Fulfill Your Calling with a Tender Heart and a Tough Hide: Part 2 of 2

As you pursue God’s purposes, you are going to face negativity and criticism. I guarantee it. Given this reality, developing a tough hide— that is, learning how to deal with criticism well — is key to fulfilling your purpose. Here are 4 tips to help you stay strong when negativity tries to chafe you:

1. Strengthen Your Foundation.
The best way is to go deeper in your relationship with God through continual prayer and study of the Word. You are then better able to hear from Him in every decision you make, which will naturally diminish the voices of the critics when they come against you.

2. Limit Your Exposure.
Minimize the criticism that comes across your desk. You are not a trashcan. Begin building some criticism hedges around yourself. Set up a gatekeeper who takes a look at all of your email and standard mail before it ever makes it to you. I recommend asking a trusted staff member to take on the responsibility.

3. Master the Art of Confrontation.
Don’t be afraid to confront conflict when necessary. Just keep these 4 things in mind:
a. Pray and Prep. Pray over the situation and also make some notes about what you want to say in the meeting. In short, be prepared.
b. Plan Your Approach. Take the angle of resolution through clarification. And above all else strive to preserve your relationship with the other person.
c. Assess the Attitude (Never Assume). Along the same lines, make sure you confront the attitude, confusion or motive that’s driving the attack, rather than confronting the person.
d. Act Early. Run to conflict. If you catch conflict in its earliest stages — before it becomes infectious, takes on armor and runs people out of the church — you can arrest it and correct it.

4. Find a Lightning Rod.
You need to make sure you have people with whom you can share the onslaught of criticisms you are facing and who are spiritually mature enough to give their opinions in a helpful, non-biased way. If you want to fulfill your calling, you are going to have to face that spiritual warfare along the way. As you move through it, keep your heart tender and your hide tough — and never stop gathering. Never stop preparing for the task you’ve been called to do.

Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

Join Nelson Searcy and special guests for 3 days dedicated to helping you fulfill your calling as a pastor — to replenish your energy and focus for ministry! The Renegade Pastors Conference will be held Wednesday, February 27 — Friday, March 1, 2019 at Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Seats are Going Fast —But You Can Sign Up Now at the Early Bird Rates! Register now at: www.RPConference.com.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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