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How to respond (and not respond) to chronic complainers.

For years I'd been awaiting this board meeting. After enduring overcrowded facilities and countless hours of planning by the building committee, the elders now stood on the verge of recommending to the congregation that we accept an offer to purchase our current facilities. The building committee could then begin the construction process.

Dave, our most outspoken and influential elder, raised his voice. "You know, there's a lot of dissension in the congregation about this project. I'm not sure now is the right time to go ahead." As he spoke, I could feel the board's confidence leaking.

In near panic I mentally reviewed our discussions in the last several church business meetings. While some had raised doubts about tackling a project of such magnitude, the overall attitude was definitely optimistic. I knew Dave had been hit by a force I'd battled before: the grumblers.

Like termites, grumblers slowly chew away at the foundation of church vision and confidence until what a majority see as God's ...

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