Sunday, March 25, 2018

How to cut off a service hijacker?

What do you do, if leading a church service, it gets hijacked?
I'm not talking about terrorists or a gun-toting-crazy...

I'm talking about those who, when invited to share, go into a full-blown take-over-the-service rant.

What do you do then?

Once the leader realises that they are at the dawn of a hijacking, they have three options.

The first is to do nothing. Show patience. Pray silently that their point, even if it's longwinded, will go somewhere productive. 

For some people, this will be the only time and place where they will feel comfortable enough to speak up and be listened to.

Other hijacks are more insidious.

For these people, you can either shut them down or redirect.

You can, in the gentlest way possible, affirm their answer, quickly summising their point, saying that you're moving on to others who want to share.

Otherwise you could exercise the technique that you'd be really interested in hearing their complete point, while cutting them short, but you'll be glad to chat with them further after the service.

Of course, this means you'll need to make space to talk at the conclusion of the service. This may not always be practical.

But, there's a secret in successfully pulling off the shut down or redirection.

Two breaths.

The person should get to share two breaths once you've recognised what's going on.


Because you don't want to be known as someone who will shut down input which you're not enthralled with.

Leading a public sharing time can be a delicate balancing act, but any interruption to an answer should, if nothing else, still communicate gratitude, inclusion and grace.

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