Joe Geary helps you explore the beautiful as well as messy aspects of relationships. Joe invites you to journey with him to explore stories that shape his life and relationships. 

We explore how relationships with people who supervise you, your peers, and the people you lead are all essential aspects of relational leadership. Joe reminds us that when the tough moments emerge in leadership, relationships are tested and can deepen. But, he’s also careful to remind us that when a crisis emerges, you’ll want relationships in place.

Questions for consideration

  1. On a scale of one to ten with one being, “needs some attention” ten being “authentic and growing” how are your relationships with these three individuals. 
    • Your supervisor
    • Your peers – Name your peers individually.
    • The people you lead.
  2. Remember when Joe said, “What you do and how you act will help me determine how I will respond.” Here’s the question: Consider one of the relationships that you want to improve. What are you doing and how are you acting to help foster growth in that relationship? 
  3. What’s messy about your relationships right now? What are you celebrating about your relationships right now?

Mentioned in this Episode

A Promised Land, by Barack Obama

Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork, by Etty Hellesum

The Origins of the Cornbread Mafia,  by Joe Keith Bickett