Surviving The Holidays With Your Coworkers

Working in ministry has a lot of perks. One of the greatest perk for me has been to be able to be a part of people’s lives during the holidays. Whether it is Advent, Christmas, Easter or other Church holidays, as a minister, we were able to be a part of how a person or a family experiences the love of Christ that season. But the reality is, we are all just members of a team, a parish staff, which comes together to provide these spiritual experiences for the parish. It is easy to get caught up in the parish politics, step on each other’s toes, and get on each other’s nerves. Here are some thoughts on how to keep the holidays holy for ourselves and our ministry family.

Remember, each person is Christ in that moment

In any line of work, it can be difficult to work with coworkers. We are parish leaders. We need to rise above the norm of pettiness, spite, and criticism, which can be trying at times. Keep in mind the words of Jesus: “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me” (Mt 25: 45). In the heat of the moment, it may not feel that way. However, even in a frustrating situation; these people need to be as Christ to us. If we start viewing our co-workers in this way, it will make some of these hardships easier. We must be able to find Christ in the “other.”

Keep our eye on the goal

We all have one main goal, whether we are the director of youth ministry or the parish accountant. We are working for and towards bringing a community closer to Christ. If we get caught up in the little items, we sometimes forget that there is a greater goal than whatever is important to us in any given moment. Share the parish vision; make sure we are all working towards the same goal, not individual ideals.

Spread the love

Since we work in ministry, we have the wonderful opportunity to share words of encouragement, particularly around religious holidays, with our co-workers. We should capitalize on these moments to acknowledge the hard work our brothers and sisters do. Send a card to the director of religious education, leave an encouraging note for the catechists in the parish, or tell the priest what you liked about his homily. It isn’t difficult, but it may take us out of our comfort zone. However, it could lead to not only budding relationships, but a stronger parish staff.

It is important to remember that no matter what the season, we are all co-workers, tending the same Lord’s field. We need to work together to bring about the Kingdom of God here in our parish communities.


Paul Morisi

A native of Queens, NY, Paul has been serving the young Church in the Diocese of Brooklyn since 2010. In 2013 he completed his MA in Historical Theology from St. John's University. Paul and his wife Alison welcomed their first child James Anthony last April and they couldn't be more excited.

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