My pastor, Dave Engbrecht, made a quote recently and I’ve been reflecting on it ever since in my consulting with another ministry. At the college, I tell my ministry leadership students that the moment they make a decision, a certain number of your people will disagree with it … and not like it.
Everyone has critics.
If there is too much of ‘you’ in your leadership, this will be a problem for you. You won’t be able to lead in a way where everyone likes you, where you get enough pats on your back.
The issue is:
Our critics will never recognize our purpose or agenda.
Our critics don’t want to think through or give credence to the why/where of our decisions. They just want to take potshots. Critics don’t even (usually) have all of the information either. And more often than not we can share all of the information. Which means:
We need to lead graciously despite the noise of the critics.
Like it or not, there will always be a little noise from critics. Even in Christian ministry. And even in churches. It’s often just a little noise, but as leaders tire or get frustrated by its constant presence, it can sound like a dull roar – or even a loud shout.
Sure, we need to listen and see if there is truth to the criticisms. Of course, we need to be careful to not let the critics dictate the direction. But don’t let the noise overcome the collective vision that your organization, group, church, or ministry has committed to pursue. If you deal with one, you’ll get another. The noise you will always have with you because everyone has critics.