« "Living in Isolation" Proverbs 18:1 | Main | "lasting faith" Proverbs 24:10 »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dan Goodson

Challenging words for the people pleaser in me. I've definitely fallen to the temptation of trying to sweep things under the rug, but things only seem to get worse that way. The question I continually come back to is 'what does it look like to respond with grace and conviction?'

Josh Otto

Great post Dave. Especially loved the part about our motives for engaging the disgruntled few are usually driven by a desire for approval. I would say that this has always been a struggle for me that thankfully I'm starting to see more victory in. What might feel like a desire to care for people and acknowledge their thoughts is often a lack of willingness to risk how much people like me. When I've spent time trying to engage the scoffers it's usually been because I'm more concerned with my own glory and making sure I'm liked by people rather than concern for God's glory and stewarding what he has entrusted to me.

Some good thoughts that were passed to me in this area is asking how much of a place has this person earned to be heard. If they have invested in what I am leading then they merit being listened to more. Those that haven't invested much don't merit much.

Lamb Family Ministry Thoughts

The last two years have been a big growing period for me in this area. I use to just grin and bear when people would say things I totally didn't agree with or would say or do things totally inappropriate. Then there is just weirdness for years. I had a pastor that use to say "What you keep in is what the devil uses, but what you get out is what God uses." I have found to just go into the uncomfortable conversation is the best way to go. So you can at least start hashing out what you and this person are disagreeing on. So far it has always been better then keeping my frustration in and start gossiping about this person. I just need to make sure I pray a moment before I enter into those conversations. I could go on more but this is Dave's blog and not mine. :)

Ron Sanders

Hi Dave,

Two initial thoughts. First, the disgruntled usually have a history of being disgruntled--scoffers usually have a history of being scoffers. Its important to distinguish confusion, growth and frustration from scoffing. Because we work with so many young(er) believers, part of our role is to help them recognize this distinction and help them grow--and part of that recognition is being spoken to truthfully about a situation. Second, as leaders, we need to know ourselves well enough to know how we take criticism, frustration and discontentment. Sometimes we an interpret them as scoffing, etc... when they are really only confused or frustrated--this goes back to them feeling understood and once they do (grace), then they can hear your feedback (truth). Ok, one more. Third. This is a good word for us as leaders because we both lead and follow. How do we treat those above us and how do they experience us (I don't have an ulterior motive here because I am your pseudo-"boss." We need to be critical thinkers who follow well. I've always wanted to write a talk on leadership entitled, "If you want to be a leader, learn to follow."

I didn't have your new blog address for some reason--I thought that you hadn't updated in a while (which is understandable with triplets) but now I know.

Dave Goffeney

Thanks so much for the comments guys:

Spud, I definitely hear you... I really do pray for discernment regarding where somebody is coming from. Also, how we follow has so much to do with how well we can lead.

Kevin, I've always taken you as somebody who doesn't B.S., so i'm a little surprised... I would ask though about speaking up, vs. just being willing to let somebody go. As i've had conversations with guys who just seemed to not get it, so I eventually decided to just stop meeting with him...and there is
weirdness whenever I see him.

Josh and Dan, it has been fun to grow alongside both of you in this area. This year I had a girl say, "I pretty much disagree with everything you say from up front (and this is a Christian), but I like the other stuff at CRU", and I was ok with her assessment...mostly because she was just wrong.


Yeah early on in ministry I was concerned not to offend people as much as possible - even the utterly unreasonable and judgmental. After offending them for something trivial I realized it would be impossible to stay on their good side and foolish of me to think I could.

Take home message: why let a sociopath determine the shape, character, and nature of the ministry? Wouldn't it be better for God-ordained, Spirit-directed leaders to do that? The sociopaths can shut their mouths or take a hike - I'm ok with either. But I sure as heck ain't gonna try to please them and thereby make them the defacto leaders of the people I've been charged with shepherding.

Sorry for being so sassy, it's kinda late and our softball team just lost...

Dave Goffeney

Bern, the sassiness cracks me up. Like Kevin, i've always seen you as a really 'to the point' kind of guy (as evidenced by your above blog). Looking out for Sociopaths in the group/congregation you lead is a must. I appreciate your insights as a pastor and leader.

The comments to this entry are closed.