Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt. 10 ?The Criticisms”)

angry parishioner

Thriving leaders expect criticism. They know ways to learn from, cope with, and survive denigration from others. Leaders who fail in this area tend to wilt, get angry, retaliate or quit the job altogether. Here are some examples (chosen from many) in my years of serving the church. Continue reading

Thriving Leaders: Lessons From the Front Lines of Ministry (pt.6 “Conflict”)


A speaker disappoints someone by telling a story about the person without permission.

Two people chat about something they dislike about someone else in the church and the word gets back to the person about whom the two had talked.

A member of a Bible study in the group openly and continually criticizes other Christians in other churches in the area.

Two church members no longer speak to each other following a disagreement.

A small group member violates confidentiality and tells someone’s story outside the group.

The pastor’s sermons are seen by some as too long. People feel conflicted. Some say nothing. Some do and nothing changes. Some quietly leave the church.

A church member feels squelched when a leader manipulates the group in a committee or board meeting to achieve the outcome the leader wants.

A group makes a decision but the leader does nothing to make sure that action follows the group’s decision. Hard feelings toward the leader result.

These examples of conflict come from my experience as a pastor. I’m sure you could list your own as well. Conflict in any church, staff, team or committee is inevitable. Sadly, conflict can result in resentment, hostility and even the ending of the relationship and/or members leaving the congregation. Continue reading