Being a leader is hard enough. But what about leading those who don't like you? Here are a few pointers to help soften the tension.

Resist What Comes Naturally
In ministry, doing what comes naturally is often the best approach. That's not true, however, when it comes to pastoring difficult people. One of my natural responses is to distance myself from difficult people. But, I've learned to make it a point to seek out difficult people and spend a few moments talking together. Even if our contact with the person doesn't solve the problem, it builds a bridge rather than a wall between us. There is something positive and healing about face-to-face contact with people at odds with us.

Invite Talk About Sensitive SubjectsIt's important to let people know that even subjects of conflict can be discussed; they don't end the relationship. I've had ongoing differences with one couple over the style of our worship service. I've met with them to talk specifically about that issue. We continue to disagree. ...

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