Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Daner, Grace Staff, Danger ! (criticism)

In case you’re just tuning into this series of posts, it would be good for you to go back and read at least the introduction to this series back on April 29. These are not posts written to Grace Church as a whole or Christians in general. These posts are written from me as the Senior Pastor to our staff here at Grace. I have asked them to read each of them. I am giving you the opportunity to simply be the “fly-on-the-wall”. I am identifying dangers facing our staff as God continues to move in and through our church. I have already dealt with the dangers of arrogance, negativity and spiritual apathy. Today I go on to danger #4.

Danger #4 – CRITICISM

It happens in every ministry. It did in Jesus’ ministry. They are inside and outside of every church. At least they were in the church that Timothy pastored. When writing to Timothy, Paul even called them out by name (2 Timothy 2:17)…Hymenaeus and Philetus. John identified one of them named Diotrephes when he was writing to Gaius (3 John 9). We can’t avoid them. Inside and outside of our ministry there will be people who are negative, and often they are cruel. I’d like to say that attacks on me or our ministry don’t bother me but they do. And I know they bother you too. After all, we may be in ministry but we are still very, very human with very real feelings that can get hurt, damaged and even crushed.

I recently listened to a message given my Mark Driscoll who identified 20 types of negative people. As I list them below, I bet each staff member could put a name or two of people inside or outside of our ministry next to each of them:

-Success Jealousy Negatives – those who attack your ministry because they are jealous that it is growing while theirs is not

-False Witness Negatives – those who lie and tell half-truths about you or your ministry

-Misinformed Negatives – those who hear something about you or your ministry that is not true but they act on it as if it were

Personal Dislike Negatives – those who just don’t like you as a person

Take Up Offense For Another Person Negatives – those who are unhappy about you or your ministry simply because someone else is unhappy with you or your ministry

Missiological Negatives – these can be people on the right or on the left. Those on the right see all forms of contextualization as worldliness and attack you because you are using too much culture. Those on the left say you’re not going far enough into culture

Single Issue Voter Negatives – you can identify them because their very first Sunday in your church they ask your opinion on the one issue that is all that matters to them

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