As church planters, we need to be aware of some statistics. These stats will help adjust our focus. In just about all churches, we will have approx 20% who are pioneers, 70% who are considered "settlers" and then about 10% who are "antagonists."
We spend too much time, energy and even money on people who are in the last category.
We need to realize that we can not please everyone. This fact is magnified in those who have a cynical bent. I think after discerning they are indeed antagonists at their very root, we need to smile, be cordial and then walk away. Let's give them over to God, believing that the Holy Spirit will do what you and I cannot do, change their heart.
If you continue to give them your time and energy, sad to say... you will be exhausted and eventually burn out.
It's amazing how many pastors leave the ministry just because of the stress of a few people. When your focus is on the 10% which are antagonists, can you really expect a different outcome?
Let's be wise and focus on those who have a teachable spirit and continue praying for the 10% to change more into the likeness of our Jesus.
Jeff Hoglen is available for ministry coaching covering the topics of church plantng, church renewal, leadership and outreach strategies. Visit: JeffHoglen.com and ChurchPlanting.com for more information.