"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crybaby Pastors Part 2: Drying the Eyes With An Alternative Message to Pastors About Criticism

Below is an alternative message to pastors regarding criticism that is more practical, and more biblical than Rainer's, to help the drying eyes of crybaby pastors.

We should expect better advice coming from a guy like Rainer, but maybe he was just having a few bad days there. Afterall, Rainer's first article on criticism posted on January 18, 2011, exactly one day AFTER North Carolina pastor Tim Rogers criticized Thom Rainer himself. Rogers points to the possible nepotism in Rainer's three sons - one of whom is barely out of college - all being author's published by Lifeway, the SBC agency that Thom Rainer heads. Good article, Tim "The Naysayer" Rogers.

Here's the advice:
---------------------------

Pastors, get ready for criticism when you go to pastor a church.

Criticism is a fact of life. In every profession, you have people who will think they know how to do your job better than you. If you get frustrated about the critics in your church, ask your members about what criticism they face at their jobs, and they will tell you that you likely have it pretty good. Most people in your congregation view you as "God's man" and will love you no matter what, with your good and bad.

But what if you have someone who is a "naysayer", as Rainer suggests. What should you do?

Some helpful, practical suggestions:

1. Don't do as Rainer suggests and view critics in your church as unregenerate. Oh, they might be. But so might you. So might the guy who is patting you on the back and is your greatest supporter. Sometimes God will put a cantankerous, cranky church member in your church that will call you every Monday to teach you something like humility and perseverance.

2. Whatever you do, do NOT do what Rainer suggests and wait for, or encourage, the "diaconate" (as in "deacons"?) in your church to take care of a naysayer through a discipline process or God-forbid some "informal" church process. That is exactly what NOT to do. That is not even a Christian response. You are supposed to love your critic. If you really think they are not a true Christian as Rainer says they must not be if they are a harsh critic, then shouldn't that be a person to focus on and show true Christian love to?

3. Reject the notion that you may have learned in seminary or picked up from the hot-shot mega church pastors preaching in seminary chapel that you are God's gift to your church, have a special anointing, or that you are the vision caster and people need to get on board with your vision. Reject the notion that you are some sort of special agent sent from God to save the people in their church from their ignorance. You are a pastor, an undershepherd. Practicing servant leadership starts in viewing yourself as a servant, not a special agent from God. Your critics might be special agents sent to you to help save you from some of the ignorance you picked up in seminary. Really.

4. Do not view ignoring critics as a goal to be achieved. Rainer says:

"But the reality is that we humans have difficulty ignoring critics whom we see every week, critics whose faces are ever before us. Ignoring critics is a good idea in theory, but only a few pastors are really able to accomplish such a feat."

Wow. It would not be so sad to read this if Rainer weren't a prominent speaker and author on leadership. This is exactly the opposite of what you should do. Ask any of your church members who are in education, or in business or any other vocation, and they will tell you how important it is to listen to negative feedback. You should seek ways to allow people to give you feedback, even anonymously. You should seek ways to be more transparent and welcoming of questions and criticism, not less.

5. Don't view yourself as a victim. Rainer characterizes criticism from even what he calls "insignificant matters" as being "attacks" and "beating you up." He refers to critics as "dragons" - and we all know what we do to dragons. That is a victim mentality you should reject. And what is insignificant to you might not be to someone you are called to love and pastor.

6. Realize you really aren't that important. Criticism of you and your "ministry" does not equate to a hindrance of the Great Commission. Your sermons aren't God's gift to humanity. Sorry, but while you view your profession as a "calling", it is still a profession and there are lots of people with your skill set who can and will pastor your church. This might help keep you a bit more humble. Oh, and read about the trials of Les Puryear who left his position as pastor at his church and had to enter the work force. Not too much demand in the workforce for guys with Masters of Divinity (that almost looks frightening, when spelled out; a Master of DIVINITY?), or PhD's in preaching.

There you go, pastors. Hope that helps.

Oh, I almost forgot. Three last pieces of advice:

7. Don't pass "Deacon's Resolutions" condemning unjust criticism in your church. One church tried that, and it didn't work out too well.

8. Avoid issuing trespass papers to the wife of a critic.

9. Don't call your critics "sociopaths", or "mentally unstable" to the local news media.

Now go pastor your flock.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other words . . .

Pastors - you are nobuddies,

If you are real, you'll take that and like it, and you won't respond back.

You'll accept EVERY thing we throw your way without complaining. You signed up for this, so we can rant at you all we want, and you have to just take it.

We can say what we want to about you, and you have to agree with us.

We can beat you up, and then punish you for bleeding.

Good grief.

Slow to speak said...

Waaaa.....Mac's been mean to me!!!!

Waaaa.....Mac stomped his foot again!!

Waaaa.....I hate Pastors so much, they can't take critism like me!!!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

hey dog......

GROW UP SON!

Lynn said...

I think this is some good advice.

Anonymous said...

1. Organize your church and business meetings so that ideas and criticsm are considered and deliberated upon in a fair and resonable forum. Once considered and decided upon, move on from there. Don't be afraid of having the criticism aired. Use it as an opportunity to present the better position.

2. If the critic did not get his/her way and continues to criticize, let them. It's their right, anyway. Also, recognize that most human characteristic - people will talk. You can't stop that.

3. Don't use formal discipline proceedings if at all possible. Doing so carries more peril than ignoring it.

4. Pastors and lay church leaders have the "bully pulpit" so to speak. Use that to talk about and emphasize the things that are important in the life of the church. The criticism may never go away. Learn to live with it, and emphasize the important aspects of the life and ministry of the church.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Tom,

You are a fool. You have made clear to everyone the magnitude of your ignorance in this blog.
Think about the time and energy you have spent writing and maintaining this blog. Don't you think all of that energy could have been spent doing actual ministerial work for the Lord Jesus? I don't think you do. The blood from the lost souls burning in hell, who you could be sharing the good news with instead of blogging, will be on your hands. It's not too late to start the real work of the Lord. Lastly, I think the deacon's resolution's did work. You're no longer a member at FBC.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Spoken like a true religious zealot. Yep, souls burning in hell because of a blog.

Deacons resolution was nearly three months after we left. It was designed to justify their actions already taken against my family and to warn others what would happen to them if they unjustly criticized the church.

Thank you for the label of fool. Coming from you I will wear it proudly.

Anonymous said...

Slow to Speak is a classic troll, trawling along to snag some body.

I tend to think it is one of the Brunson family or devout disciples of Mac's making.

This first anonymous here is another troll/disciple. Always with the emotional rants, no substance in the discussion, just want to shout down any discussion.

Actually Tom, the article was infromative and a reality based observation of the whold situation. I like this guy's article, he just puts it in perspective.
Garlando

Anonymous said...

Lastly, I think the deacon's resolution's did work. You're no longer a member at FBC.

March 3, 2011 10:33 AM

Whoever you are, your post made me laugh. Take a look around FBCJ (last Sunday evening for example) and see that a lot of us have left and have no intention of ever coming back. You're right the deacon's (lot of divorcee's might add) new resolution did work and many just left. Even your over worked preacher is gone most of the year.

Tom does have a ministry - right here on this blog and it's got more credibility than First Baptist does. I'd say he's done a lot for the Lord.

Why doesn't the church do the work of the Lord & walk over to the court house & remove the trespass papers against Mrs. Rich?

Or why hasn't someone doing the work of the Lord @ FB called to say they've missed me, am I sick, what's happened, you were so faithful . . but one thing you do well is send those monthly tithing envelopes, so I know someone there is thinking of me.

Thanks Watchdog for being no fool but a wise man!

Thy Peace said...

FBC Jax leaders attempt at silencing Watchdog and future Watchdogs has utterly failed.

My suggestions to Mac Brunson and future Mac Brunson's ...

1. Develop a thick skin

2. Do not rag on your critics from the pulpit. This encourages innocent listeners from finding out all this mess.

3. Ignore critics, if you can not answer them.

Anonymous said...

"Tom does have a ministry - right here on this blog and it's got more credibility than First Baptist does. I'd say he's done a lot for the Lord."

Anon 11:30am

-------------------------------
A ministry is the last thing I'd call this blog. You are clearly lost Anon or you would know what true ministry is and you would be able to recognize it. Where on this blog has Tom Rich spoken of the good news of Christ? Where is the evidence that someone has grown closer to God as a result of Tom's blogging? No where. I can't find it. No sign of ministry anywhere on this internet site. It's not a ministry. It's a slum where people with no backbone come and spew their filth.

Anonymous said...

Crybaby Bloggers Part 1: Drying the eyes of the Sociopaths Who Can't Let Go and Move On


Disgruntled Bloggers, move on with your lives. Quit blogging about the same stuff over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. If the pastors, whom you blog about, are such a thorn in your side, then why are you so obsessed with writing about them? It doesn't make sense.
There's nothing wrong with blogging but your blogs have such a negative vibe. Write about the good stuff that happens. Tell us about what's going on in the churchs that you attend now. Stop giving the bad preachers all the attention and shed some light on the good one's every once in a while.
A few tips-
Don't cry to the media when your identity has been discovered.
Don't sue churchs and pastors because you don't like them.
Don't hide behind your computer screen and blog anonymously late at night. It's creepy. You don't want to look like middle aged men who stalk little girls on youtube.
Play fair. Allow those who disagree with you to post on your blog. Don't delete their comments prevent them from posting when they discredit you.

Part 2 Coming Soon

Anonymous said...

As usual, Wd has no clue about what pastoring involves and requires. Wd, you wouldn't last 5 minutes as a pastor.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:40pm,

Dog would never be called to be a pastor anyways. Remeber, his ministry is rigt here on this blog.

anonymouse said...

Wow...the man worshipers are getting vicious.
Good post Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened by a "pastor" who dispenses advice with ZERO Biblical references. Does anyone else find it surprising that his wisdom has absolutely no Biblical moorings?

Talking about a man just sharing his opinions! (I Cor 2:4, I Cor 2:13)

AJ

Anonymous said...

Wow...the man worshipers are getting vicious.
Good post Watchdog.

March 3, 2011 3:02 PM

I have noticed that, too. It only means the posts have merit. I have not seen one single contextual argument. All they can do is insult Tom personally and claim that pastors have some special position that protects them from any disagreement or questioning.

You cannot help but feel sorry for them. They have invested their lives in a person on a stage and not Christ.

Not Buying your Story said...

Take a look around FBCJ (last Sunday evening for example)

The same can be said of dogs church and most others around town on sunday evenings anon. I know because I have visited many churches in the area over the last couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Manworshippers=Tom's followers.

Mr. Kleenex said...

Anon 4:13,

So it's ok for Watchdog to insult certain pastors personally, but it's wrong for Watchdogs critics to say a few words? And you cry foul for a lack of contextual arguments!

I digress.

Anonymous said...

Exellent advice. I would also remind "pastors" that all true believers are part of the Holy Priesthood and are "ministers". They don't hear that in seminary anymore.

Must have used scissors to cut it out of their bibles.

However, I am sure many pastor followers see your wise counsel as "hate speech".

I never knew so many liberals were in the SBC!

Anonymous said...

Manworshippers=Tom's followers.

March 3, 2011 4:25 PM

Tom, have any commenters sent you money for blogging? Do they "tithe" to you for your income?

Anonymous said...

"I am saddened by a "pastor" who dispenses advice with ZERO Biblical references. Does anyone else find it surprising that his wisdom has absolutely no Biblical moorings?"

Not to mention the nepotism at Lifeway. Since Daddy is the boss, the boys get published.

Tacky, Thom. And a bit too obvious. But when it is the SBC, it is the norm.

Your tithe dollars at work!

Anonymous said...

"As usual, Wd has no clue about what pastoring involves and requires. Wd, you wouldn't last 5 minutes as a pastor.

March 3, 2011 1:40 PM


And the majority of Pastors have no clue what it's like to work in the Corporate world - most all of the young preachers these days have gone to Christian schools & colleges, and never been exposed to the real world! These young pastors work in a very protected environment, especially those whose big daddy is their boss.

Anonymous said...

"Allow those who disagree with you to post on your blog. Don't delete their comments prevent them from posting when they discredit you."

Interesting. The celebrity charlatans either moderate heavily or don't allow comments at all.

They simply do not allow dissent or questioning.

Guess having a title works. You know, Dog, you should get an M.Div, then the Mac worshipers would have to shut up since you would then be automatically "anointed". :o)

You could also demand a tithe for your income.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:56 said,
"And the majority of Pastors have no clue what it's like to work in the Corporate world - most all of the young preachers these days have gone to Christian schools & colleges, and never been exposed to the real world! These young pastors work in a very protected environment, especially those whose big daddy is their boss."

HaHa. We attack mega pastors and now we attack young pastors. It never ends. So when did it become necessary for a "young pastor" to work in the real world in order to be qualified to pastor. It's hilarious how far some of you reach to discredit pastors.

Anonymous said...

10. Consider "criticism" as "quality control statements," realizing that you really aren't the smartest person in the building and truly need the "collective IQ" in order to build the membership into the ministry team you believe from the Bible that God expects.

There are 100 guys who will come and lead the church of any senior pastor reading this blog now--and they'd do it for half as much money and provide twice as much fun for the people.

Lighten up, get on the ball, ask the people "What do you think we ought to do together to reach our community for Christ?"--and stop belly-aching! Be glad God gave you a job and keeps you in it.

Anonymous said...

I read it is difficult being a pastor. Question, why is it difficult being a pastor. Is it because trying to maintain a certain life style takes so much energy. Is it because they are receiving their marching orders from the SBC. Is it because pockets of rioters invade private property. Or is it because the pastors are not following god with the peace in their hart but only hatred. Get saved!

Anonymous said...

Lots of jobs are the "hardest job ever"--especially if a guy thinks he has to do it all alone OR that he's the smartest guy in the building.

Used to be a senior pastor (most recently: associate pastor--now without a job since senior pastor engineered lay-off due to "economics," but actually his having no vision or clue for growing the church during the past 3 years--ask the other staff members . . .). Among other maladies, senior pastors get "preacher speak"--think they have to have an answer for every question/situation in life, and hopefully from the Bible. A most freeing thing: saying nothing, having no opinion which must be shared, being able to say "I don't know--what do you think?"

People who can write a book every month, either make everybody happy or everybody mad but live with it, easily go where nobody's ever gone before (i.e., church growth, in the case of most SBC congregations during the 21st century), and be honest all the time probably think being a senior pastor isn't hard. Senior pastors can be lying, people-pleasing cheaters who hole-up in their studies or homes to write average-or-below sermonettes (preached to Christianettes) or finish DMins in "Pastoral Leadership" (whatever THAT is today!) but otherwise can't serve their ways out of wet paper sacks. Or they can grow up like the rest of us are trying to do. Nobody's perfect.

NYTN said...

You know FBX JAX Watchdog, I was reviewing your story and I was just fell over in my chair when I discovered when a trespass warning letter was hand-delivered to your home by your old Sunday School teacher.

Man -- that's low...

All of this could have been avoided if they had simply practiced what they preached.

I know it's easy to say "Well, if I was the pastor, I'd...", because in many ways it's not an easy job. However, if I were the pastor and found out your identity, my first thought would be to try and meet and talk with you man-to-man.

But instead, they came out against you like the MAFIA, saying "We know who you are!", slandering you publicly, kicking your wife AND the the children out, and just dealing with you and your family in the harshest fashion possible. NOT for the sake of proper discipline and "biblical reconciliation" as they call it -- but to make a STATEMENT. And that is, you don't QUESTION the deacons and pastor of FBC Jax. And if you do, you will be dealt with severely.

I know it has been some time since this all happened, but I still find this all freshly despicable.


A Lesson In CHURCH MAFIA TACTICS Featuring MAC BRUNSON of FBC JAX

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m75UrIXLgc

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Here is the link to NYTN's video blog post about FBC Jax and the blogger case.

Thy Peace said...

This is BIG suggestion for you Mac Brunson ...

Do NOT video tape your comments and upload/inject them to a viewer as they were watching a live service of FBC Jax Church service, who only once commented on this blog.

That is in VERY POOR taste for you and FBC Jax.

WishIhadknown said...

I have to disagree with the idea that these are Mafia tactics. It’s worse! The Mafia operates outside of the law. This is more in line with Gestapo or KGB because it involved the Police. You know the people who are suppose to “serve and protect.”
This was an especially egress abuse of power and an out an out violation of everyone civil rights.

Anonymous said...

HaHa. We attack mega pastors and now we attack young pastors. It never ends. So when did it become necessary for a "young pastor" to work in the real world in order to be qualified to pastor. It's hilarious how far some of you reach to discredit pastors.

March 3, 2011 7:56 PM

Logic 101


How can a pastor presume to teach others how to live as a Christian in the real world when they don't?

I remember one mega church pastor who told the elders he needed a big raise because his wife was expecting another child. He literally thought that is how it worked. He had NO clue how it worked for real people in real jobs. They simply made do with less. He did not understand that concept. The church was to 'take care of him'.

There is not much a guy like that can teach me about living in the real world as a believer. He has NO experience.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to Tim Rogers from North Carolina when I wrote that...

I am saddened by a "pastor" who dispenses advice with ZERO Biblical references. Does anyone else find it surprising that his wisdom has absolutely no Biblical moorings?

Talking about a man just sharing his opinions! (I Cor 2:4, I Cor 2:13)

AJ

WishIhadknown said...

No, we don’t actually attack pastors. It’s more like what Dr. Rogers used to say, “I’m just shootin’ down a barrel, don’t blame me if you’re down in it because you got there yourself and if you’re not in it then what I say does not apply to you. Amen.”

Anonymous said...

am saddened by a "pastor" who dispenses advice with ZERO Biblical references. Does anyone else find it surprising that his wisdom has absolutely no Biblical moorings? "

The scriptures do not tell me I cannot hire my sister in a job. It does not tell me TO hire her in a job.

However, AS a believer, I do have to look at how it will affect other people or whether it is fair to others who want the job and what the long term effects might be.

Scritpure says to abstain from any appearance of evil. It says not to show favoritism. I must take into considertion those who are paying my salary and how it will effect them to show such favoritism.

In Rainers case, it is very hard to get published...especially for those young with minimal experience. Daddy made sure they got a good start using his position paid for by the SBC. He took advantage.

We could also point out he was not wise.

If you read Mary Branson's Book, you will see this sort of thing goes on all the time in the SBC. People even taking royalties while working as an employee of an entity and writing on company time.

I think your asking for specific scripture shows how little you know it. Perhaps you are looking for the letter of the law to excuse such things instead of the spirit.

VinnyVideo said...

"Ignoring critics is a good idea..."

Some critics are more useful than others, true, but is there any worse advice you could give to anyone in a leadership role?

Anonymous said...

Critics are just critics. Little value to be found in them. Though, you can always count on a good headache from them.

Slow to speak said...

Think about this whole theme...
"Cry Baby Pastors"?

Why does this bother so many Christ followers?

Because the biggest crybaby in Jax is calling Pastors Crybabies!!

What in the wide world of sports is going on here???

Mac is not a crybaby...He is a hero to so many of us!

Because Mac is like Jesus....they both kicked people out of the temple!!

Anonymous said...

Critics are just critics. Little value to be found in them. Though, you can always count on a good headache from them.

March 4, 2011 5:51 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Like John Adams, Sam Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock.

The king said the same about all of them.

Anonymous said...

Critics are just critics. Little value to be found in them. Though, you can always count on a good headache from them.

March 4, 2011 5:51 PM

Like Martin Luther, Felix Mann, Conrad Greabel and all the other critics....

The religious leaders said the same thing about them.

NYTN said...

@Anonymous said, "Critics are just critics. Little value to be found in them. Though, you can always count on a good headache from them."

So then, 'Anonymous', as you are here providing criticism, I guess we should pay no attention to what you say either for it is of -- as you say 'little value'.

Oh, how I love self-defeating statements... Sigh...

Anonymous said...

"So then, 'Anonymous', as you are here providing criticism, I guess we should pay no attention to what you say either for it is of -- as you say 'little value'."

Don't really care whether you pay attention to me or not.

Anonymous said...

So then, 'Anonymous', as you are here providing criticism, I guess we should pay no attention to what you say either for it is of -- as you say 'little value'.

Oh, how I love self-defeating statements... Sigh...

March 5, 2011 2:05 PM

Tee Hee.

Of course s/he does not care what you think which is why s/he comments here! (wink)

Not a lot of critical thinking among the pew sitters who follow men. The men do the thinking for them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this column, and thank you, posters, for adding to the debate. I'm a "critic," I guess. I work incredibly hard for my church and to serve others. I don't chase credit, and I acknowledge others' contributions (even if they were small or nonexistent). I don't want credit. I don't care. I'm just satisfied if a project is completed well. And I don't care if it's done my way -- I'm always asking for input. I've circulated a survey for anonymous feedback to see how my performance was. I'm a volunteer, with no guidance, trying to do my best at the church. But I'm also a critic. I suggest projects I'm willing to start to help the community -- ignored. I ask why we feed ourselves in the hall instead of people who are hungry -- ignored. I try to engage others to serve -- as it's an important part of Christian service (and honestly I could use the help) -- no one cares. And the people I serve with, I learned from an upset member, would like to see me fail. It's sad. But I'm trying to hang in there and complete some projects I think will help. But some are so intensely rude. I just want to withdraw. I don't think the pastor loves these people -- he told me they were dumb sheep when I asked what the vision was for the hall. Sad. But I'm the bad guy ... I'm the critic.

Anonymous said...

"The critic" back again ... I forgot to mention that my problem I think is that I'm an outsider. I didn't grow up here and have only been at the church for a few years.