Continuing from Part 2 of some other practical, sound, and wise advices:
- The number of sources making the same criticism is also telling. Church dragons often claim, “It isn’t just me but a lot of people who feel this way.” Unless those other people step forward, however, you can afford to be skeptical (p. 110).
This too has been proven in the laboratory. Almost always, there is exaggeration to so call “a lot of people.” But most importantly, even if there are “a lot of people” complain does not mean they are necessarily right. What is right and wrong is not determined by the majority opinion. The majority of people’s opinions are not the authority, God is.
- Complaints that are vague and general, such as “I’m not being fed” or “I’m not growing,” usually say more about the complainers than the church. They may actually be overfed but under-exercised” (p. 112).
Years ago, my pastor used to say, “If you’re not being fed, use your spoon then!” There is something seriously wrong with an individual who professes him/herself to be a Christian for several years and still needs to be spoon fed. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).
- If people criticize things you can’t change (your age, for instance), or things they knew and accepted when they called you (your preaching style), the criticisms are probably unfair (p. 113).
- A pastor’s authority requires two ingredients: God’s appointment and call, and the body’s respect for his leadership. Losing either side of the equation spells an end to effective ministry (pp. 115-16).
Stay tune for the final post.