Something I’ve Learned about Pastors and Leaders


Here is something I’ve learned about pastors and leaders…first hand…

We often let the few negatives overshadow the many positives.

Things can be going great, but we can get one negative email…and the whole day is ruined.

We can miss the blessings God is providing by focusing on the distractions of a few critics we may never please…regardless of what we do.

Am I alone in that?

Understanding this about myself (and anyone else who will admit it), changes the way I view some Scripture.

Consider one of our “go to” favorite verses of encouragement, Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Put it in the context that it was delivered. Notice Vs. 10

For thus says the Lord : When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”

What do you think the people heard?

Don’t you think they heard the “seventy years” more than they heard the “future and hope“? Yet, which would you think was God’s intent…to encourage or discourage? (Hopefully, you know the God who is love enough to answer that correctly.)

Everything can be going according to plan. God can be working in your life, but the critic can destroy your perception of reality.

That’s why, as leaders, it’s important that we keep our mind on the bigger picture of what God is doing, rather than the voices of the negative minority.

Who is brave and honest enough to admit I’m not alone here?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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27 thoughts on “Something I’ve Learned about Pastors and Leaders

  1. Thanks Ron for sharing this truth so clearly. This is definitely a struggle, and I've found that it doesn't even have to be negative criticism or critics that can get us down. It can be simply the absence of feedback or comments (in the blogging world) in response to our message (however shared) that can discourage us. And in this world where we are constantly seeking to grow our churches and build our platform, we can so easily work super hard to please and get the attention of people who God hasn't called us to influence, while neglecting the church and/or platform He's already placed in our lives to influence. I know that this is something I struggle with.

  2. I understand better than I would, sometimes, like to! I am reminded of Elijah. You do so much, accomplish so many things, and 1 comes along with a power no one understands, and knocks people down!
    Twitter: bryankr

  3. Why is this a general disposition for pastors, and specifically, church leaders? To crumble under criticism? When I read your reflection on the Jeremiah verses I thought about how we tend to cling to the positive part of that passage and forget about verse 10. Maybe if we quoted them together our perspective would be more holistic, and not so defeated by our critics, and in our trials and shortcomings.
    Twitter: glendornsife

  4. Brave and feeling very foolish! Hitting right where I was this week! Sad to say, lost a full day of writing this week over this very thing. I am not working right now, writing and finishing up a book, I say I am “working for Jesus” LOL! Staying focused is key for me right now. On our hashtag on twitter, we have someone who has decided to use it to “bash a well known pastor” When I refused to join in, this “christian” decided that if I would not join in the harsh judgement and criticism of this pastor, that I was as he calls part of his “Babylon” and this christian called me out on twitter by name and said he was praying for me because I had a “spirit of Babylon” and had turned away from God. Hmmmmm…. Mistake one… let my pride buck up and lead me! Lost a whole day of work, I was so mad at myself. Mistake two… trying to “fix” what he had done…. No matter how many tweets I posted, geeeeeezzzz I should know this by now…. Only God can change a heart, and GOD IS in charge of my reputation and my favor! So, he is still on our hashtag muddying it up every day with his judgemental tweets about this pastor and now the church, but I am letting the “battle be Gods”. This morning God said write an apology tweet to the pastor and his church from our hastag and I did and then I moved on and got my writing done! AWE-GOD! Followship is not breaking free of your call to God to chase after your reputation; it is wiping off the mud on your face so you can see, readjusting your focus of Who and Whose you are and trusting God to use it for the good of your face!!! Jesus was silent, focused on the Father God and His Will. Oh Ouch…. I am learning! Thanks!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  5. That's a great encouragement, and certainly not limited to those in ministry/leadership. I know I needed to be reminded of this today. We can't ignore the negative, but it is of no benefit (to ourselves or others) to give it more weight than it deserves. Thank you!

  6. I need this post. I was about to walk away from a new ministry because I'm letting a handful of critics dictate my perception of reality.

  7. I'm with you Ron! This is so true, one ever so slightly negative feedback can blow up my psyche.

    I like to remember David encouraged himself in the Lord (1Sam 30:6).

    Thanks for this encouraging word!

  8. you are not alone! it always amazes me how a few comments can undermine all perception of progress and growth. something that helps me get my perspective back–thanking God for the things we have seen Him do– creating that pile of stones of remembrance. thanks for your post. made me realize I am not alone in this either!

  9. You are not alone! But as I'm beginning to learn and embrace, if everyone is in agreement, and consensus is my goal, I'm probably not leading. It's like watching 5 year-olds play soccer. It's one big happy swarm following the ball around the field, and after the game, the coach (leader) tells everyone what a great job they did. But as the game gets more complicated and the kids grow, the coach (leader) has to push and pull in different directions. No longer is it a happy, carefree swarm running aimlessly around the field. A good coach knows where he's going (sees the big picture), but not everyone will follow, and the whining starts (it usually starts with the parents, but that's another sermon!). But the coach keeps coaching, and those that love the game and understand the mission will follow. You are not alone!