Living In Crisis

photo by robinsoncaruso

Have you ever encountered someone who turned everything into a crisis?

I was enjoying lunch with some friends at a restaurant one day, when I overheard an individual at another table sharing how frustrated she was. You could tell she was upset. As I started to listen to her talk about the situation that frustrated her, I couldn’t help but smile a little bit. She spent ten minutes complaining and wondering why people in her office would do such a thing. “It just doesn’t make sense!” she said at one point.

Some of the people who she was talking with started to feed into her frustration by agreeing with her that she should be totally upset and that other people need to pay more attention. It became a frenzied conversation that made everyone at the table upset. They were mad and the problem needed to be fixed.

The problem: some unknown co-worker innocently picked up a Fed Ex box and put it on the counter instead of leaving it on the floor (where I guess it was supposed to be).

Really? In the grand scheme of life, that was a big deal?

This group of people turned the whole situation into a crisis that needed to be dealt with immediately.

Do you know anyone like that?

I think it is really easy to encounter that type of attitude in ministry. There are always individuals who turn molehills into mountains (as the saying goes). That type of attitude doesn’t help anyone. Here are some of the consequences of an attitude like that:

  • It raises our level of frustration higher than it needs to be.
  • It impairs our ability to constructively solve the problem.
  • It lowers morale within our team and ministry.
  • It causes the people around that individual to begin thinking the same way. All of a sudden, the entire team begins to turn every small situation into a crisis.
  • People start to ostracize the person with the negative attitude (that would be my inclination).
  • We begin to focus our time on unimportant issues as opposed to the important ones.
  • It stresses all of us out.

This type of attitude can happen to all of us. I have a natural disposition of positivity, but I sometimes feel negative energy seeping into me at times. Whatever is in me has to come out. There are times that I have let that negative attitude out. Sometimes it is constructive. Sometimes, not so much.

I have to check my attitude daily. Am I making everything a crisis? If I am, how is that effecting my ministry? And I guarantee it does effect it.

Name a time when a situation made you laugh because you knew an individual (or you) was turning a no-big-deal issue into a crisis.

I would love to hear those stories!

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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