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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

07 Mar '13

Success, resentment and criticism

It is an interesting phenomenon but it reveals something about our own hearts. The greater one's success in ministry the more criticism they receive and the more cynicism about their ministry. This criticism and cynicism says nothing about the one they are directed against. It says a lot about those who display the attitude.

I have had many conversations with pastors about large churches in their area. It seems as if there is a rule that we need to find something negative about them because they are large and influential. Sure there are times when we ought to have concerns (health and wealth teaching, legalism or teaching that is not Biblical). That I understand. But often, the real issue is our resentment at their success and a need to lower their standing in order to increase ours.

Here is an interesting question. Is it even necessary to speak negatively of other ministries? Usually not...and if we do what is our true motivation? Even Paul had strong detractors - those who didn't like his influence. If Paul did, it is inevitable that others will too. 

No leaders are perfect and none above criticism for some issues. But neither are we. They simply have more attention focused on them because they happen to lead a large ministry. In most cases they did not ask for the attention and may even resent it but it is what it is. Why should we follow the crowd in throwing stones? It was Paul's advice to use words that build up rather than tear down.

The bottom line is that our tendency to criticize those who are successful is most often a reflection of our hearts, our issues, our resentments and our desires rather than the success of others. If we are going to criticize we need first to look inside and ask what in our hearts creates that need.