All leaders will be criticized!
If you thirst for the approval of all and recoil at the slightest reproach – get back in line and don’t attempt to lead. Because when you step out from the pack and attempt to lead – you will be criticized.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned when encountering criticism:
1. Don’t Shut Out the Critics
A great leader is assertive enough to lead but confident enough to listen.
Consider the Critique
Only an extreme egotist is unwilling to evaluate and analyze his positions or personal behavior. What your critic said about your church might actually be true. What your critic said about your attitude might be right. Take what was said and look at it through 3 filters: the Word, your wife, & an honest friend. If any of these 3 agree with the criticism you would be wise to listen and change.
Consider the Source
There are many reasons why someone may publically or privately criticize you. Politically some may have to do so in order to retain their own influence. Narcissistically some may do so in order to gain attention. Habitually some may do so because they are simply unable to mind their own business. Jealously some may do so because they secretly covet the assignment you’ve been given. Philosophically some may do so because they see themselves as some kind of avenger of truth and beacon of righteousness. In each of these cases, ignore the criticism. Their critique has more to do with their own particular issues & insecurities than it does with anything you’ve done – so relax.
Consider a Conversion
Every critic is a possible convert. Look at what Jesus did with Paul. This man was a Pharisee related to the Sanhedrin. He was from the “enemy” camp and hated everything related to Jesus Christ. But Jesus, instead of attacking him and damning him, converted him through love, patience, and personal interaction. Give your critic the benefit of the doubt. Just because they are against you doesn’t mean they are against God. They may need time to mature and grow in grace. I do things now is service of my Master that 10 years ago I would have condemned as wrong, wicked, and worldly. I’m thankful that the Lord was patient with me. If you are patient with that godly deacon, youthful seminarian, or elder pastor – you may just lead him from critic to convert. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.
2. Focus on Who Matters
Remember the 25% rule. A quarter of everyone in the world will love you – nothing you can do about it. A quarter of everyone in the world will tend to like you – with dedication you can convince them not to like you. A quarter of everyone in the world will dislike you – with dedication you might convince them to give you another chance. A quarter of everyone in the world will hate you – they can’t be convinced otherwise.
The Master who Set your Direction
When you’re a servant of Christ it doesn’t matter when someone questions your “direction”. I’ve found great comfort in the reality that I follow Jesus – daily. If the critiques of fellow servants become overwhelming then I simply return to the Master and discuss my assignment with Him.
The Family who Loves You
There’s nothing like family support. Thankfully I have a big one. I’ve learned to get my validation from the Lord. However, sometimes he chooses to bring encouragement through my Heather and kids. They know my weaknesses and failures but they also know my heart – and they love me. Having supportive parents and siblings, a father-in-law and brother-in-law who actually know me and still like me – this helps wonderfully. Sadly, for many, you may not have these supports or they may be taken away as was the case with Job Then I remind you of the third group that actually matters.
The People You’re Meant to Lead
God has shaped you perfectly for the people you lead. You are not called to lead everyone. That’s why God has created other leaders. But you are meant to lead the ones He has brought to you. So, lead them. Love them. Listen to them.
3. Toughen Up
Criticism, the more it happens the less it hurts. This is why they call it having a thick skin. I wish I could put this into the hearts of every young minister who is just starting out. Sometimes we need to just NOT care about what someone said about our ministry, life, or family. I’m not saying that you should be calloused, I’m simply saying that with time, the sharp darts won’t be able to puncture as quickly or sink as deeply as they once did. You’ll grow stronger.
This is why high performance leaders are able to forge forward knowing that people hate them. They don’t let it get to them because they know that universal acceptance is not their goal. Look at Jesus, He was so despised at the end that they crucified Him. Are we surprised that we his followers are not continually receiving the accolades of a sinful world or the religious establishment? We shouldn’t be.
It is a weakness to crave continual approval from everyone. Remember, criticism will happen and will increase as does your influence. Stay focused on the Master as you’ll be just fine.
In this episode Pastor Josh sits down with his siblings to talk about how to parent children to love Jesus through the perspective of their upbringing. This is part two of a two part episode.
In this episode Pastor Josh sits down with his siblings to talk about how to parent children to love Jesus through the perspective of their upbringing. This is part one of a two part episode.
In this episode Pastor Josh Teis sits down with Pastor Matt Lyon to discuss the history of the Independent Baptist Movement. Pastor Matt is an expert in this area, and provides incredible insight into the leaders, history, and focus of the Independent Baptists.
In this episode, Josh Teis sits down with Jeremy Rands who pastors Monclova Road Baptist Church near Toledo, OH. Jeremy has served as an administrative pastor and as a lead pastor in several large, growing churches. He currently leads a large staff and must stay organized in order to effectively lead those around him. The big idea that will be discussed today is Organized Leadership.
If you enjoy this episode, or any of our other episodes, please leave a review on iTunes or YouTube as this helps get the word out about these Idea Talks. Also, we would love for you to let others know about this podcast on social media.
Quotes from the episode:
“I had to realize that I was there to help them reach their potential, not them to help me become something.” – Jeremy Rands
“We are here to help the staff reach their potential and in them reaching their potential, the church people get help and the church reaches it’s potential.” – Jeremy Rands
“Ministry is not the same as marriage.” – Jeremy Rands
“By being faithful to God in ministry, he may use different ministries to train you and equip you, so that he can use you later on in life.” – Jeremy Rands
“Making sure that I’m taking care of myself, spiritually, physically, emotionally, I can take care of more people.” – Jeremy Rands
“Rest is wisdom, being a sluggard is foolish.” – Jeremy Rands
“There are other pastors who do more than me, and I’m ok with that.” – Jeremy Rands
“Having the rest you need and having the relationship you need is leading to a place where you can have organization at the level you want it to be.” – Josh Teis
“By me setting my calendar, and not letting my calendar set me, I get more accomplished and I feel more peaceful when I do it.” – Jeremy Rands
“I get to decide if it’s an emergency when it’s my schedule.” – Jeremy Rands
“If you’re going to condition your church that every time they have an emergency they can have access to you and you’re going to drop everything, then all you’re going to be doing is going from emergency to emergency and your church and your life is going to become an emergency.” – Jeremy Rands
“There’s a difference between having a busy schedule and having a productive schedule.” – Jeremy Rands
Practical ideas from this episode:
Rest in between appointments with staff and church members in order to give them your best when meeting with them.
Don’t take more than 3 appointments in a day.
Date your wife every single week.
Schedule a weekly time to look at the next seven days.
If you don’t have staff, utilize deacons to help you with “emergencies”.
Use web-based calendar/email – yahoo, google, iCal, etc.
Plan big events for your church at least a year in advance.
In this episode, Josh Teis talks with Tony Liuzzo about how to refresh an established church. Tony pastors a thriving church in Columbus, Ohio. When he took over as the lead pastor the church had declined to an average of 400 people. Now the church averages 750 people on a weekly basis.
Quotes from the episode:
“In order for God to get you where he wants you to be, he has to put you through the fire.” – Tony Liuzzo
“Lord, move or move me.” – Tony Liuzzo
“If we would find that and not look at it as competing with the older, every church would do better. We’re not competing with the older, don’t try to get rid of them. Honor them, love them.” – Tony Liuzzo
“The first thing that I did, was nothing.” – Tony Liuzzo
“Refreshing an established church means you have to change some things that aren’t working. Or, change some things that worked in the 70’s and 80’s.” – Tony Liuzzo
“For the first year I was preaching the gospel and what doesn’t change and where I stood, so they knew my heart.” – Tony Liuzzo
“A lot of times the lines get blurred for what’s biblical and what’s traditional.” – Tony Liuzzo
“You honor God by being biblical, you don’t honor God just by being traditional. Now, don’t throw out traditions just because you’re trying to make change. There are some traditions that are good and healthy.” – Tony Liuzzo
“The fact is the Bible says everything about our doctrine, but it says very little about our tradition.” – Josh Teis
“I’ve noticed it might be that way because we’ve constantly feel the necessity to add a scripture verse to our tradition.” – Josh Teis
“Shame on any pastor that takes over a church and they’re more faithful to try to uphold the traditions than they are to uphold the purpose of why that church was established. And that’s to reach the community and to reach the lost.” – Tony Liuzzo
“The methods that they used, they used because they worked for their day and age and for their generation. “ – Tony Liuzzo
“We’d make a change and say, ‘let me tell you how God is working with this’”. – Tony Liuzzo
“Honor the past, but have a vision for the future.” – Tony Liuzzo
“If you want to refresh your church, get your church focused on people.” – Tony Liuzzo
In this episode, Josh Teis talks with Robert Bakss about the important issue of worship in churches. Robert pastors a growing church in Rockhampton, Australia. He has recently authored a book about this topic entitled “Worship Wars”. This podcast will touch on several of the concepts that are covered more deeply in the book.
Quotes from the episode:
“People have made an issue out of something that isn’t that big of an issue.” – Robert Bakss
“As soon as you play any style of music, people then assume, that you are positioning yourself that everyone has to play this. And that’s not necessary.” – Robert Bakss
“What people have tried to do is make the approval zone equal to the acceptance zone and that is where the issue is.” – Robert Bakss
“It’s almost as if the church has redeemed out of the world, instruments that were at one point used solely for bad things and now use them to worship the Lord.” – Josh Teis
“Is what we have been told just something traditional and history or is it truth.” – Robert Bakss
“The longer something happens, the more scriptural you think it is.” – Robert Bakss
“Do you think God sits in heaven and looks down upon that service and says, ‘I’m just waiting for them to get this over and done with, so they can get to the real thing.’? He inhabits the praises of his people.” – Robert Bakss
“If we get emotional during the music we might be associated with charismatics, but let’s get extremely emotional during the preaching and there’s no problem with that.” – Josh Teis
“You never judge a farmer by his tractors, or his sheds, or the music he plays in his tractors, or the clothes his farmhands are wearing. You judge a farmer on the fruit that comes out of the farm.” – Robert Bakss
Resources from this episode:
Worship Wars - Ebook
The Case For Christ - Lee Strobel
Subscribe in iTunes
Connect with Robert Bakss
Lighthouse Baptist Church