Nov 7, 2010

The Few...The Loud...The Antagonists

Here's a fact of life. No matter what you do in children's ministry...someone is not going to like it. Stats show that at least 2% of people are going to become disgruntled, angry, or opponents of anything you do. And that 2% is usually vocal about it...very vocal about it.

A lot of us in ministry are people pleasers. I am. I want everyone to be happy, be thrilled with the ministry, and cheer for us loudly. But it usually doesn't work that way. Yes, 98% of the people are satisfied, but at least 2% or more are usually not happy and they let me know about it.

And that's okay. In recent years, I've gotten more used to this and accepted it as a part of leadership. Here's some things I've learned and am still learning.
  • I listen to the antagonists. There is usually something I can learn from them...there is usually at least a grain of truth in what they are saying. What they say may or may not have any bearing on decisions, but I'd be foolish not to listen.
  • I don't develop my ministry philosophy and programming based on the extremes of antagonists or "anything you say" supporters. Usually I try to land in the middle of the two. Right where the average family and average child is. This enables me to connect with the biggest percentage of people.
  • One thing is for sure...if you try to please everyone, you'll drive yourself berserk. The quickest way to failure is to try to accommodate everyone.
  • Don't let the backlash of the 2% keep you from seeing the blessings of the 98%.
 Posted by Dale Hudson

4 comments:

True true true. I have a few in my church that always have something to say about the ministry. Usually it comes in the form of "I was just thinking this might be better", and usually it is a huge source of frustration to me. However, you're right. There usually is some truth in what they are saying. The trouble with pride is that you're not willing to compromise, and that's something I need to hand over to the Lord for sure!!

This is great stuff! Something we can all learn from.

The hardest ones I've dealt with are the ones my husband calls "Drive-By Shooters" - the ones that come once or are having a rotten day, so they "shoot off" comments about how horrible your ministry is, with no intent to stick around to help fix it or make helpful, constructive criticisms. It's taken a lot of time to learn how to take the truths away from the things that are said and to let go of feeling personally attacked by them! Thank goodness for the "Drive-By Blessers!"

Kimberly,

I love the way way you put it. So true.
I heard an older pastor say there are 3 types of people in every church...
-70% are great and support the ministry
-25% are so-so but at least they don't cause any trouble
-5% are just down right mean.

That five percent comes along with leadership. Everyone faces it...even the strongest of leaders.
It is never easy for me, but I have gotten a little more resilient as I've gotten older.

Just stay focused. Remember...the dog may bark...but the train rolls on! Keep on rolling ahead for Jesus!

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