Posted By Matthew on October 31, 2013
During the decision making process, often there will be a time devoted to the trolls under the bridge. This is the time in which people will talk about the ideas that are opposed to whatever direction the congregation or the leadership is going. It is usually a broad conversation concerning the the perceived discontent. People will talk about these trolls, and even make decision based on the trolls perspective. One is interesting is that there is no real discontent to the idea. Just like trolls, they do not exist. But we made choices based on an imaginary view of opposition. We did not cross a bridge because we believed that trolls lived there. In dealing with the idea of discontent is important, but it must be done correctly. Here is some ideas.
1. Talk about Who. If there is no name attached to the discontent, and no one has voiced discontent, do not move forward with the idea there will be discontent. If there is no name, or names connected to the troll, it does not exist. If no one in the leadership can think of anyone opposed to the idea, there is a good chance no one is.
2. Step on the Bridge. Test it out first, to see if there is a troll. If you are wondering if there is discontent, ask the people who you think could be opposed to the idea. If they are no willing to own it, do not make choices based on their lack of courage. Often a troll is just a frog that does not understand the issue. Harmless.
3. Every Bridge is Scary. Years ago, people really did believe in trolls, and the church still does. It is a way of staying within the comfort zone for leadership. If you say there is a troll, you are never required to leave home.