Who are You Listening to?

In my last post, we talked about those random conversations that happen before and after services, on phone calls throughout the week, or through Facebook messenger. We discovered to make the most of our time, there are some people we should listen to and some people we should ignore. In today’s post, we want to move from the non-church related conversations to the church related.

If you’ve been a pastor for any time, you know that everyone has an opinion on how you should do church or how you should do your job.

The sad thing is, in many churches the person who farms all week has as much power to speak into how the church is run as the pastor who spends sixty to eighty hours a week working for the church.

This is why congregational voting is a terrible idea. You would never let the passengers tell the pilot how to fly a plane, but you’ll let them run a church. No wonder so many churches are in a free fall.

Hopefully, your church is not one of these churches. If it is, then it’s going to make who you listen to and who you ignore a lot more difficult.

For those of us who’ve managed to get out of the 1800’s, you should know that who you listen to is just as important as who you ignore.

Andy Stanley says, “Listening creates a culture that attracts and keeps better leaders.” And we all know, everything rises and falls on leadership. So, who should you be listening to?

Here are my suggestions.

  • Listen to those who are invested. Those who are serving and giving to your church.
  • Listen to those who are closest to the action. Sometimes talking to a volunteer is better than talking to a team leader.
  • Listen to those who love Jesus, love you, and love the church.
  • Listen to those who are smarter than you. If you’re the smartest person in your church, that’s an issue. Surround yourself with men and women who challenge your thinking.

One of the greatest qualities a leader can have is listening to those around him or her.

But make sure you’re listening to the right people because there are some others that you should ignore or at least redirect to someone else.

Here are my suggestions for those.

  • Ignore or redirect those who aren’t invested in your church. If they’ve been attending for a while but haven’t ever given or served, that should be a red flag.
  • Ignore or redirect those who are trying to speak into a situation that they know nothing about.
  • Ignore or redirect those who love their preferences over loving those who don’t know Jesus.
  • Ignore or redirect those who are constant complainers or critics.

Too often pastors get caught up listening, worrying, and stressing about something someone said that they should have been ignoring. Your mission is too important to get sidetracked by these people. Learn who to listen to and who to ignore.

Have you ever been guilty of listening to someone you should’ve ignored? We’d love to hear about it, so drop us a comment, and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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