by | Sep 27, 2022 | Criticism, Difficult people, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Podcast

No matter how great a leader you are, there will always be a few parishioners who don’t like you and feel it’s their calling to criticize you. In part two of their conversation, John & Jim unpack two more behaviors that help leaders when those they lead attack them

Last week in Episode 155 (Audio version is here; video version is here) we unpacked two behaviors:

Behavior 1: Get in touch with truth

When parishioners attack. do your best to ask yourself: “Is there any truth to what they said?” When parishioners attack, extract the truth—and forget the rest.

Behavior 2: Get in touch with why

Sometimes parishioners attack out of fear: The fear of change. The fear of losing control. The fear of success even. Some people attack out of ignorance. In those cases, try your best to be understanding.

So today in pod 156 (audio version is here, video version is here) we explore two more behaviors we think will help when parishioners attack:

Behavior 3: Get in touch with your value

In God’s eyes, you’re more valuable than the work you do, and more valuable than what others say about the work you do. That doesn’t give you permission to perform poorly. It just means when the vocal minority screams, remember your value doesn’t come from their opinion of you.

We’ve observed that people tend to be fickle. If that’s true, why would we put our sense of value in other people’s hands? Legitimate and lasting value is found in a real relationship with Jesus, who never changes. He is the exact opposite of fickle.

Behavior 4: Get in touch with reality

The New Testament church struggled periodically with people who attacked its leaders. If these godly pioneers faced the vocal minority, why do we think we’re exempt?

We’re not excusing poor parishioner behavior. Nor suggesting we shouldn’t deal with it promptly and pastorally, especially if these attackers have influence. We’re simply encouraging you to expect criticism from time to time so when it happens, you won’t be shell-shocked. 

When parishioners attack, let these four behaviors – get in touch with truth, with why, with your value, and with reality – guide your response.