Jump directly to the Content

What are three ways leaders can deal with difficult congregants?

Ken Sande is president of Peacemaker Ministries.

First and foremost, remember the gospel: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, including difficult congregants. Many people are self-absorbed, fearful, and angry because they have not fully comprehended the incredible forgiveness they have in Christ. Keep reminding them in specific ways of who God is, what he is like, and what he has done—and is doing—in their lives. This is what the apostle Paul did whenever he had to address congregants who were struggling with conflict (1 Cor. 1:4–9; Eph. 1:1–3:21; Phil. 4:4; Col. 3:12a).

Second, take time to listen to difficult people (James 1:19). Some of their frustration may be the result of pent-up concerns that no one seems to have taken seriously. Look for the truth in what they are saying (even if much of what they say is inaccurate); have the humility to admit your church's shortcomings; and take reasonable steps to change things that need changing. As irritating as critics might be, God often uses them to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
How Can Shepherds Survive Biting Sheep?
How Can Shepherds Survive Biting Sheep?
Love of people, purpose, and mission won’t sustain you through ministry's low points.
From the Magazine
The Woodstock Generation Swallowed Me Up and Spit Me Out
The Woodstock Generation Swallowed Me Up and Spit Me Out
One summer in a hippie commune soured me on the ’60s counterculture. God met me in my disillusionment.
Editor's Pick
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Learning from the Good Shepherd’s gentle care.
close