Today during my early morning quite time of Bible reading, prayer and reflection I was thinking about a hard reality of life and especially leadership and even more especially church leadership.
The thing about church is that we’re supposed to love each other. That’s what the Bible says. Being a Christian means loving people. Not liking or agreeing with everything they do but being patient, loving, forgiving and trying to understand.
I must confess on the outset that I have not always been patient. As a matter of fact, honestly, I’m the most inpatient person I know. Now is not the time to lament why I struggle with being patient with Christians. I just need to admit it.
We want everyone to like us, even love us. It’s human nature and leaders are no different. The truth of the matter is they won’t. Not everyone is going to like you, your personality, your leadership style, your decisions or the stands that you take as a leader. It’s not going to happen.
NOTE: IF YOU ARE A LEADER AND EVERYONE LIKES YOU…. YOU ARE NOT LEADING.
What has amazed me through the years is not the fact that people don’t like something I did but the hatred that I feel or even experience from people who claim to be Christians. Not dislike, hatred! I did something they didn’t like or, yes it happens there is a personality conflict.
In politics you expect that people are going to hate you. The corporate world is cutthroat and people will hate you. It’s to be expected. In Christians circles hatred never ceases to surprise.
I’ve been involved in church ministry since I was about 16 years old. I have been in church leadership for twenty-seven years. I’ve been around the block a few times and I have some knowledge about leadership. It doesn’t matter what you do… someone is not going to like it and someone may even hate you for it.
Sometimes for me I think it’s because of my personality. I’m not the most outgoing, warm person I know. But then I think of a really close friend of mine who is the nicest, warmest, friendliest guy I know. I’m serious, I’ve never seen, know of or even heard a rumor of this man being anything but gracious, loving and kind. What he is, is a leader. I’ve witnessed he and his family going through hell on earth because someone didn’t like the way he led and yes, he is a pastor.
So what do you do when someone hates you?
Understand that what matters is not what someone who does not know you thinks about you. The only thing that matters is if God is pleased and what those who really know you think.
Does you spouse respect you? Do your children love and respect you? Are you seeking to please God? If the answer to those three questions is yes, that’s all that matters.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the opinion of those who don’t know you.
On the other hand if people who don’t really know you think your great but God is not pleased and your family doesn’t respect you, you’ve got work to do.