I belong to several pastor groups on Facebook. It is extremely common to read about pastors in these groups who are dealing with a loud group who opposes everything the pastor tries to do. I understand. These discouraged leaders’ hands are tied because of this negative group. Many resign because this group seems impossible.
Today, I read another one of those posts. This pastor was asking for advice. My flesh wanted to say, “Work around them”. To a degree, that is what I did. But I began to think about what I really did when I pastored an established church. I felt like I had 3 groups in that church: the seat warmers, the thorns, and those who wanted to see the church move forward. The seat warmers really never presented a problem, but they had no vested interest. The thorns were just a pain unless they were getting plenty of public attention and having their way. The third group had unfortunately been overshadowed by the “thorns” for too long. I discovered who was in that third group and began to empower them. Those were the ones who needed to be on planning teams and have their ideas implemented. My mission was to give them a voice. Many of them said to me, “I have been in this church for a long time, and I finally feel like I belong.”
If you are leading an organization, team, or whatever the group may be, don’t let the negative people dictate the atmosphere. Empower the good people. They will be your workers and the ones who will become the new thermostat.