Church people!They are not easy to handle! The wild thing is, these are most often the people you have been faithfully serving and teaching.
- We need to consistently, without compromise preach/speak the truth.
- We should not preach/speak/argue to win, there's no grace in that at all.
- We should keep our message Jesus, and Jesus only...Anything else isn't worth the struggles we'll face.
- We cannot let the criticism, or our past, keep us from pursuing God's call for our lives.
- Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from engaging so that we protect ourselves from our own mouths, attitudes and reactions. Engaging critics often causes us to show our backsides when it's not necessary!
- We need to be surrounded by others we can share our frustration with and remain sane. As pastors we need other pastors/leaders who understand this struggle and will listen to us get our bitching out. (Trust me, this is crucial to you remaining sane and refraining from murder!)
- Realize that these people will always exist in some form. Don't focus on them, focus on loving lost people who need Jesus! Don't let your frustrations guide your passions and ministry, let your love of people guide your passion!
Ultimately, the key is perseverance and focus. God has called you to reach people far from Him. Stay focused on that, stand firm, keep going and rely on Him. God never promised it would be easy, but He promised He would stick with you! (Matthew 28:20)