There are a lot of different voices in a church planters head. Ok, that sounds a little weird, but let me explain.
Everyday, there are competing voices that try to get our attention and convince us of one thing or another. Here are some of those voices.
Some days a church planter is on the top of the world. We may have a few great conversations with potential church attenders or someone may have blessed the new church with some kind of financial gift. The positive voices fill our head and our hearts and remind us that God has called us to this work and our new church is going to advance His Kingdom.
All of a sudden and out nowhere the negative voices can come flooding in and wow, can they come flooding in!
Negative. Bad. Defeating. Critical.
Some days a church planter can get knocked off the top of the world. Someone may tell us they’ve decided to not be a part or they don’t like the direction of they have an issue with someone else on the launch team and they refuse to deal with it. Or, the finances don’t come in that were needed and negative voices can start to flood our mind and hearts.
Because there are so many different voices that are all trying to get our attention, there is one very important role that a church planter must take very seriously.
Develop Thick Skin
In order to balance all these voices, developing thick skin is of grave importance.
This is actually a HUGE leadership lesson period!
We have to remember that we can’t please everyone. It’s impossible to please everyone. But, it’s most important to live out the call that God has put on our hearts and sometimes that means going a path that some don’t agree with.
And it means not taking everything too personally. Some people aren’t going to be called to your church. Some people may have their opinions about the vision or mission. You just can’t please everyone.
3 ways to develop thick skin
1. Please God. Worry about only pleasing God. Period. Stop wasting all the energy it takes to please people and divert that energy to God.
2. Be confident in who you are. When you stop worrying about what others will think, it takes so much pressure off. Now, that doesn’t mean you become a prick and not care about people. But, it does mean that you lead in the way you were created to lead.
3. Ask for peoples opinions. Yes, I think we need to go after what people really think. Way too often, people hold back from what they really think and then at the most inopportune time they tell us what they’ve been thinking all along. If we create a culture where it’s ok for people to really share, we will find ourselves less in the magical land of…’I wonder what they really think’.
People will have their doubts. People will question your motives. People will say both positive and negative things about you and the church and some days they will say both the same day.
As much as you can, you must drown out all the voices that pull you down and listen to the voice that matters.
1 Kings 19:12
“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper”